I Am Wilshire: Dorothy Burrus

by | Apr 19, 2024 | I Am Wilshire

Hometown: Tulsa;
Present City: Dallas;
Education: Doctorate in education, Oklahoma State University;

Tell us about your family.
My husband, Hershel, and I met in college at OSU. We got married in 1941, and he left shortly after to serve in the Army during World War II. He was stationed in Hawaii and the Philippines and lasted six and a half hours in Okinawa, Japan, before he was shot in the knee and discharged. We were married until he passed away in 1996 and share two children, Raymond and Jo Beth, two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

What did you do professionally?
I taught elementary school for several years. In the 1960s I received a master’s and doctorate with a specialty in language arts and teaching kids how to read. I was a professor at several universities, including the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins, working mostly with master’s students. I had a wonderful career and retired in 1993 when Hershel and I moved to Arlington to be closer to my son, Raymond. I still enjoy teaching my great- grandchildren how to read when we are together.

Any favorite hobbies?
I love to read the newspaper, and several of my letters to the editor have been published in the Dallas Morning News in recent years. Civic duty has always been very important to me, and I have voted in every single election my entire adult life except for one school board election I forgot about. The first election I voted in was on my 21st birthday, April 20, 1940.

What brought you to Wilshire and when?
I came to Wilshire in 2004 when I moved to Dallas from Arlington. I was 85 years old.

Tell us about your faith journey.
I grew up in a Methodist church as a young child. Back then you attended whatever church was closest, so we moved to a Baptist church when I was a teenager. I was actively involved in churches throughout my adult life and was a department leader in many of the churches where we were members.

Where do your life’s work, passion and faith intersect?
I’ve always tried to stay very connected to what’s going on in the world. I think everything can be taught using the newspaper, and in 1970 I published a book, Developing Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Using the Newspaper. I think God is asking us to care for the planet through physical and political means. This makes me passionate about civic duty and being a strong political advocate.

What’s something interesting about you?
I voted for FDR’s fourth term as president.

What wisdom would you share from your 105 years of life for younger generations?
Read, go to church, be active and keep abreast of what is going on in the world.

*If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming I Am Wilshire feature, contact Carolyn Murray (cmurray@wilshirebc.org)