Dorothy Lucille Bickford, 101 of Battle Creek, died peacefully at home, with her family at her side, on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.
Dorothy was born on September 15, 1921 in Douglas, Wyoming to James and Nellie (Turner) Carpenter. She and her family moved to California in 1936. She graduated from Pomona High School in 1938, Pomona Junior College in 1940 and the University of LaVerne in 1942 with a teaching degree. Her first teaching position was in a one room schoolhouse in the desert in Little Rock, California. She met her husband, Arthur S. "Art" Bickford, while he was stationed in California and then travelled to Dothan, Alabama where they were united in marriage on June 26, 1943. They celebrated almost 64 years of marriage.
In 1943, Dorothy and Art moved to Detroit where her children, Ken and Candy, were born. They moved to Battle Creek in 1950 when Art became the manager of the stockyards for the Michigan Livestock Exchange. Dorothy volunteered with the Red Cross at the VA Hospital in Battle Creek and later became the director of the Gray Ladies at the VA. She returned to teaching at Westlake Elementary, Lakeview School District, where she taught third and fourth grades for 26 years. She and her family joined First United Methodist Church, Battle Creek, in 1951 where she served on several boards, started a transportation fund and was a member of the Martha Circle. She was past president of the Battle Creek Social Club. She was an avid reader, loved to dance, play bridge and travel. She visited all 50 states, enjoyed cruising the Caribbean and travelling to Europe. Her greatest passion was spending time with her family.
Dorothy is survived by her son, Kenneth B. (Pauline) Bickford of Battle Creek. Grandchildren: Melissa E. "Missy" (Anthony) Newman of Battle Creek, Nathan T. Timm of Linden, MI and Melissa L. (Bobby) Nilson of Battle Creek. Great-grandchildren: Andrew (Jessica) Eldridge of Battle Creek, Joshua Eldridge of Battle Creek, Evan (Logan) Eldridge of Galesburg, MI, Emily Eldridge of Battle Creek, Zackary Zull of Battle Creek, Mikayla Timm of Linden, MI, Alexander and Ethan Newman of Battle Creek. Great-great grandchildren: Mya and Clare Eldridge of Battle Creek, and Blake Eldridge of Galesburg, MI.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Art on March 22, 2007, her daughter Candice "Candy" Bickford on September 6, 2005, her brother James B. Carpenter Jr, her brother-in-law Bill Bickford, sister-in-law Millie Bickford and grandson-in-law Rob Eldridge.
At the request of her family, friends will be received at 11:00 am-12:00 pm on Saturday, February 18th at Dorothy's Church, First United Methodist Church, 111 E. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek. The funeral service to celebrate Dorothy's life will begin at 12:00 pm with Chaplain J. Barrett Lee officiating. Friends will be received after the service until 1:30 pm. Entombment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, Battle Creek.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dorothy's honor may be made to First United Methodist Church of Battle Creek.
Funeral arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care of Battle Creek. Personal messages for the family may be left here in the Memory Book at www.farleyestesdowdle.com