DOROTHY JANE KEPHART HENRY
December 10, 1925 – March 15, 2020
Dorothy Jane Kephart Henry passed away peacefully on March 15, 2020. She was a retired employee of the City of Irving where she worked in the Parks and Recreation Department as Secretary to the Director and Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for 20 years.
Dorothy was born in Tyrone, Oklahoma to John Hubert Kephart and Helen Josephine Lary Kephart. At that time, her father was Superintendent of Schools. It was in Tyrone, the family survived the Great Depression and The Oklahoma Dust Bowl.
In the early 1940’s the family moved to Canyon, TX where she graduated from West Texas High School. Then, in 1944, She moved with her family to Woodward, Oklahoma. Following a devastating tornado in 1947 which destroyed the REA (Rural Electrification Act) building where she worked, she moved to Oklahoma City and worked for Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company for eight years. It was in Oklahoma City where she met and married Otis O. Henry. After her marriage in 1953, she worked two more years at OG & E and then was employed at Sohio Oil Company until they moved to Irving in 1956. Their daughter, Lari Jane, was born there in 1957 and Dorothy and Otis became charter members of Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, where they remained active members until each of their deaths. In 1959, the family moved to Richmond, Virginia where their son, Joel Brooks was born in 1961. The family moved back to Irving in 1962.
Dorothy attended Northwest State Teachers College in Alva, OK, Tarrant County Community College, Mountain View Community College, and North Lake Community College, and, as she would say, “still never got a degree!”
During the 1970’s she and Otis were active in the University of Dallas Host Family Program. Dorothy and family invited students to join them in family meals, horseback riding and games of ping-pong in the garage and pickup basketball in the driveway of their home. This resulted in the couple having “kids” all over the world!
Upon retiring from the City of Irving in 1991 at the age of 71, Dorothy became the volunteer extraordinaire. She began at the (then) Lively Park Senior Activity Center and later served on their Site Council; W.T. Hanes Elementary, Crockett Junior High, Irving Community Theatre, Irving Sister Cities Organization, Irving Historical Society, and the Irving Police Department. She was a member of the Irving Book Review Club and Espanita Home owners Association. In 1998 she received the City of Irving’s High Spirited Citizen Award, then in 2000 was presented the Norm G. Sutherland Award from the Irving Police Reserve Organization for volunteer services in the community. In 2015 she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Keep Irving Beautiful organization. In January 2018 she “retired” from volunteer services at Baylor Scott & White Healthcare Center-Irving where she logged over 11,000 volunteer hours during a 20+ year career including serving on the Auxiliary Board.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents John and Helen Kephart, her husband Otis, brothers John Lary Kephart and Gordon Willard Kephart; two sisters Mary Elizabeth Delhotal and Dr. Sarah Helen Youngblood. She is survived by daughter Lari Jane Crowder and husband David; son Joel Brooks Henry, and wife Elizabeth; grandchildren Laren Christine Jackson Posey and husband Quentin, Joel Brooks Henry, Jr. and Andrew Michael Henry; great-grandchildren Greer Elizabeth Posey and Grayson Thomas Posey along with many nieces and nephews.
The family respectfully requests no flowers. Instead, memorials may be made to Plymouth Park United Methodist Church, Baylor Scott & White Irving Volunteer Services, Baylor Scott & White Irving Healthcare Foundation, or your favorite charitable organization.