by June Moore
She was born at home in Chaonia, Missouri, the first of three children of James Thomas (Tom) and Lucy Vashti (known as Vashti) (nee Inman) Hoffman Robinson. Siblings were Bunia and Marvin.
She had a half sister, Beatrice, who was 13 years her senior who lived in the home while Dorothy was growing up.
Memories of early childhood:
When she was four years old her parents decided to move to Montana. They sold all their possessions and went by train. They only stayed "a short while" as her Dad did not like the severe winters and became "homesick" for Southeast Missouri. She remembers her mother packing food in a basket for the long train ride. During the trip as she was waking up from sleeping on the train she discovered she had wet her "most beautiful" blue furry coat, one that she was deeply proud of. She tried to avoid telling her mother but her mother discovered the "ring" on the back of her coat. Dorothy was so devastated over the embarrassment of wetting the coat as well as ruining something she was so proud of.
"Uncle Joe" (Joel W. Shelton), her Dad's twin brother, always lived with them. He helped her mother with household chores as well as helping Tom on the farm. When Dorothy and siblings were very young he walked the children to the one-room school house each morning, through the woods and across the fields, even climbing over gates to fields that were locked. In the late afternoon he walked back to the school house to get them. They had a "long way" to walk (perhaps a couple of miles). As the children got older they walked alone; however, if they were later getting home than they should be, Uncle Joe would head toward the school until he met them. She remembers the cold, cold winters making it very difficult to walk so far. Many days they were unable to go because of the weather and distance. She never remembers a ride to school in a wagon or on horseback. Only walking.
Most of her early childhood her family lived in an isolated farm area, so she entertained herself by playing with her siblings, helping her mother with the chores, learning to play the guitar and piano (self-taught). As she grew older she played the piano for church when the regular pianist, Goldie Baty, was absent.
She remembers taking her mother's homemade butter (molded in the butter mold that her daughter, June, has), then walking to distant neighboring houses to deliver the butter that they regularly purchased from her mother. Neighbors used to say "Vashti has the sweetest and best butter of anyone."
Their farm included a very large garden with lots of early harvest blackberries, chickens (fryers and layers), pigs, cows and mules. The mules were used to pull the plow for farming the crops. Her father worked long hours in the field plowing and harvesting. Her mother spent long hours cooking, washing clothes in a tub with a scrub board, ironing the clothes by using black irons that were placed on the stove. She would alternate them, as one got too cool, she would place it back on the stove and get a hotter one. Both parents milked the cows and Tom and Joe fed the pigs/hogs at night. All family members (if old enough) helped in the garden. They had no electricity, no running water, pot belly stoves for heat in some of the rooms, cooking was done on a wood burning stove and yes, a two-hole outside privy (outhouse).
She remembers laying in bed at night and hearing the wolves howl in the distance. Even though they were a great distance away their howl was very frightening to her. She would snuggle far down in the bed so she couldn't hear them. The mourning doves made her feel lonely sometimes.
Young Adulthood Memories:
In high school she loved to play basketball and evidently was quite good at it. She was a guard on the girls' team. Her sister Bunia was a forward.
In the 10th grade she was in a school play and unknown to her, her husband-to-be attended the play that night with his parents (Mary Ellen and James Robert Moore), along with Rufas Moore (brother of James). She doesn't remember talking to him that night but he later commented he "liked what he saw."
In her mid teens her father bought her a Model T and then later a Model A. She did all the driving for the family. Her parents never learned to drive. One time she took a car full of people some place and she had 13 flat tires during the round trip. She changed and fixed every one of them herself.
She was unable to continue her education after the 10th grade. A combination of the distance to school and illness created problems that forced her to discontinue going.
She married Robert Virgil Moore approximately two years later at her home in Chaonia, on June 2, 1930. They were married by the Justice of the Peace because her church had no pastor at the time.
On her wedding day she remembers that it when it was time for the ceremony to start and she and her husband-to-be were standing before the Justice of the Peace, her mother realized that her sister (Ellen) was not in the room. She asked the ceremony not start until she found her. In a few minutes she was located at the outside privy. Dorothy remembers being so embarrassed having to stand there and wait until Aunt Ellen arrived back inside.
The farm girl moved to St. Louis, a real change of lifestyle for her. She and Virg (as she called him) took a belated honeymoon trip by train to Niagara Falls, New York the year after they were married.
June Lorene was born one day before their fifth anniversary. Doris Ruth and Ronald Virgil were born in the next four years.
Dorothy had a lot of sickness during her adult life. One very serious operation was "re-routing" her digestive system because of stomach ulcers when she was about 20 years old.
In about 1940 she got involved in learning about the work of Jehovah Witnesses. An old school friend looked her up to explain it all, in hopes of converting her. The friend came back often to "explain" and talk. During these talks she also told Dorothy about a wonderful chiropractor who might really help her health. Dorothy went to see this doctor. Dr. Clyde Tucker was a wonderful Christian man. He attended Hope Church, Semple and Cote Brilliante Avenues, in St. Louis. Evidently the Jehovah Witness thing came up during one of her office visits and he began to "set the record straight" based on the Word of God. He encouraged her to take her family to Hope Church since they weren't attending anywhere. The family started to Hope and she soon realized the Jehovah Witness way wasn't the truth. The family continued going to Hope for many, many years and Dr. Tucker's adjustments helped her health tremendously.
She was a wonderful stay at home mom. Always there when the children came home from school, with a snack and a talk.
After Daddy died mother took in borders to help pay her bills. Daddy left her will enough fixed but she was a widow for 38 years and she needed income.
In 1983 Mom gave up her home and came to live with Bill and I in Hazelwood, MO.
We moved to Springfield Ill in June of 1985. Mother loved it there as we were out in the Country on Lake Springfield with lots of ducks to feed and bean and corn fields across the street. She was back in the country but with City conveniences. When my health was bad she would go to visit June and Paul in San Diego. Then in 1990 she went there permanently.
Note: In June 1991 June and I took mom to live at the Victoria Care Center in El Cajon Ca. about 15 miles from Junes House in San Diego. Her condition had deteriorated to the point where June could not care for her anymore and the two story house made it dangerous for her going up and down the stairs. I was sick most of the time for the years following my cancer and treatments in 1986 and wasn't able to care for her either. Now it is almost 10 years later and she is still living at Victoria. She thinks her room is home and after 10 years I guess it is. We go to see her as often as we can, and it is hard leaving her there, with both June and I living here in AZ, but at the this point there would be no reason to try and move her. She seems happy enough there.
Note: February 5, 2001, Mother fell this evening and broke her hip and Pelvis bone. Taken to the hospital.
February 7, 2001, Mother had surgery to repair her hip. Is doing as well as can be expected.
February 14, 2001, Mom was moved to California Special Care and is moving herself around using her feet was she rides in the wheel chair.
February 19, 2001, Mom was taken to Grossmont Hospital in Critical Condition. The Nursing home had been giving her her cumidin and had not taken the test to check her blood level and she was bleeding from the bladder.
February 27, 2001 Mom was released from the Hospital and was sent back to California Special Care.
February 28, 200l, June and I went to she her and the next day Laurie came down from Santa Cruz and we had a wonder visit with mom for the next four days until March 4, 2001 when we had to return to Phoenix. Laurie Left on March 2, 2001. Mom was in good spirits and was doing a lot better but she was still in grave condition. She had 24 hour round the clock care the last five or six days before she went to HEAVEN ON MARCH 13, 2001, AT 10:55 AM PACIFIC time. OUR LOSS IS HEAVENS GAIN. NEVER WAS THERE A MORE WONDERFUL AND LOVING MOTHER ON EARTH.