“I’ve lived all over the place,” said Dorothy Lusby several years ago. She loved to travel and made many trips across the globe.
Born in Biggsville, Illinois, in 1911, Lusby graduated from Monmouth College and her first teaching job was near her home in Fulton.
Within a short time, she married and son Brian was born.
By 1945, Lusby was divorced and applying for teaching jobs around the country with the idea of staying a year or two in one state, then moving on. Offers came from California, Idaho, Eastern Washington and other places.
Lusby came to Vaughn in 1945 as Dorothy Bouvia, her first married name, but was simply known as Mrs. B to her English students at Vaughn Union High School (including this reporter). Brian entered third grade in Vaughn Elementary School, just across the playground.
“She had no idea what to expect by living and teaching here,” said Brian. She grew to love this area, and she never thought of moving on, he said.
Lusby’s father was an agent at the Fulton train station for Burlington Railroad and had rail passes his family could use. Lusby and her son spent summer vacations heading to Illinois to see her parents and siblings.
“On our trips to the Midwest, we would travel different routes through many states to see different parts of the country,” said Brian.
When Peninsula High School was founded, Lusby, or Mrs. B, moved there and stayed until her retirement 23 years later at the age of 59.
At Peninsula she organized and sponsored Penmasquers, a drama club, and the National Thespian Society Troupe. She joined the international folk dancing group at Scandia-Gaard, where she met future husband Gordon Lusby.
The Lusbys traveled 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.
Dorothy Lusby attended almost every Vaughn and Peninsula High School reunion she was invited to over the years, and attended many lunches with PHS alumni. Each March her birthday is celebrated at those lunches: last month, it was for her 105th year.
Dorothy’s 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.