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Published: Saturday, 2/14/2004

School board president a girls sports pioneer

PIONEER, Ohio - Doris R. Dury, a former president of the North Central school board here, died of kidney failure Thursday at the Dilworth Center in Montpelier. She was 94.

Mrs. Dury was on the school board from 1965 through 1974, and was elected president nine times.

“She always wanted proper fairness for all students, and a good learning environment in the school,” said Gerald Hendricks, high school principal at the time.

One of her successes on the school board was establishing girls basketball and volleyball.

Mrs. Dury, the first woman on the school board, was asked to run and was interested because she had seven children in the school system, daughter Julia Leonard said.

She took the time to do a good job. “She always said that when you sit on a board like that, you need to do a lot of reading and research,” daughter Rebecca Walz said.

She couldn t drive, so her husband drove her to meetings, and she never missed one. She went to school board conventions in Columbus, Mrs. Leonard said.

Mrs. Dury was born Nov. 3, 1909 in Adrian. She graduated from Pioneer High School in 1927, and married Beryl Dury that August. They lived on a farm west of Pioneer. He died in 1992.

She was a member of Pioneer United Methodist Church, where she belonged to the Bridgewater Ladies Aid group.

Surviving are her daughters, Julia Leonard, Betty Ferro, M. Sue Wismar, and Rebecca Walz; son, William Dury; 20 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

The body will be in the Thompson Funeral Home in Montpelier from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday. Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Pioneer United Methodist Church.

The family suggests tributes to the church or the activity fund at the Heritage House at Hillside Country Living in Bryan.

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