Dorothy Mathis

Honored by:Penny Howard, Pamela Fitzgerald and Dorothy I. Parsons
Brick location:G:18  map

Dorothy Isabel Sorenson Mathis was born in a white house in rural Maxwell, Polk County, Iowa to Clara Eleanor (Ball) and John Sorenson on April 21, 1909. We are honoring her on her 86th birthday. A beautiful child, she grew up in rural Elkhart just a couple of miles from where she lives today. Graduation from high school was at Elkhart and college from Drake University in Des Moines. She taught school before her marriage on August 26, 1934 to Ralph Cunningham Mathis.

Being a full-time homemaker from where she is secretary of Iowa State Hybrid Corn Company, she is spending her life sharing with and caring for and stimulating those around her. As a teacher, she could have deeply touched the lives of countless students; as it is she is having a profound influence on her own family. I am fortunate beyond measure to be her daughter, feeling and witnessing her thoughtfulness and love upon the lives of my husband, Ken; daughter, Candace; son, Jon; and my grandchildren Justin, Kendra, and Brock Bengtson and Autumn and Logan Howard.

Being eternally grateful for her guidance and acceptance, it is a fantastic experience to see her so loved and appreciated in her community and world.  

Submitted by Carol Penelope "Penny" Howard


It is a treat for me to be writing in honor of my mama. One of the precious gifts Mom gave me was to nurture my sense of wonder for the sweet songs of birds, sparkling stars and our dear friend, the trees. The gorgeous ISU campus is a wonderful place to be enjoying nature and to honor Mom.

Mom's life is a living example of some of her favorite quotes ........
"If I keep a green bough in my heart a singing bird will come." Chinese Proverb
"May my daily involvement in the world be my worship offering to You." May Yoho Ward
"The comfortable thought in all of this to me is that I believe I am in the hands of a loving, wise, finally undefeatable Power whom I can call Father and that like every other human being, I am dear to Him and cannot fall out of His hands." Leslie Weatherhead
"The only things you ever really have are the ones you hold inside your heart." Bruce Coville. Mom, we hold you in our hearts.
"We promise never to forget you, not even when we're 100!" A. A. Milne
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness." Keats
"There will be stars over this place forever." Sara Teasdale

Dear Mom "For all that has been, Thanks. For all that will be, YES!" Dag Hammarskjold

Submitted by Pamela Fitzgerald


To the woman who gave me life - I am most grateful for the expectations that she always had for me and for the zest for life that she planted in my heart. Oh, there are a thousand cherished memories and a lifetime of valuable lessons that she is a part of in my life. But what I carry embedded in my spirit is the living example of Christian Love that I witnessed both of my parents role modeling.

My spirit was formed by many many experiences, but most significantly by the Unconditional Love and the Christian Feminism that my mother exposed me to. She told me that just because I understood something or believed a certain way didn't necessarily mean it was the only way or the right way. But that I must respect other peoples’ opinions beliefs and levels of understanding, especially when they differ from my own. This advice opened the door to help me grow and learn so much more about life. The expectations my mother has for me are the catalyst which propels me into a life full of golden opportunities to grow and learn and LOVE. She also gave me an appreciation for nature for wonder and for amazement. That, too, is a very significant piece of my soul.

I am most honored to carry her name. I feel a certain sense of responsibility with the name Dorothy Isabel to continue the Legacy of Love. God Keep us all in the circle of Your Love.

Submitted by: Dorothy Isabel Mathis Parsons

 We'll always love you, MOM!