Dorothy Bouvia arrived in 1945 to teach English at Vaughn Union High School. Her son Brian entered second grade in the Vaughn Elementary School across the playground area.
They lived in Key Center, Rosedale, Gig Harbor, Purdy and Wauna. After her marriage to Gordon Lusby, she lived in Burley and now resides in Tacoma, but “I’ve lived all over the place,” she said.
When Peninsula High School was formed, Bouvia moved there with the Vaughn students and taught there until her retirement 23 years later.
At Peninsula she organized and sponsored Panmasquers, a drama club. In 1949, Troupe 965 of the National Thespian Society was organized under her direction. Students earned points by participation in dramatic productions.
Her teaching career began in Illinois, and she headed west with the idea of staying in a place a year or two, then moving on. Life didn’t happen that way for her and Brian. They did their traveling across the country during summer vacations, and she continued traveling to farther sites many years after retirement.
She once said she’d been to “a small part of the world,” including China, Russia, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, The Netherlands, France, Greece, Egypt, Portugal, Japan, Tasmania, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Bouvia has attended almost every Peninsula High School reunion she was invited to over the years, and came to Gig Harbor for many lunches with PHS alums. Each March her birthday has been celebrated at those lunches, and this year, it was for her 104th year.
She claims her eyesight and memory aren’t as good as they used to be, but if she doesn’t recognize a former student, she says: “Tell me your name,” and the connection is there.
She continues to play bingo and meet with her crochet group each week, enjoying her long life of memorable places and events.