Leota Dooley

97, avid reader, loved to sing.

Leota Elizabeth “Lee” Dooley died April 23, 2020, at Columbine Manor Care Center in Salida.

She was born Dec. 16, 1922, in Hutchinson, Kan. to Clarence and Nellie Herren.

Her father named her “Leota,” which in a Native American language means “beautiful wildflower.”

She graduated in 1944 from Emporia State University with a double major in English and library sciences.

At age 23, she purchased her property in Nathrop directly from Jo Love, with whom she remained close friends until Ms. Love’s death in 1976.

She and her mother, Nellie, built and completed the current cabin on her property in 1950.

From 1944 to 1958 she worked in engineering libraries at Beech Aircraft Co., Boeing Aircraft and Lockheed Martin Aircraft Co.

In 1958 her final employment was with Marathon Oil Co. as head librarian in the company’s research center library.

In 1964 she married George “Gordy” Dooley in Denver.

They became permanent residents of the Salida/Nathrop area in 1971. Both owned or managed many different businesses in Salida and in the Leadville area.

Mrs. Dooley was also a long-standing member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1166 in Johnson Village.

She was a member of the ABC Book Club since 1977 and an avid reader, enjoying works of history and biographies.

Her friends said that, most of all, she loved to sing, and she had a beautiful voice.

In 1988 Mrs. Dooley was among the original members of the women’s singing group The Noteables, which remains active today.

She was instrumental in formation of “Concert Plus,” a program that helped bring classical music to the valley.

Her favorite quote was by Irving Berlin, “The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.”

Her friends said she will be missed dearly for her intelligence, quick wit, humor and friendship.

Her survivors include all of her friends at Columbine Manor, many cousins and close friends and neighbors.

In accordance with her wishes, no public service or memorial is planned.

Arrangements are with Holt Funeral Home in Cañon City.