Gene Hird and Dorothy Tasker


gene and dorothy wedding

Otis Eugene and Dorothy, September 7, 1942

play house

One of her "Deafie" classmates at KSD, Vera Hird, lived within her family's driving distance of KSD. Homesick for her own family, on many weekends, Dorothy would accompany Vera to her family home in Douglas County.  Vera was the only "deafie" in the Hird family and one of her older siblings was Eugene Hird. When Dot was age 13, Eugene passed a note around the table to her that said, "Someday I'm going to marry you." They were married on Sept. 7, 1942, and a few short weeks later, Gene received papers to join the Navy in WW2. After the war, they moved to the same place. Dorothy remained there until her 2001 move to Conroe to be near her son and his family.

A multi-talented, and very creative artist, Dorothy worked side-by-side with her husband to build their family a home and outbuildings that reflected their ingenuity and craftsmanship. Working with her father, she became skilled at crafting wood, as they built the kitchen cabinets and finished the house interior. All this while tending a large vegetable garden and providing for her young children. Everyone in the family affectionately called their parents "Paw and Maw Hird."

Hird familiy

Visitors were treated to her mouth-watering pies and enjoyed her spectacular flower gardens filled with Iris, Peony and Zinnia.  A woman of many interests, she was undaunted in her search learn how to find solutions to any challenges that arose. Her many hobbies included creating painstakingly beautiful art with stitchery, embroidery, quilling, and quilting.

She sewed beautiful clothing for her family, made quilts, and many doll clothes. Interested in photography, she even set up her own darkroom, and won several awards for her photography at the Kansas Association of the Deaf yearly conventions.

With Gene, she shared a love of adventure and travel. An expert at packing, she designed and built a storage system for the back of the '57 Ford Station wagon to utilize every nook and cranny.

Going Camping to Rocky Mountain National Park

Each summer she carefully loaded 2 weeks of food and camping gear, often bringing along our various cousins to fill the extra 2 seats, for the family camping trip to various destinations across the Western US. Her favorite place to set up the tent was Glacier Basin Campground in Estes Park, CO. After Gene's retirement from the CO-OP, they were frequent travelers to Texas and Seattle to visit family. Nova Scotia marked the greatest distance traveled in their van conversion that they affectionately nicknamed "Blue Bird."

A life-long homemaker who was fiercely devoted to her family, Dorothy possessed an uncanny "6th" sense when it came to her loved ones. She possessed a "knowing" far more accurate than any spoken words - particularly when something was amiss. She taught her children American Sign Language from birth, but always carried a small note-pad and a pen to communicate with the hearing. Strangers were always greeting by her big smile as she proudly showed visitors her current art projects or her flower gardens, saying that "it helped to break the ice." She always wanted people to feel comfortable in her presence.

After 56 years of marriage, she was preceded in death by her husband, Otis Eugene Hird, Feb. 19, 1999, and their infant daughter, Julie Elaine Hird, April 1951. Her sister, Adelaide Fry, 93, lives in Hutchinson, Kansas. Dorothy is survived by her son, Carroll Hird and his wife, Kaye, Conroe, Texas, her daughter, Kathleen Hird Kostner and her husband, Ricardo Kostner, Lawrence, 5 grand-children Eric Hird and his wife Nikki of Woodlands, TX,  Travis Hird and his wife, Tracy, Montgomery, TX, Traci Hird McCullough and her husband Greg, Boulder, CO, Kathleen Thompson, Sammamish, WA, Heather Thompson, Issaquah, WA, and 10 great-grandchildren, Alexandra, Gabriel, and Luke Hird, The Woodlands, TX, Zachary, Jacob, and Emery Hird, Montgomery, TX, Gunnar and Meier McCullough, Boulder, CO, Aurora Anderson, Sammamish, WA, and Caitlyn Rooney, Issaquah, WA.

Design by Hird and Kostner, all rights reserved