Virginia Pearl Dollard, 92, of Newton died on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. She was born on July 4, 1923, to Roy Lee and Mollie Hyatt Dollard in Attica.
When Virginia was 3 years old, the family moved to the farm outside Attica where her father raised cattle, hogs, wheat, corn milo and soy beans, and her mother was a homemaker. No other children were born to this marriage. Virginia graduated from Attica High School in 1940. She attended The Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, where she earned her bachelor of science in education degree in 1947. She began her career by teaching three years in Alva, Oklahoma?commuting with a group of teachers from the Attica?Pratt area each week.
This was part of her degree requirements from Pittsburg College. Virginia moved to Pratt and completed her master of education degree from Northwestern State College at Alva, Oklahoma, in 1969. All the while, she was still helping her parents manage the farm.
Virginia taught third and fourth grade in Pratt for 39 years. She was a team teacher with her longtime friend Dortha Meireis. They were given the students who needed special teaching or were discipline problems. She was elected Teacher of the Year by her peers at USD 382 Pratt in 1986. While teaching, she was active in a number of Pratt National Education Association posts, the Southwest Parent-Teacher Organization and was on the Faculty Council. She also gave of her educational expertise at the time by serving in the Pratt Christian Church as chairman of the Education Committee, teaching Sunday school, teaching Vacation Bible School and serving on the Church Board.
She once explained her philosophy of teaching this way, ?I try to promote the opportunity for each child to acquire the educational skills needed, to promote a positive feeling of ‘I can’ and promote a concern and appreciation for others.?
Virginia retired from teaching in 1986, but remained active in her church on several committees. She also took care of her ailing parents and managed the farm until it was sold. In 1988, she received the Public Service Award from the Pratt Jaycees. She was a member of the Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers, a charter member of the City of Faith Medical & Research Center, a Charter member of the member of the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation and a member of the Positive Thinkers Club. Virginia moved to an apartment on the Kansas Christian Home campus in 1998. She became a member of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ where she worked tirelessly helping prepare for the bazaar and garage sale, serving on committees, preparing and taking food when needed, and being a Good Shepherd.
Everywhere she went, she taught those around her with her gentle ways, her encouraging words and by her example. She loved the Lord and was a true servant of his, always serving and loving God?s people. Visitation will be from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at Petersen Funeral Home. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at First Christian Church in Newton, with burial following at 2:30 p.m. in Attica District Cemetery. Memorials may be made out to Legacy of John.