Dorothy was born in Ellis County, TX, near Waxahache. She was the oldest of two daughters born to Norman and Velma Clark; her sister was six years younger than her. She grew up on a cotton farm though they also grew corn. Dottie was a daddy’s girl. She loved being with her dad. She was his “boy”. By the time she was twelve years old, she had her own team of horses and was plowing rows beside her father. In the fall when the cotton was picked, the harvesters would come from Ft. Worth and Dottie would weigh all the cotton. She also enjoyed camping and taking care of the animals (dogs, cats and chickens). Her mom raised turkeys which she says are the dumbest animals on the earth. She would have to go round them up anytime they heard thunder so the turkeys wouldn’t drown. Dottie grew up attending the Methodist Church where her mother played organ. She attended a country school and graduated in 1939.
During her last year of high school, Dottie was in her school’s play. She asked her neighbor, Ken Maples, if he’d like to bring his family see it. He was a year older than her and had graduated from a different school. He came to the play with his entire family. After the play was over, he asked Dottie out. He showed up the next night on his white horse. However, when he arrived another young man was arriving to see her. Ken beat the other guy to the door and the rest is history. They dated her senior year and were married shortly after she graduated.
The couple moved to Dallas where Ken had a job with the Dixie Rug Company. She got a job with Brogan Jennings as an inspector. She eventually became a model for them because she wore a perfect ten. Ken went into the Navy and they moved to Oakland, CA. Dottie went to work for Kahn’s Department Store selling cosmetics. When Ken shipped out for a year to the Philippines, Dottie returned to Dallas and worked for Brogan Jennings again. Ken returned home from the Navy and in 1947, their son, Kenneth Arnold was born.
In 1948, the couple moved to Houston, TX, and Ken went to work for Foley’s in the flooring department. After a couple of years, he and a partner started their own floor covering company. They eventually owned four stores in the Houston area. Dottie stayed at home to raise their son. She was very involved with his Little League and they went all over the place. The family was involved in the Baptist Church and Dottie worked in their VBS. She also sewed all of her clothes, loved to embroider and was religious about her Wednesday bowling league.
In 1963, the family moved to Evansville, Arkansas. They purchased a ranch and raised polled Hereford cattle and 20,000 chickens every eight weeks for Hudson Foods. Ken had a heart attack in the early 70s. The couple then relocated to Stillwell, Oklahoma, to retire near their friends. The couple didn’t travel much but did make a trip to Hawaii.
Ken and Dottie moved to Omaha, NE, in 1998 to be near their son, Kenn, Jr. who moved to Kearney, MO, in 2004 and the couple followed in 2006. Their son had built a house on his farm and included an apartment with a separate entrance for them. Ken, Sr., passed away with a heart attack in October of 2008.
Dottie continued to live in the apartment until February of 2016 when she moved to Westbrook. She still enjoys embroidering and watching TV. She says she loves Westbrook because she’s around people her own age. She has made a lot of good friends since moving in and thinks the nurses are great. They make you feel so welcome. Everything runs so smoothly that the only thing she has to worry about is getting to the dinner table on time.
Besides her son, she has three grandchildren – Justin (Aurora, CO), James (Lathrop, MO) and Breanne (Omaha, NE).