Dorothy Aline Dryden, age 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, October 17, 2021. She was the daughter of Mary Pearl and Amos Presnell, both of Wautaga County, North Carolina. Dorothy was the eighth of nine children born to the couple. She was the last remaining member of that family. Dorothy was born on June 14, 1927 in Missoula, Montana. She attended Missoula County High School but moved to Arizona her senior year. She graduated from Mesa Union High School in 1946. She returned to Missoula and worked for Mountain Bell Telephone Company.
She met Robert Dryden when he returned from World War II and was married in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on June 15, 1948. Dorothy was a stay-at-home Mom for many years. She graduated from the Modern Business College in Missoula in 1963. She began her career with the Federal Government in 1964, working part-time for the Federal Aviation Administration. Later she worked another twenty years for the U.S. Forest Service, Region 4, at the Northern Forest Fire Laboratory and retired in November 1987.
Dorothy grew up near one of the Missoula airports. She loved the sky, the clouds, and flying. During high school, she was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Later she got her Private Pilot’s License in April 1965. That same year she and Joy Leuck flew in the Ninety-Nines Powderpuff Montana Race coming in third place. She was Secretary for the Montana Pilot’s Association for two years.
Mom liked to travel frequently, mostly with the family, wanting to learn new things wherever she went. She was adventurous. She drove with three kids over one thousand miles on a gravel road to the Northwest Territories to see the complete eclipse of the sun in 1972. She always supported her kids from drawing pictures on their lunch sacks during grade school to traveling to their high school sporting events.
Throughout her life, Dorothy would help anyone who needed help, her church, her coworkers, and her family. She even shoveled snow before she went to work so Meals On Wheels could deliver food to her bother.
Later in life Dorothy found the time to compete for herself in the Senior Olympics in track and golf. At the age of 70, she won five gold medals in running and golf competitions in 1997. She had been very active in golf for many years and shot a Hole-in-One at the Larchmont Golf Course.
Education was very important to Dorothy evidenced by all of her children graduating from college. She was very much a teacher and motivator and was for the family the glue that held it all together.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Robert who passed in 2005. She is survived by six children: Mary Kathy LeProwse, Big Arm; Ron Dryden (Jani), of Bigfork; Barbara Dryden, Missoula; Michael Dryden (Linda), Glendive; Margaret Parsley (Jeff), Culdesac, ID; and Patrick Dryden (Eve Talley), Whitefish, MT. She is survived by 12 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
For the last three years, Dorothy has been living in Clarkston, Washington at a long-term care facility near her daughter Margaret.
The Service will be held on Monday, October 25th at 1:00 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church., followed by internment in Missoula Cemetery. If you plan to attend Dorothy’s service, please wear a mask out of respect for the family.