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On August 17, 1931, Dorothy entered this world and the life of her parents, William “Bill” and Clara Denney Jefferson, completing their family of three sons, Harold, Lawrence and William (Billy Rowe) in Wall Lake, Iowa.
When Dorothy was a girl, the family moved to Grant City, Missouri where she graduated Grant City High School in 1950. She married her high school sweetheart, Robert Pickering, in February 1951 and followed him to the Territory of Alaska, full of courage and belief that she was where she was supposed to be. They settled on Douglas Island.
Robert’s job, surveying the territory of Alaska for the Federal Government, took him away from the family 6-7 months of the year, so Dorothy raised their family of three children, Marijo, Carol and Roger, in the shadow of tall mountains and pristine waters of the Inside Passage. She tried her hand at gardening on the side of a rocky mountain, babysat in her home, and worked in a daycare nursery to supplement the family income.
When Alaska became a state in 1959, Dorothy and her family were in the heart of the excitement and celebration as Juneau/Douglas celebrated Alaska’s 49th star on the American Flag!
In the fall of 1961, the Bureau of Land Management moved their headquarters to Anchorage, so the family left the beautiful island and began a new adventure in Alaska’s largest city. While they looked for permanent housing, they spent their first week in a hotel across the street from a Dairy Queen, something the children had never seen before—an ice cream store!
The family put down roots in the Sand Lake area of Anchorage where Dorothy rode out the 1964 Earthquake with her three children, finished raising their family, and remained until the early 1970’s. During that time Dorothy worked for McKinley Jewelry and began what was to be her career in banking; starting at First National Bank of Anchorage.
In 1985, Dorothy left Alaska for a short time; living in Michigan, Texas and Idaho where she worked as a live-in Certified Nursing Aid. Alaska was home, though, and it called to her. In 1990, she moved back to Anchorage, and the employment of Key Bank, where she worked and retired in 2006.
Dorothy remained in Anchorage, until recently, when health issues caused her to move closer to her daughter, Marijo, in Fairbanks, taking up residence in the Fairbanks Pioneer Home where she made some very dear friends.
During Dorothy’s life, when she wasn’t raising kids and working, she gave generously of her time to the “Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Group” in Anchorage, volunteered every year for the “Walk for Hope”, and was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout Leader. She sewed most of her children’s clothes and loved to bake, and pressure can fresh vegetables. Dorothy loved to read, and stitch and she passed on those loves to both of her daughters.
Dorothy was a very strong woman with high ethics and manners, which she strove to teach her children as they grew. Her children’s friends were always welcome in her home; “If the party was at my house, I knew where my kids were”. We never knew just how strong Mom was until we watched her struggles during the latter part of her life. Now we know where our strength comes from. She is so very missed.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents William “Bill” and Clara Denney Jefferson; her oldest brother, Harold Jefferson, and his wife, Ruth; her youngest brother, Bill Jefferson, and her baby grandson, Michael McKinney.
Dorothy is survived by her three children and their families: daughter, Marijo Larson, her children and families; Heather Sharpton (Russ) and their children Grayson, Kaia and Dagen; Hansel Larson (Dana) and their children Eli and Sadie; and Patryce McKinney: daughter, Carol McKinney Dienst (John), her children and families; Patryce McKinney, Althea Dooley Nabinger (Floyd) and her children Tempest and Kaylee Dooley; son, Roger Pickering, his children and families; Kenneth Jorgensen and his children Kristopher and Randy and Kristopher’s children Alexander and Charlotte; Randy Jorgensen; David Pickering; great-great-grandchildren; brother, Lawrence Pickering of Gallatin, Missouri; many loving nieces, nephews, family, and friends.
Services will be held at Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa on Saturday, September 15 at 1:30 p.m. Burial will follow in the Redding Cemetery. Online condolences may be left at

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