Dorothy Parton

Dorothy Parton Photo                                         DOROTHY ANN CARLSON PARTON

Dorothy was born July 29, 1930 in Holdrege, Nebraska. Her parents were farmers, and she was baptized at the Lutheran Church. After leaving the farm, she spent several years in Grand Island, Nebraska. When she was 12, the family moved to Denver.

She was deeply impressed by her new Junior High School—it had a pool! She was confirmed at Augustana Lutheran Church, and graduated from Denver East High School in 1948. About this time she met her “older man” love, Bob Parton, then enrolled at Denver University.

Deciding to become a registered nurse, she waitressed several months to raise the $350 tuition, and moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to enroll in Trinity Lutheran Hospital’s three-year program. She was very proud of her perfect attendance record there, and remembers that training as a great experience. She and Bob kept in close touch via letters, calls, and a few visits. The school prohibited its students from marrying, but that didn’t stop Dorothy: flouting the rules, just before graduation, she and Bob were married at Denver Lutheran Church in 1951.

They set up house in Craig, Colorado – about 25 miles from Steamboat.  There, after buying just the right ski clothes, an Austrian friend taught them to ski—training that consisted of “a push and a shoosh!”—down they went. In 1954, the couple moved to Denver and bought their first home – all brick and with a sticker price of just $12,000; Dorothy always appreciated a good buy. In short order they added a car and a dog.  Dorothy worked as a nurse at Presbyterian Hospital, and Bob continued his training as a manager at Carson Hotel and Restaurant Supply.

In 1960 Bob became Director of Food Service at the University of Wyoming in Laramie; Dorothy continued her nursing career at the local hospital. In 1961 their daughter Penny came into their lives. One evening, a doctor at the hospital called to say he’d heard they were thinking of adopting a child, and that he had a baby in mind.  On September 19th their daughter was born and five days later was delivered to their home. Luckily, Dorothy had a friend who reminded her she’d need baby things so the parents were ready. What a blessing!

In 1963, the family moved to Pullman, Washington, where Bob was Assistant Director at Washington State University’s Compton Union Building (CUB). Dorothy took a nursing position at Pullman Hospital that lasted 32 years – all of them at the original pre-Bishop Boulevard campus. In 1972 they moved to Moscow where Bob was Director of Food and Housing at the University of Idaho.  Bob was a “cradle Episcopalian” and at his urging they joined St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, which remained a centerpiece of their lives.

In 1982, Penny, herself an RN, married and moved away. Dorothy and Bob’s four grand-children followed. Two of the boys attend the University of Idaho and were resident helpers for Dorothy during her recent illnesses. Bob retired in 1988 and Dorothy in 1997.  She had thought she’d probably work until she dropped, but preparing to join Penny on a vacation – almost on a whim – she gave her notice to the astonishment of all. Bob died in 2010, while he and Dorothy were visiting Penny and Sam and family in Atlanta.

When Bob and Dorothy moved to Moscow, they purchased a home on Cleveland Street where the family helped build a real neighborhood, with friendships lasting decades. Thanks to care by Penny and Sam, Gentiva Hospice, and her friends, Dorothy was able to die at peace in her bed in that beloved home on Thursday, March 26th.Dorothy and Sophie

In addition to her husband, Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Edith Carlson, brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Jeanette Carlson and a nephew, Roy Carlson.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Penny and Sam Jankovich of Missoula, MT, grandchildren, Courtney Jankovich in Alameda, CA, Danilo Jankovich of Missoula, MT, Sam Robert Jankovich and Michael Jankovich, both in Moscow, her sister, Farrel Carlson Bolte of Hewitt, TS, and nephews, Kim (Shelly) Carlson of Billings, MT, Don (Julie) Carlson of Everett, WA and Brent (Rachael) Bolte of Fort Worth, TX.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 10:00 AM at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Moscow. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. Dorothy and Bob will be placed together in the Columbarium Garden at St. Mark’s. Memorials are suggested to the Church.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to



2 Responses to Dorothy Parton

  1. Margene Bauer says:

    I worked with Dorothy for many years before she retired. She was a wonderful woman and nurse. My condolences to the family but I am sure she is happy to be with Bob and God now. Margene Bauer

  2. Gayl Newman says:

    My folks were friends of Dorothy and Bob in Laramie when Bob was Director of Food Services at the University of Wyoming and continued their friendship for the rest of their lives. I have many happy memories of Dorothy. I remember having my first taco at Dorothy and Bob’s! What a wonderful woman and family. Be at peace Dorothy. You are missed and well remembered. Gayl Newman

Share Your Condolences:

Your email address will not be published.

To bypass our SPAM filters, please complete this simple math problem. *