Dorothy Lee (Watkins) Shoup, 94, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully on February 18, 2020. She was a beloved and loving wife, mom, grandmother, great-grandmother and a treasured friend.
Dorothy (“Dee”) was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on January 7, 1926, to John Clarence Watkins and Virginia Louise (Noel) Watkins. She grew up in the family home at 501 N. Maple in Nowata, Oklahoma with her parents; her older sister, Ginny, and two brothers, John and Noel. At age five, her parents enrolled her in 1st grade a year early in order to accompany and comfort her brother, John, who was one year older and apparently hadn’t yet warmed up to the idea of attending school. She learned to cook and sew from her loving mother, played on the girls’ basketball team, and was an A student and social butterfly. Dee truly loved school. She told childhood stories of surviving the heat in the Oklahoma summers, before the arrival of air conditioning, by sleeping on the porch with damp sheets draped over her body.
Dee attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman for two years from 1945-1947 and studied interior design. She joined the Alpha Phi sorority, where she met several lifelong friends, one of whom introduced her to Ozzie Shoup, a young Navy veteran from Pittsburg, Kansas, on a blind date in the fall of 1946. With her friendly smile, compassionate friendship and wavy auburn hair, Ozzie was smitten despite their 12 inch difference in height. When Dee was forced to quit school in May of 1947 for lack of funds and moved back to Nowata to live with her parents, she commuted to Tulsa in a carpool to work as a secretary. In pursuit, Ozzie hitchhiked to Nowata from Norman on weekends to continue the courtship.
They married on Saturday, January 24, 1948, on a cold snowy day in Nowata and honeymooned for one night in Tulsa before returning to Norman, where Dee worked as an assistant to Dr. Springer, a math professor, while Ozzie finished his engineering degree. Upon Ozzie’s graduation in June of 1949, the couple and their new baby son, Mark, moved to Dewey, Oklahoma, and lived there for 17 years while raising Mark and his three younger brothers, Dan, Brad and Scott. Dee was a determined and doting mother, a great cook, a witness to Christ for all in her life and a tireless homemaker.
In 1967, Mark headed off to college and the remaining family of five moved to Mission, Kansas. Dee quickly adjusted to life in Kansas City, which would be her hometown for the rest of her life. She continued as a homemaker and full-time mom for many years, then started a career as a part-time real estate broker and owner/investor in rental properties.
Dee considered family, friends and her faith to be the most important parts of her life. She thoroughly enjoyed watching her four boys compete in various sports and her high-pitched cheers could be heard across the playing fields and courts by players and fans alike. She always had their uniforms ready to go for each game, and a warm dinner when they arrived home after practice. Dee was a humble and thoughtful friend and cheerful giver. She passed along to her children her strong faith in Christ and her passion for enriching the lives of elderly women living alone, whom she befriended and cared for, regularly bringing a home-made dinner or lunch and staying to chat. She had a firm voice on matters of right and wrong, yet was quick to apologize whenever she felt she’d wronged anyone. She loved to write letters to her faraway friends and family. She was a lifelong Methodist: a childhood member of Nowata Methodist Church, followed by memberships at Dewey Methodist Church from 1949-1967, Old Mission Methodist Church in Mission, Kansas, in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, and Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, for the last 25 years.
Dee was an avid reader, mostly non-fiction, a fabulous cook for her four boys and husband, a student of nutrition and lover of all kinds of vitamins and herbs, and she loved to travel either with or without family. She chaperoned Scot’s AAU basketball team on a trip to Europe to play high school teams in England, France and Germany. Later, as an empty nester, she joined a church group visiting Israel and the Holy Land, and she and Ozzie traveled to Sweden to look up relatives from Ozzie’s family tree. In route to Sweden, she embarked on a bus tour of English villages while Ozzie played golf in Scotland. She enjoyed summer trips to Colorado, visiting her sons as they moved around the country, and family gatherings at their beloved lake house on Grand Lake, Oklahoma, near Two-Tree Island.
Dee was short of stature at five feet and four inches, and surrounded by four tall sons and a tall husband, yet she had a powerful voice when it came to her passions, mostly involving her family and faith. She was an ever-faithful, diligent and loving mother, wife and follower of Christ. She will be dearly missed. Her family cherishes the vision of her heavenly meeting with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, which she held so dear throughout her life.
Dee was preceded in death by her parents, her three siblings; John Marshall Watkins, Mary Virginia Musser, and Earnest Noel Watkins, and her first husband, Louis Ray Dunn, who was killed in World War II in 1945, less than two years after they were married.
Dee is survived by her loving husband of 72 years, Oliver Nelson (“Ozzie”) Shoup of Overland Park, Kansas; sons, Mark Nelson Shoup of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dan Stephen Shoup and wife, Joanne of Shawnee, Kansas, Bradley Christopher Shoup of Dallas, Texas, and Scot Alan Shoup and wife, Libby of Tyler, Texas; eight grandchildren, Angela Woodward and husband, Jeff of Liberty, Missouri, Ellie Alexander and husband Caleb of Hyderabad, India, Hannah Stolle and husband, John, of Chicago, Illinois, Jack Shoup and wife, Chelsi, of Houston, Texas, Ben Shoup of Midland, Texas, and Will, Katherine and Rachel Shoup of Dallas, Texas; and four great-grandchildren, Boston Woodward, Ford Alexander, Charlotte Stolle and Sadie Lee Shoup.
A Celebration of Life service is planned for 2:00 pm, Saturday, March 7, at the Wesley chapel at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave, Leawood, KS 66224
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested in her memory to the Backpacks for Hunger ministry at Church of the Resurrection (https://cor.org/leawood/give/memorial-gifts, or contact Kelly Williams at 913-544-0777 or firstname.lastname@example.org)