She was born Oct. 2, 1929, at Deventer in Mississippi County, daughter of the late Fronzie M. Reeves and Nadine Fern Ward Reeves.
On April 11, 1953, in Parma, she married Robert N. Pennington, who preceded her in death on Oct. 19, 2000.
They have one child, Tonia Renee’ Pennington Pillers, who survives of Sikeston. One son-in-law, John Pillers, also survives of Sikeston.
She was the granddaughter of Allie P. and Daniel Reeves, and Zula “Baw” and Charlie Ward. After completing first grade, she was moved up to third grade because there were not enough students to have a second grade class, which she said proved very challenging.
Even so, she went on to graduate from Parma High School and then from Arkansas State College in Jonesboro, Ark., where she earned a B.S. Degree in elementary education. She earned her Masters Degree in elementary education and a reading specialist certificate from Southeast Missouri State University. She continued to grow professionally past her masters degree with 35 additional graduate hours of credit through classes and workshops at University of Missouri-Columbia State University and Northwest Missouri University at Kirksville.
Dorothy started teaching in 1949 in Parma, where she taught third grade for two years in a one-room schoolhouse. She then left teaching to pursue employment with American Airlines before returning in 1954 to Parma Schools where she taught third grade.
She and Bob then moved to Jonesboro, Ark., where she taught for a year.
In 1959, they moved to Sikeston where she began teaching for Sikeston Public Schools. She taught 6 years as a third grade teacher and 20 years as a title reading and math teacher. She retired in 1992, after serving the R6 District for 32 years
Dorothy played in card clubs from 1963-2011, was active in the Bootheel Quilters Guild and was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Sikeston. She was active for years as a Missouri Delta Medical Center Pink Lady and the hospital auxiliary and collected money for Easter Seals for many years. She was a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association, Sikeston Community Teachers Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and International Reading Association. She was a perfectionist in everything she did, was an amazing seamstress, loved gardening, always did special things for friends such as taking them flowers from her “friendship garden” and she loved cooking and walking. She never met a stranger, always had a kind word, a smile on her face and a positive attitude.
She was also preceded in death by two sisters, Jackie Reeves Bankston and an infant sister, Geneva Reeves. In addition, she was preceded in death by a very special uncle and aunt, Elmo and Ruth Ward. Ruth was Dorothy’s mother’s best friend and Elmo began assuming the role of father figure to Dorothy at age 2 and Jackie even younger, after their father died at the age of 23 from injuries sustained when he stopped on a roadside at night to help someone who was having car trouble and was hit by another vehicle.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the First United Methodist Church with funeral services to follow.
Dorothy had asked in advance that donations be made to any of the following:
First United Methodist Church in Sikeston
American Cancer Society
Sikeston PAWS animal shelter
American Heart Association
Sikeston Public Library
American Red Cross
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy can be shared at www.nunneleefuneralchapel.com