Dorothy E. (Stephens) Willbur
  • Maple United Methodist Church
    342 Captial Avenue, N.E.
    Battle Creek, MI 49017

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“My deepest sympathies to the Willbur family for the loss of Dorothy. May God's Word strengthen you during this difficult time. (Isa. 41:10,13) ”
1 of 5 | Posted by: T C - GA

“My condolences to the family . But what wonderful memory's you share after 97 years of wisdom and 72 years of marriage what a history left for your...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Joanne

“My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Dorothy Willbur. May it comfort you to know that she will one day return to the days of her...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: E E

“Will always remember Dorothy out watering her flowers when I'd walk by w/ my dogs. She'd talk about Larry, visits w/ him, and about her Grandchildren...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Donna Andres - Battle Creek, MI

“Our deepest sympathy to Jan, Jerry, Jeff and all the family. We will miss Aunt Dorothy and all her lively tales. She certainly loved her family! May...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Joan Schwimmer - IL - Family


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Dorothy E. (Stephens) Willbur of Battle Creek, MI

Dorothy, age 97, died Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 at the Brookdale Assisted Living Residence of Battle Creek with her loving family at her side.

Dorothy, the daughter of Carleton W. and Effa F. (Moore) Stephens, was born in Battle Creek on March 21, 1920; was a life time resident and 1937 graduate of Lakeview High School. She retired in 1983 after 20 years of faithful service for the Kellogg Company in the Quality Control Department. Dorothy was a lifelong member of the Maple United Methodist Church of Battle Creek.

Dorothy was very involved in her children's lives. She served as a Campfire Girls leader, hosted many Boy Scout meetings, and even hosted Cub Scout and Indian Guides meetings at her home. She was always the first to volunteer as a room mother at their various schools. She was an avid fan of Harper Creek sports, but was known to shut her eyes while still cheering loud when her boys were playing football! She herself loved golfing with husband Larry and her friends, and was a fishing legend on Beadle Lake for the many big fish she caught, even though they towed her around the lake on her paddle boat!

Dorothy loved life and people. She lived to travel and would regale people with stories of her travels all across Europe, Asia and South America. Her two favorite places were Ireland and New Zealand. She greeted everyone with a lively mind, a great smile, and an amazing laugh. She brought great joy to so many.

Dorothy was united in marriage to the "Love of her Life," Laurence B. "Larry" Willbur at Maple United Methodist Church on June 1, 1940 and he sadly preceded her in death after 72 years of wedded bliss on July 17, 2012. Surviving is her daughter, Janice L. (Ardyn) Dempsey of Colbert, GA; two sons; Jerald L. (Sherrie) Willbur of Vancouver, WA and Jeffrey D. (Jean) Willbur of Battle Creek; eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Dorothy was also preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Dureatha Smith and three brothers, Kenneth "Duane" Stephens, Dwight Stephens and Gordon Stephens.

The Funeral Service to celebrate Dorothy's life well-lived will be held on Friday, April 21st at 10:30 a.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Battle Creek, with the Rev. Linda D. Stoddard, Pastor of the Maple United Methodist Church, officiating. Interment will follow next to her beloved husband, Larry at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI. Immediately following the interment, family and friends will return to the Maple United Methodist Church, 243 Capital Avenue, NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017 to continue Dorothy's life celebration with a time of fellowship and a luncheon. Dorothy's family will greet friends on Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Maple United Methodist Church (see address above). Personal messages and/or favorite memories of Dorothy may be place at www.farleyestesdowdle.com