When Merriman Park North resident Dorothy Loyd was born on July 21, 1918, President Herbert Hoover and his troops were still fighting The Great War and the silent film, Tarzan of the Apes, was making a splash on the big screen. Daylight saving time was being implemented for the first time in the U.S., and Ripley was preparing to launch his “Believe it or Not!” column in the New York Globe.
Much has changed, but Loyd is as bright and lovely as ever. She celebrated her 101st birthday last month surrounded by four generations of family. Daughters Julie Conn and Dixie Beck raised children with husbands Jack and Richard in the Lake Highlands area, and Loyd, known to grandchildren as “Doppie,” supported their activities at Merriman Park, Forest Meadow and Lake Highlands High. Her three great-grandchildren still enjoy playing in her backyard.
Loyd grew up on Grand Avenue near Fair Park, when the area was lined with stately homes and manicured lawns. Her father owned and ran a grocery downtown, and her German grandparents, the Bauers, owned and ran the Vickery Feed Store at Park Lane and Greenville Avenue. Vickery was its own town back then with a school district all its own (Vickery Meadows High School became Hillcrest High in 1945), and Loyd recalls driving “all the way to Vickery” to visit them at their shop.
In 1936, Loyd graduated from Forest Avenue High School, later desegregated and renamed James Madison High, then she married her first husband shortly before the beginning of WWII. As a navy wife she traveled extensively, following her husband wherever he was stationed. After he passed away, she went to work for the Davis Agency downtown. It was there she met Talmadge Loyd, whom she married after just 6 dates.
The Loyds made a nest in Lakewood, entertaining friends and supporting Julie and Dixie’s school activities. Though she was widowed at 60, she continued traveling – even climbing the steep hill to Prague Castle in the Czech Republic at age 80.
When asked the secret to her longevity, Loyd is pragmatic.
“I haven’t yet passed,” she declares. Friends are more glowing in their explanation.
“She lives independently, refuses assistance with household chores and recently renewed her drivers’ license,” reports neighbor Donna German. “She has navigated the joys and sorrows of life with wisdom and grace. She has lunch dates several times a week, keeps in touch with her neighbors and their lives, is an avid crossword puzzle enthusiast, stays abreast of current events and was featured in a Dallas Morning News video after having voted in the last presidential election. She says her parents encouraged her to vote as soon as she was able, and she advises citizens that this is the pathway to effect change. Dorothy is and always has been a ‘people person,’ and her family has always held her top priority.”
Congratulations and happy belated birthday, Dorothy Loyd.