Dorothy Darlene Gruber was born on a farm near Salina, Kansas, Christmas Day 1929.
She was born the sixth of seven children to Joseph and Mabel (Andrews) Gruber. Both sets of her grandparents moved to the Salina, Kansas area in the 1870’s, migrating from the Pennsylvania Dutch Country of east central Pennsylvania where their families had earlier settled before the Revolutionary War.
Dorothy was baptized at Peace Lutheran Church in New Cambria, Kansas, and graduated from Salina High School. After graduation she worked in a drug store and a dress shop before marrying Jim Kizer in 1948. The couple would raise three children and celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary before Jim’s passing in 1998. In 2006 she moved to Lawrence, Kansas, to be close to her children and spent many happy hours with her new friends at the Windsor of Lawrence.
Dorothy was an active member of Salina’s St. John’s Lutheran Church, a Roosevelt Democrat, an avid reader, and an early morning walker. In her later years in Lawrence, she rarely missed a Sunday morning radio broadcast of the Plymouth Congregational Church Service and enjoyed singing along with the hymns. She had a lovely singing voice and often shared the tunes she most loved. She truly enjoyed her home, a good cup of hot tea in concert with a good book and long conversations with her friends and family. She always preferred to view life from the sunny side, and she will be dearly missed by her many friends and her loving family.
Dorothy passed peacefully on July 17, 2015 at the age of 85, following her parents Mabel and Joseph Gruber, her husband Jim, her brother Raymond Gruber, and her sisters Mary Sink, Marie Thompson, Florence Forkner, and Josephine Brown. She is survived by her sister Jane Abbott of Salina, KS; her sister-in-law Leola Gruber of Bennington, KS; her three children Darrel Kizer, Debby Cummings and husband Ernie, and Donna Johnson and husband Ronn, all of Lawrence; her three grandchildren Adrienne Kizer of Mission, KS, Leah Collins and her husband Brian of Bowling Green, KY, and Drew Cummings and fiancé Kim Arndt of Washington, DC; and two great-grandchildren Michaela Kizer of Mission, KS and Carter Henry Collins of Bowling Green, KY.
Memorial services for Dorothy will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug, 17, 2015 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salina, Kansas.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions may be made in her name to Douglas County Visiting Nurses or Plymouth Congregational Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.