by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
In the past four years I have written over 200 stories “looking back” on the history of Grain Valley. I’m running out of ideas! While the subject of this column may not always have interested you, someone almost always responds to my musings. But, once again, I’m stuck for topics to pursue. While I enjoy tracking down the facts, I don’t always have a clear vision for which facts to chase.
Recently, someone suggested a “where are they now” series. This is where you, the readers, are needed. My question is two-fold. First, who do you want to know about; whom should I be featuring? Secondly, if you know some interesting information about someone from Grain Valley, PLEASE pass it along to me so it can be shared.
Since I write this column for the Historical Society, I thought it only appropriate that I start with our president, Kathy Doty. I also thought it appropriate since she is president of the Grain Valley High School Alumni Association. Typically, the alumni officers are members of the 50-year class.
Many of you will know Kathy. She is a fourth generation Grain Valley citizen. She was a senior in the Class of 1973. Kathy’s dad came from Illinois, but her mother’s ancestry in Grain Valley can be traced back well over a century to Robert W. and Minnie Louise (Sebolt)Stephenson, Kathy’s great grandparents. Her grandparents were Bryl and Ona (Stephenson) Baumgardner. Some readers will recall that Ona Stephenson taught school at Oak Hill in the early 1900s (Valley News, April 25, 2019). Kathy’s mother, Erma Doty was a teacher at GVHS in the early 1940s and again from 1963 till her retirement in the mid-1880.
Kathy Doty, Class Treasurer. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society
In addition to being class treasurer, Kathy was involved in instrumental and vocal music, drama, business and publications. She was editor of the Treasure Chest (yearbook). She also played volleyball and was a varsity cheerleader.
1973 Treasure Chest Photo
So where is she now? As previously mentioned she is president of the Grain Valley High School Alumni Association. And she still works tirelessly to promote Grain Valley and the Grain Valley Historically. She has also held many offices in FOCUS for Grain Valley (formerly Optimist, Internationally). She retired nearly two years ago after many years at Hallmark Cards, Inc. in Kansas City.
Kathy has one son, Nicholas Jackson, a 2011 graduate of Grain Valley High School. She and her husband, Roberto Parker reside in Blue Springs, Missouri.
I look forward to your suggestions as I learn about other present and former Grain Valley residents and discover “where they are now?”