Dorothy Joyce Vestal was born the “cotton-topped daughter” of Alice Louella (Norman) Vestal and William Reagan Vestal on Nov. 14, 1929, in the Hays Community in Cooke County, Texas. She entered into her Father’s Kingdom on Sunday, July 27, 2014, in Lockhart, Texas.
A lifelong teacher and artist, Dorothy married James Billy Taylor on Aug. 23, 1952. The couple lived in Huntsville while James earned both undergraduate and master’s degrees in Agriculture. It was there that their first son, David, was born.
Later, the family moved to the Rio Grande Valley, where Dorothy attended Pan Am University, taught third grade for several years. During this time, Roger Mark, Bradly and Alice Taylor were born. As her four children grew, Dorothy traveled with them in the summers, taking them to Gainesville with her while she pursued her master’s degree from the University of North Texas.
In 1972, the family moved to Lockhart, where Dorothy continued to teach, becoming a beloved elementary school teacher until her retirement in 1995.
An active, longtime member of the First Lockhart Baptist Church, Dorothy never let retirement slow her down, instead choosing to share her life, and the lives of her friends, through two popular columns in the Lockhart Post-Register, including the humorous and heartfelt “Reflections,” where Dorothy and her family shared memories of her childhood, until the very last moments of her life.
Dorothy leaves behind to cherish her memory her daughter, Alice; her sons, David and Bradly; brothers, William Reagan Vestal, Jr., and Thomas William Vestal; grandchildren: Tara Taylor Griffin, Aspen Taylor Stone, Justin Taylor, Amy Taylor Scott, Tommy Taylor, Clay Taylor, Jennifer Taylor Lindsey, Kathleen Taylor Cosper, Tyler Taylor, Sarah Taylor and Rachel Taylor; along with 18 “greats,” the children of her grandchildren, who Dorothy always said were “great,” as well.
She will be remembered as a mother and a sister, a grandmother and friend, a teacher, an artist, a columnist and a musician, but mostly as a woman of faith and sparkling wit, who loved children, and loved helping them learn, grow and succeed.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Bettye Ruth; her son, Roger; and her beloved Equal-Half, James.
The family will receive callers at McCurdy Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 6 – 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the First Lockhart Baptist Church on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at 10 a.m., with Bro. Gary Rodgers presiding. Burial will follow at the Lockhart Municipal Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions in Dorothy’s name to the Children’s Ministry at First Lockhart Baptist Church, 315 W. Prairie Lea, Lockhart, Texas 78644.
Arrangements under the care and direction of McCurdy Funeral Home, Lockhart, Texas.