Dorothy Dailey Maffry, age 96, of Altus, Oklahoma, passed away Saturday, January 6, 2018. She was born on April 8, 1921, in Kirksville, Missouri, to her wonderful parents, Dr. Gerald Norman Dailey and Irene Victoria Doran Dailey.
Dorothy (known as Dotty) said her childhood was filled with happy memories of sneaking cherry tomatoes out of Mr. Wiedermyer’s garden, hiking the countryside, ice skating, and playing with toy soldiers and tanks among the knarled roots of an old apple tree in her back yard.
She graduated in 1941 from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, now known as Truman University, with a B.S. Degree in Art and Minor in Music. Her “grand plan” was to teach one year in each state in the union. Her first position was as the kindergarten through ninth grade music and art teacher in Macon, Missouri. The next year, 1942, she oversaw the fifth-grade class in Roswell, New Mexico.
That job only lasted for two months because she fell in love with a shiny new lieutenant named Richard Wood Maffry, a West Point graduate, who was taking flight training in Roswell to fight over seas. All thoughts of her prior professional plans dissolved immediately. They were married in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 10, 1942.
Dorothy returned to Kirksville to live with her parents while her husband flew 65 missions out of England during World War II including two trips to Omaha Beach on D Day, June 6, 1944.
In 1945, they were stationed in Washington D.C. for four years where he was on the General Staff in the Pentagon and she was the interior designer for the Keck Furniture Company.
Their daughter, Dorsay, was born in 1949 in Monterrey, California, while Dick was studying Portuguese in preparation for a tour in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil where he would be the USAF Liaison Officer to the Brazilian Air Force Academy. Dotty became totally immersed in the culture, food, and atmosphere of that vibrant and cheerful society.
Later, she spent time at Patrick Airforce Base where her husband took command of the 69th Pilotless Bomber Squadron. Dorothy worked in clay sculpture, learned to play Bridge, and explored the beach with her daughter.
Dorothy enjoyed the transient Air Force life style and relished new adventures. Heading to Europe was an artist’s dream of studying the masters up close. They moved to Rhine Main, Germany in 1954. Irma Bocock, a German national, who became a dear life-long friend, came to live with the Maffrys to help take care of Dorsay and their newly adopted 2 ½ year old son, Christian Norman Maffry who could not speak a word of English.
In 1956, the family moved into a trailer on a newly constructed air base near Dreux, France, 60 miles north east of Paris. The family was not complete until Douglas Kirk Maffry, a four-year-old, joined the group. What fun they had hunting fossils, touring ancient sites, hunting flea markets, and traveling Europe.
It was time to return to the states in 1957. Dick became the Professor of Air Science at the University of Rochester, New York, and Dotty enjoyed taking the children to factories, museums, and antique shops. A great time was had sledding down hills in wintertime and enjoying the lilac festivals in the spring.
“Altus America” was to be their last and most treasured duty station. After supervising the construction of twelve hardened silos for the Atlas F Intercontinental Missiles, Dick became the Deputy Air Base Commander. Dotty ran the newly purchased Sundown Motel that was located on the corner of Broadway and Park Lane.
She earned her Masters of Fine Art Degree in 1972.
One day Dotty asked Clifford Peterson, the school superintendent, why art was not offered in the schools. He said that he hadn’t found anyone to do the job. That is when Dotty pipped up with “You just found that person!” He hired her on the spot and the music and art program, under her guidance, expanded from the junior high to the high school and then to the college.
Her first college classes were held in the old church building by the high school on Park Lane. When the Western Oklahoma State College was built, Dotty was asked to design the art department area.
Dick and Dotty provided airplanes for the WOSC Maffry Aviation Wing and Fredrick Remington statues in the foyer and library of the college to encourage pride in our diverse western heritage.
She deemed it a great honor to design the WOSC logo of the pioneer with cotton and wheat stalks. She also designed the nursing patch for the school.
The Maffry Safehouse for Children was established in 1987 to provide a haven for those in need.
Together, they designed and built their home.
They made a fabulous team and were married for 63 years becoming avid world travelers during their retirement. She always maintained the best part of visiting different places was making new friends.
Since Dick’s death in 2005, Dotty has remained the “poster child” for living an upbeat and productive life style.
She belonged to the McDowell Club of Allied Arts, Lawton-Fort Sill Art Guild, Southwest Quilters Guild, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Dotty was particularly passionate about starting the Altus Ballroom Dancers that still meet on Monday nights for lessons, exercise, and camaraderie.
Dorothy’s art is on display at The Museum of the Western Prairie, The Altus Public Library, and WOSC.
She had appreciation for the wonder of nature, the joy of friendship and family, and heartfelt gratitude for the blessings in her life.
Her last words were “Enjoy your lives and take care of yourselves.”
Dorothy Maffry leaves a legacy of inspiration for us all.
She is survived by her daughter, Dorsay Maffry Monroe and husband David of Lawton, Ok; one son, Douglas Kirk Maffry and wife Cathy of Oklahoma City, Ok; five grandchildren, Matthew Wayne Monroe and wife Lori of Mangum, Ok.; Michelle Monroe Brennan and husband Mike of El Paso, TX.; David Owens Monroe III and wife Carey of Altus, Ok. Douglas Kirk Maffry, Jr., of Cimarron, Co. and Christopher Michael Maffry and wife Leah of San Antonio, TX.; eight great grandchildren, Gabrielle Lorin and Allie Kate Monroe, Mallory and Marissa Brennan, David Owens Monroe IV and Lincoln Stephen Monroe, Bryn Lee Maffry and Merrick Michael Maffry; and one great-great grandson, Manny Monroe.
A memorial service will be held Friday, January 19, 2018 at St Paul's Episcopal Church.
Cremation arrangements are Lowell-Tims Funeral Home and Crematory, Altus, Oklahoma.
To sign the online guest book and share memories with the family please visit www.Lowell-Tims.com