The Norman Transcript

September 30, 2012

Dorothy S. Henkle

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Dorothy S. Henkle died at Norman Regional Hospital Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. Dorothy Eleanor Shirley was born in a farmhouse outside of Bogard, Mo., on May 13, 1924, to May Burton Shirley and Maude Geraldine Shirley. She attended Bogardschools and graduated in 1942. She attended Warrensburg College in Warrensburg, Mo.. She worked in Denver and Colorado Springs before moving to Norman.

She worked in several positions at the University of Oklahoma including the School of Art, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, and the School of Business. She also served as assistant to the chairman of the Zoology (now Biology) Department, where she especially enjoyed working. While working at the art school, she met and married James L. Henkle.

They had a full life together and celebrated 55 years of marriage on September 7. Dorothy retired from the University in the early 1980s, but then returned to work in 1987 in the Provost’s Office.

Dorothy was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where she volunteered in the church office. She loved gardening and was a member of the Valley View Garden Club.

She was an excellent cook, knitter and weaver. She made upholstery for some of the furniture her husband built. She also served as the family historian.

She is preceded in death by her sisters, Audrey, Erma, Eunice, Marjorie, and Bonnie, and her brother-in-law Roger Henkle. She is survived by her husband James Henkle, of the home, son Gregory and his wife Stacy and their children Richard and Alison, all of Pittsboro, NC. She is survived by two brothers, James Shirley and his wife Faith Ann of Overland Park, Kan., and Eugene Shirley and his wife Marilyn of Oklahoma City, and her sister-in-law Carol Henkle of Baltimore, Md. She is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and their spouses, children, and grandchildren. She kept track of them all and remained interested in their lives to the end.

In the difficult last few years, she remained resolutely optimistic, faced the indignities of illness with fortitude and humor, and continued to be engaged in the world and in the lives of those around her. She was cared for lovingly in her last few years by her husband, by caregiver Leisa Smith and by a host of friends.

A memorial concert is planned in the spring to celebrate her extraordinary life. Donations in her name may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church Pastor’s Discretionary Fund, the American Diabetes Association, or a charity of your choice.

Services are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Service. For more information or to leave your condolences, please visit our website

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