‘UP FOR FUN’: Magee celebrates 90 years of adventure in life

Published 3:00 am Friday, October 14, 2016

10-14-dot-grandsonDorothy J. Magee celebrated her 90th birthday Wednesday with family and friends at Mossy Grove Restaurant. Actually, it was a belated birthday celebration. Her son, Tim Magee, had planned the celebration closer to her 90th birthday, but she had a fall and the celebration was postponed.

But Dorothy Magee took it all in stride as she has learned to do over the years. If she fell, she bounced right back up and kept right on going.

Tim Magee said you can’t keep a good woman down and his mom is a good woman. She has done more bouncing that any person he has ever known. Why, she has bounced all over the globe.

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“Adventurous,” Magee said. “That’s the one word that best describes Dorothy Magee,” he said. “She is always up for any adventure and she’s more fun that anyone I’ve ever known. I have enjoyed every thing that we have ever done together. She’s been fun; she’s been fearless and she always been up for an adventure.”

Dorothy Magee was piloting a plane when most women were bound by their apron strings. Her husband, Jack, was flight engineer with TWA and she took advantage of the travel opportunities offered through his job. She traveled the world over and soaked in the sites and cultures like a sponge.

But her greatest adventure of all was the year that she spent on a ranch station in the Australian Outback.

Magee said his mom lived in a cabin in an area that was even remote in the Outback. “She was out in middle of nowhere,” he said.

Dorothy Magee was a passionate teacher and believed that every child deserved an education no matter his or her “station” in life.

Don Campbell, a friend of the Magees, said while in Australia Dorothy taught school over the air. The farms were so far apart that it was not possible for children to attend school.

“A certain time was set and Dorothy taught the children over the air on the shortwave radio.”

The children’s lessons were transported by land to their teacher for grading and returned.

Magee kept a journal of her adventures in the Australian Outback. She has penned a series of six books that chronicle those adventures. The series is ready for publication.

Troy artist Pat Duke illustrated the books for Magee.

“Dorothy is a very talented writer,” Duke said. “The books are very interesting and very well written. Dorothy has experienced a lot of things in her life. She had led an interesting and adventurous life.”

When Tim Magee moved to Troy to open a law office, his mom came along. She worked as Dr. Johnny Long’s personal secretary at Troy University for about eight years. When she retired she remained active and involved. She didn’t let any grass grow under her feet.

“What I admire most about my mom is her adventurous spirit,” Magee said. “No matter where we have gone or what we have done, she’s enjoyed every minute of it.
“We’ve been to Australia 14 times. One of those times, I wanted to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and she was right there with me. She wasn’t going to miss the adventure of climbing that 650-foot steel bridge, not even in her golden years.”

Magee said his mother grew up on an Iowa farm and her roots are there but her branches have extended around the world.