Dorothy Isabel (Henry) LewisAugust 18, 1923 ~ December 29, 2017 (age 94)
SALUDA The unsinkable Dorothy Isabel Henry Lewis, "Dottie", crossed over Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, after 94 years on this earth. She was born in Catawba County, to Louise Ingold Henry and Thomas Kelly "T.K." Henry, in 1923. Her roots ran deep in Piedmont N.C. and S.C. She was proud to be a Henry- Whigs who fought for independence from the British at Kings Mountain. Her Scots-Irish heritage may explain her red hair and gregarious nature. She graduated from Lenoir Rhyne College, worked at Queen Anne Furniture Co. and eventually married the owner's son, Brian "Bunker" Franklin Lewis in 1947, at First Presbyterian Church in Hickory. They had five daughters, Patricia Anne "Trish" Lewis, Carole Leigh Spainhour, Nancy Lewis Capps, Susan "Xan" Lewis Robertson and Dorothy Elizabeth "Libby" Lewis. She always claimed she wanted six but fell short. Dottie was among the most social of humans. Tea and Topics Book Club, Bridge Club, Circle at First Presbyterian, the Hickory Symphony (later Western Piedmont) Guild, Daughters of the American Revolution, the Service League and later the French Club were some of the groups on the receiving end of her energy. To manage, she made endless lists, mostly chores that had to be done by her children. To their frustration, she used her shorthand to note any information that she did not want them to see. Her musical skill was playing "Alley Cat" on the piano. Her enthusiastic but discordant off key singing caused her children to look for any excuse not to sit with her in church. She liked to stand out, loved leopard prints and had no trouble wearing red and pink together, saying "The flowers do it!" She endured many losses. Her parents died in a plane crash in 1967, en route to Hickory for Christmas from San Antonio, in their Cessna 170. Only a short time later, her only sibling, younger brother, Tommy (Thomas Sumter Henry, known as "Tex"), disappeared with his wife while piloting his single engine plane to North Carolina from the D.C. area. After her children were grown, Dottie became an antiques dealer, a passion sparked by the years of "running the dealers" for the Hickory Service League's annual antique show. From the 70s to the 90s her life was about Canterbury Antiques and her customers, chairs, sideboards and secretaries. She enjoyed travel and made trips to England and Europe, purchasing things she later couldn't bear to sell. Anything a potential customer liked was given a price to discourage them from buying it. Her husband died in 1994, but Dottie maintained and expanded her network of friends. As years passed, the telephone was her lifeline and she spent hours each day talking with friends, with the television on Fox News and a cat curled up in her lap. She adored Donald Trump and claimed that he and her father were good friends, despite the facts. She spent her final years at a nursing facility in Saluda, but she never, never gave up. Rosh and Tiffany were instrumental in getting her entered in the Senior Miss Coon Dog Day contest in Saluda's annual event in 2016. After a razor close race she was crowned first runner up, saying she was happy that she didn't have to ride in the winner's convertible in the parade, preferring her closed car with air conditioning. So many thanks to all of you at Autumn Care for what you did for Dottie. In addition to her five daughters, Trish of Mooresville, Carole of Asheville, Nancy and Al Konopka of Travelers Rest, S.C., Susan and husband, David Robertson of Cary, and Libby and husband, Jonathan Winer of Bethesda, Md., she is survived by her grandson, Charles "Fritz" Spainhour of Nashville Tenn.; and sister-in-law, Linda Kay Lewis of Cherryville. A remembrance of Dottie will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Hickory, Jan. 6, 2018, at 3 p.m. Please come and share your stories. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Catawba Humane Society or the charity of your choice.