BICKLEY, DOROTHY

BICKLEY (Bowen), Dorothy Dodge

(January 28, 1931 – June 21, 2022)

Dorothy Dodge Bowen drew her first breath January 28, 1931, in Sycamore, Illinois, the hometown of several generations of her maternal forebears. She spent her very early childhood in Detroit, Michigan, where her parents, Eugene Dodge Bowen and Lynne Harrington Westlake Bowen, were employed as social workers in a settlement house. But The Windy City beckoned, and she and her parents were off to Chicago. She excelled at her studies and was from her earliest days a booklover. When she had the opportunity at age nine to take a long car trip throughout the western United States in the company of her mother and her beloved grandparents, she mainly remembered being gently chided from time to time to put down her book and look out the window! In fourth grade it was decided, due to family circumstances, that boarding school was the best option, so she packed her bags and headed to the Sherwood School – operated by three spinster sisters. Here she would remain for five years with time off for good behavior on the weekends and in the summer. The memory she shared most often from this experience was of one of the Miss Sherwoods (Miss Vi) holding a flashlight while reading aloud from The Iliad to the little girls as they lay in their dormitory beds wide-eyed and slightly terrified. Despite this somewhat Dickensian interlude, Dorothy's diligence and natural intelligence allowed her to thrive in her studies, and she was very grateful to be granted a scholarship to attend Francis Parker High School where she spent four happy and productive years. She was unfazed by the necessity of long bus and L-train rides each morning and afternoon (what better time to get in a little reading).

After high school, it was on to Beloit College where she worked in the college library and chose to major in French, feeling it was the natural thing to do, having been studying French continuously since her days at the Sherwood School. Dorothy breezed through college in three years including her "summer at Harvard" where women were then allowed to attend but only in the summer session. She graduated from college on June 10, 1951. On June 11,1951, she married Matthew Bickley (a fellow 1951 Beloit graduate) at First Lutheran Church in Matthew's hometown of Stoughton, Wisconsin. Matthew liked her happy, outgoing personality, and she appreciated (and was perhaps a little awed by) his quiet and serious demeanor. After a wedding breakfast with the families at the local Norwegian café, the happy couple got in their 1937 Ford (purchased from Dorothy's stepfather) fitted out with a two-wheeled open bed trailer (a wedding gift from her new father-in-law) loaded up with all their possessions. Their destination was Glendale, California, where Matthew had gained employment and the opportunity to further his education. When they returned to the Midwest the following summer, two had become three with the arrival of their California girl, Diann. Thus began the pattern of having a baby in each new state they lived in, Illinois brought Barbara; Dale appeared in Indiana; Wisconsin ushered in Kristin. Matthew's employment took them next to Cambridge, Ohio, and then to what would become Dorothy's forever home, West Carrollton, Ohio.

Dorothy was a full-time homemaker for 15 years. Once all the children were in school she sought and gained employment at West Carrollton Junior High School as the assistant to the librarian, Miss Ruth Woodman. Dorothy remained with West Carrollton schools until her retirement in 1998, the majority of which time was spent as the High School librarian. "Retirement" did not last long as Dorothy began yet another career as the ever-reliable and helpful office assistant at her son's (very) small business, F.I.R.E. Typing Service, retiring for the second time in 2017 at the age of 86.

Dorothy loved to take classes of all kinds, and she earned two Master of Education degrees through Wright State University – one with an emphasis in Children's Literature and the second with an emphasis in Library Science.

Dorothy was unfailingly cheerful, enthusiastic and energetic. She loved to talk and was also a careful and attentive listener, making her a pleasure to spend time with. She was always ready to help and eager to "be useful" (and useful she was!) to her colleagues, the customers at F.I.R.E. Typing, the students visiting her library, her cadre of library aides, her friends, her family and her church.

Dorothy was for many years a member of First Lutheran Church in Dayton, Ohio. For a number of years she singlehandedly operated the Altar Guild, maintaining meticulously detailed notes (neatly typed) on every procedure and protocol such that no historian who stumbles upon them need ever wonder how a 21st century midwestern ELCA church should be properly prepared for Sunday services.

Matthew and Dorothy had a beautiful new house built 54 years ago, the first house they ever owned, and it was there at half-past midnight on the twenty-first of June in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two – in her own home, in her own room, in her own bed – that she drew her last breath and her earthly journey came to an end.

Dorothy was preceded in death in 1999 by her husband, Matthew Raymond Bickley. She is survived by her children Diann Hall of Monroe, North Carolina; Barbara Broberg (husband David) of Cut Bank, Montana; Dale Bickley (wife Letitia Wilson) of Kettering, Ohio; Kristin Sparrow (husband James) of West Carrollton, Ohio. She leaves seven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren: Gabriel John Broberg (wife: Christine; children: Andreas, Tristan, Katja, and Sofia); Samuel David Hall (wife: Nicole; children: Anna, Clare, Peter, Joseph, Elizabeth, Maria, and Monica); Jacob Matthew Hall (wife: Karen; children: Isabelle, Ezra, Levi, and Shem); Nikola Tesla Hall (wife: Leanna; child: Gabriel); Sara Lynne Bickley; Benjamin Franklin Sparrow; and Helen Dorothy Sparrow.

Services will be conducted at the Woodland Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 with interment of the cremains immediately following. The Rev. Robert Swanson, officiant. Sanner Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.


Be at rest once more, O my soul,

For the Lord has been good to you.

Psalm 116:7


Funeral Home Information

Sanner Funeral Home Inc

800 S Alex Rd

West Carrollton, OH

45449