Dorothy L. Birkhead joined her eternal family on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Funeral arrangements are on Saturday, June 22, 2013, with visitation at 10:00 a.m. until the service at 11:00 a.m. at Dennison Funeral Home, Viola. Interment will follow at Viola Cemetery. The service will be conducted by Pastor Cindy Rettig of the Viola United Methodist Church. Rose Tary will provide the music for the service. Serving as pallbearers are Jeromy Swanson, Jonathon Swanson, Brian Hall, Matthew Celske, Kyle Birkhead and Eric Mettler. Memorials may be left for the Viola Methodist Church or the Viola Food Pantry.
She was born March 23, 1914 in Hamilton County near Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Her parents were William and Ida Mae Olomon Birkhead. The family moved to Mercer County in 1922 and resided here the rest of their lives. Dorothy was 99 years old on March 23 and was a resident of the Mercer County Nursing Home (Genesis Senior Living) since August 25, 2011.
Dorothy attended the Birkhead rural school her 1st and 2nd grades in Jefferson Co., IL. She attended various elementary schools in Mercer Co. after moving here. She graduated from Viola High School in 1932 and had perfect attendance, even though she walked two miles from their farm. Dorothy always respected her teachers and participated in school plays and in speech programs. There were no girls sports nor buses in those days. As a youth, she was a girl scout and member of Viola 4-H. As an adult, she was active with the Mercer County Hospital Auxiliary and enjoyed volunteering at the Mercer Co. Senior Center and Mercer Co. Hospital Gift Shop.
Her work career was mainly as a clerk-typist at John Deere. She worked at the Deere Parts Depot in downtown Moline. While there, she developed the IBM punch card system for parts shipping and inventory. She retired after 30 years with Deere and was the caregiver for her parents until they died in 1979.
She is survived by her brother, Roger (Rachel) Birkhead, Viola; sisters-in-law, Bonnie (Ed) and Jean (Russell); nephew, Brad Birkhead, Collinsville; nieces, Chris (Jon) Swanson, Viola, Cindi (Lee) Celske, Aledo and Lisa Mettler, Monmouth. There are 12 great nephews and nieces and 1 great great nephew and 1 great great niece.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Lester, Edwin and Russell and a sister Gladys.