She was born in the woods of northern Kentucky to Opha and Rosa Stalker, in a house without electricity or indoor plumbing that was heated by wood. Her life would span 100 different years. Women could not vote when she was born and Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States. Eighteen more people would hold that office until she died.
She began life during World War I and personally knew veterans of both sides of the Civil War. She worked at Consolidated Aircraft during World War II and found that she was just as able as any man and continued to work for the rest of her adult life, retiring as a sales representative from Container Corporation of America.
She fought to own property when women were discouraged from being land owners and proudly left her family farm to her son. She viewed her relationship with her late husband Ivan not as a traditional marriage but as an equal partnership; there were no standard roles in her family. Dorothy’s community service included long-term involvement in local politics and service as an elder in the Charlestown Christian Church.
Three weeks ago, at age 99, she drove herself to the grocery store to shop. Two weeks ago, she planned her palliative care and funeral. One week ago, she told her family that she loved us and our hearts were broken a day later as she finished her earthly journey.
Dorothy Stalker Byers was born on November 8, 1917, in Henry County, Kentucky. She died on April 7, 2017, while in the graceful care of Hosparus in Louisville, Kentucky. She is preceded in death by her husband Ivan, son Fred, and granddaughter Leslie. She is both mourned and celebrated by her son Ed and his wife Treva Hodges, four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and numerous friends in Charlestown, Indiana.
A celebration of her life will be held at Grayson’s Funeral Home in Charlestown on Friday, April 14, 2017 at noon. Visitation will be from 10 am to noon.