Dorothy Lou “Dottie” Harder, 89, of Topeka, passed away Friday, November 15, 2019.
She was born June 14, 1930, in Ottawa, Kansas, the daughter of Merwin and Marjorie (Wilson) Welty.
She graduated from Ottawa High School in 1948 as Valedictorian. She then went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baker University. In 1957, she received a Master’s Degree in Education; in 1979, she earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
She was an avid reader and loved playing the piano.
She married Robert Harder in 1953 in Ottawa, Kansas.
Dottie worked as Program Associate at the University of Kansas Capitol Complex Center. Later she was the Director of Admissions for Washburn University School of Law and retired from there in 1992.
Dottie was the Founder and Coordinator of the Topeka Panel of American Women. The panel presented programs designed to promote racial and religious tolerance in Topeka and Northeast Kansas. Mrs. Harder was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Topeka. Dottie was a board member of the Brown Foundation. Earlier she served as President of the Friends of the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library.
Survivors include a daughter, Anne (Dennis) Marley, Kansas City; son, James (Emily Ratliff) Harder, Boston; grandchildren, Eric Marley and Sunny Harder.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Robert; and granddaughter, Claire Marley. She and
Robert were married for 61 years.
A memorial ceremony will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, 600 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, Kansas 66603. Private inurnment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church, Baker University or The Harder iRead Fund at the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library.
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