Dorothy Hunter Abernathy was born to a long time Texas farming/ranching family in the heart of Texas on April 2, 1927.
The third daughter of Ruff Cook and Mae Hunter, Dorothy was raised on the farm and as all farm kids she had chores, one of which was the care and maintenance of the family flock of sheep. This chore left her with a life long distaste for any thing to do with wool or anything else even remotely connected to the little beasties.
Dorothy and her sisters were known to swim the Colorado River (it has been said at flood stage) in order to steal watermelons from a neighbor's field (for which their father paid but did not tell the girls until they were grown).
Dorothy did so well in school she earned a scholarship to attend college and went off to gain a higher education. For three diligent semesters she applied herself without any thought of any other interest, carrying a 3.8 average. Then while home for a visit, she met a dashing young, tall, dark and handsome young man just home from the war. After an exciting courtship (no charges were ever filed or at least if they were they were dropped), Dorothy married Vernon Earl Abernathy in 1946. A bit over a year later in 1947, she gave birth to their only child, Neil Shannon Abernathy.
Dorothy and Vernon chose to make the U.S. Air Force their career and in 1949 they were transferred from Fort Worth to Rapid City, South Dakota. And the country girl who had never been more than 150 miles from home moved to the first of five states she was to live in, driving through four of the thirty two states she was to visit. While at Rapid City, Dorothy was often left alone as Vernon was often sent on deployment to Korea or Vietnam (yes in 1949) or a number of other places, including Roswell, N.M. (Never did find out what that was all about). In 1955 when only a very limited number of people ever traveled, Dorothy and her 8-year old got on a plane to what was then French Morocco to join her husband in what was to be the first of their four overseas duty stations, and passed through three of the 20 odd countries she was to visit in her life.
After 25 years of traveling the globe, she and her husband returned to Texas to build a new life. Dorothy decided to return to school and finish her education, receiving her college degree in education from Sul Ross State College and ultimately retiring from the State of Texas. She spent the last 40 years of her life in Odessa, Texas, traveling with friends and trying to read every book in publication. She loved her home and her animals. She enjoyed the peace and quiet of her location and was content with her life.
Dorothy passed from this life peacefully in her apartment in Hobbs, N.M., with new friends by her side on December 30, 2014. She is survived by her son Neil Abernathy and daughter-in-law Virginia, sister Betty Johnson and many more loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Vernon Abernathy, her parents Ruff and Mae Hunter, two brothers and two sisters.
The family requests in lue of flowers, please make a donation to the Odessa Humane Society at (432) 381-5503.
Graveside services will be held Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at 2 p.m. at Green Leaf Cemetery at 2615 U.S. 377 in Brownwood.