Dorothy Flint Whetstone, 92, died Sept. 4, 2020, in Spokane, Wash., shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. A memorial service will be held at a later.
Dorothy Swanby was born in Sidney, Mont., on Aug. 11, 1928. Her parents were Andy and Agnes Swanby who were both 100% Norwegian, a lineage which made Dorothy very proud to claim. After high school, Dorothy attended Montana State University and Northern Montana College attaining a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
While at school, she and a handsome man named Kedric Flint fell in love. He was a WWII veteran who was attending school on the GI bill. They married, and she taught in Breezy Flats, Chester and Missoula, but eventually landed in Bigfork where her husband taught and coached. Dorothy’s focus changed from being a teacher to being a loving mother to her four children. Dorothy’s husband was the superintendent of schools in Hingham, Scobey, and Cut Bank.
Summers were spent camping on Swan Lake or fixing up the Bigfork home which they kept until 1975. Many fun-filled days and laughter were shared. Unfortunately, Dorothy was widowed at the age of 49.
Her children were adults by now and their careers or university studies had started. Playing bridge did not fill the lonely space. Much to her credit, she returned to work as a dental receptionist and learned first-hand what being a career woman was like. Working alongside her friends livened up the days. She was appreciated and did a fabulous job for Dr. Jones the dentist in Cut Bank.
Life is always filled with change and after being widowed for seven years, Dorothy met a man who had been a doctor in Cut Bank for many years. Dr. Stuart Whetstone was back in town for the summer and he fell in love with Dorothy. They married, moved to Laguna Hills, Calif., and Medford, Ore., both places that she loved. However, Stuart passed away of lung cancer.
Dorothy’s sister, Harriet Brende, talked her into moving to Spokane. Later on, their other sister, Ann Brewer moved to Spokane. With all three sisters together, many adventures took place. Trips to Greece, Morocco, Spain, the Panama Canal, and a few to Norway where Dorothy’s daughter, Kay, was living. Many adventures were enjoyed with the three Norwegian sisters. This was just another chapter in Dorothy’s life.
Two years ago, Dorothy turned 90 years “young. She insisted that no party was to be held. Finally she relented to have a family picnic at her daughter Patti’s home. She didn’t exactly specify “immediate” family so her daughters planned a surprise party for the Swanby side of the family. It began with Dorothy’s three daughters and then carload by carload of nephews and nieces along with their children, and grandkids, from all over the country showed up. She was overwhelmed and said it was one of the best days of her life. A family photo with Dorothy seated in the front is a testimonial to just how loved she was.
Dorothy had not been feeling well for quite a few months. An abdominal scan showed cancer. After hearing the dire news, she lived 15 days, the last seven in Hospice House which should be commended for their outstanding care.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her son, Gordon.
Survivors include Kay (Alan) Sewell of Midland, Texas; Patti (Don) Shields of Chattaroy, Wash.; Carol Flint, Missoula, Mont.; and daughter-in-law, Patty Flint of Great Falls, Mont.; six grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Hospice House in Spokane, Wash.