Dorothy Arlene Wiltbank died Tuesday afternoon, April 24, 2012, at The Carriage House in Snowflake, Ariz., from complications of a stroke. She was 79 years old. Dorothy was born on November 29, 1932, in Ayshire, Palo Alto County, Iowa, to the late Wayne Faye, Sr. and Irene Ruth (Ricke) Ziegler.
When she was almost 10 years old, Dorothy moved from her native Iowa to Arizona. She always appreciated and knew the value of having a good solid education. While still a teenager, Dorothy met her forever sweetheart, Jerry Dale Wiltbank in Greer, Arizona. After graduating from high school, Dorothy went on to college and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics in Secondary Education from Arizona State University. A week later she and Jerry were married on August 24, 1957. Then, a week after their marriage, the young couple found themselves living in Wellton, Ariz., where she worked for a year at Wellton High School in their Home Economics Department. Following their year in Wellton, the Wiltbanks moved to Sunnyslope, Ariz., and Dorothy continued her employment in the Home Economics Department at Sunnyslope High School, where she remained for several years.
When Dorothy moved to Snowflake she worked, as needed, as a subsitute teacher for the Snowflake School District. Wherever she worked, she was always welcomed with open arms and well received. Her warm and gentle ways will fondly be remembered by all of her students. Also, prior to her retiring, Dorothy had the privilege to work as a Laubach Literacy Teacher at Northland Pioneer College (NPC) in Snowflake. She and the team of other teachers involved with the Laubach Literacy program were responsible for teaching hundreds of adults how to read. She felt an extra special sense of accomplishment as she helped those special students improve their lives.
Also while living in Snowflake, Dorothy was able to work as a janitor at the Snowflake Post Office and developed a great friendship with Lorum Stratton. The entire Statton family became dear friends to the entire Wiltbank family for the remainder of their lives. For 25 years, Dorothy was a member of, and sang with, The Liberty Belles and was heavily involved with the GFWC Women’s Club. Dorothy also had the privilege of serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Lansing, Mich. Following that mission, she and Jerry were able to serve two more local missions in Snowflake right at the Family History Center. Just three short weeks after celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary together, Jerry died on September 13, 2005. She truly missed him as her family now misses her, but they do find great peace and joy in the fact that they have been reunited. Dorothy will be missed by countless numbers of people, but none will miss her more than those she loved the most, her family.
She is survived by her six children: Lydia Lewis, Cindi (Ralph) Orr, Kenneth (Laura) Wiltbank, J.D. (George) Waller, Summer (Justin) Pierce and Benjamin (Abbey) Wiltbank; 13 siblings: Betty (James) Burk, Lee (Betty) Ziegler, Louis (Patsy) Ziegler, Jake (Joyce) Ziegler, Dean (Sue) Ziegler, George Ziegler, Roger (Dorothy) Ziegler, Esther (Mike) Lamb, David Ziegler, Ted Ziegler, Terry (Marilyn) Ziegler, Wenda Barrett and Joseph (Darla) Ziegler; 25 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Jerry Wiltbank; one brother, Wayne Ziegler Jr.; two sisters, Gretchen Marble Sheppard and Karen Branch; and two granddaughters, Cecilee Orr and Jessica Wiltbank.
Dorothy’s funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, at the Main Street Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 48 North Main Street in Snowflake. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service. The concluding service and interment will follow at the R.V. “Mike” Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake. Arrangements are being handled by Owens Livingston Mortuary Heritage Chapel in Snowflake.