SANTA ANA, Calif. -Dorothy Mae Kiger, 95, of Santa Ana, passed away in her sleep, on Oct. 21, 2019.
She was born in South Carolina, on May 18, 1924, to her parents, Walter Adams and William Mae Palmer.
Due to divorce and the law at the time, she was raised by her grandmother, who was the town's telephone operator.
She attended the University of Mary Washington, in Virginia, graduating with a degree in chemistry and a minor in math.
After graduating, she worked as a chemist, which was not easy as a woman in the 1940s.
Once she married and started a family, the research lab would not let her continue her work. She stayed home to raise children, was a substitute teacher, and eventually became an elementary classroom aid. Her final job, before retirement, involved creating and running computer labs in elementary schools, in Southern California, in the 1980s and 1990s.
She married Louis Kiger, in 1951, and they divorced in the 1980s.
Through her marriage she became a regular church goer and believer in Christ. She was an ordained Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and an active member at Community Presbyterian Church, in Vallejo, California, First Presbyterian Church, in Santa Ana, and St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, in Newport Beach, California.
Dorothy was a force of life and a pioneer as a female chemist. She was strong, opinionated, open-minded, kind, loving, sensitive, thoughtful, intelligent, and loved structure and routine.
She was an avid reader and loved to write, especially letters "expressing her thoughts". She loved the differences in people and wanted to travel the world to see everything. Dorothy took life seriously, but would surprise family and friends with her non-intentional humor.
Always curious, Dorothy was a life-long learner. Family and friends will miss her humor, her love and support and her intensity, which she often described "with a purple passion".
Dorothy was preceded in death by: her parents; and ex-husband, Louis Kiger.
She leaves behind: two daughters, Marta Morrison, Santa Ana, and Rev. Dr. Krista Kiger (Mindy Andrasevits), St. Joseph; three grandchildren: Cameron Villegas (Sergio), Santa Ana, Taylor Washington (Melissa), Los Angeles, California, and Sidney Kiger (Wendy), St. Joseph; four great-grandchildren: Max and Logan Villegas, and Jaylen and Jayda Kiger; along with many extended family and friends.
A Memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to: First Presbyterian Church, St. Joseph, or St. Mark Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach. As published in the St. Joseph News-Press.