Ora Lee (Dobbs) Kirk
Lee Kirk was born Ora Lee Dobbs to Henry and Bessie Dobbs in the small, rural community of McKey, Oklahoma. The 10th of 11 children, Lee was raised working on a farm where she learned the values of hard work and family. Lee attended McKey Grade School where she and two others comprised the entire eighth grade. Here, she became active in 4-H, an area she would pursue later in life. She graduated from Sallisaw High School which led her to attend Connors from 1955-1957. After receiving her Associate’s degree at Connors, Lee attended NSU where she received her Bachelor’s and then Master’s in Home Economics. Lee taught first grade at Marble City where she met and married Dale Kirk. They had two children, Kristye and Greg and were active in building McKey Baptist Church. In her profession, Lee forged new trails and set new standards, and working to improve the lives of Oklahoma families, homemakers, young people and minorities was and is a life-long commitment. She taught for 10 years, 6 of those being home economics at Muldrow High School. Her next profession was at the Cooperative Extension Service. Here, she initiated the Indian Homemakers Festival and received coveted state and national awards. After 8 years, she became the County Extension Director, working with Rural Development and other programs to train homemakers, leaders and youth which developed into the position of District 4-H Program specialist.
After retirement, Lee joined the Peace Corps working in Jamaica for one year, working with the Red Cross during the 9-11 disaster, and was elected to serve as a public member on the Board of Nursing for 6 years. Lee has traveled extensively and now resides on her farm where she is sole rancher/landlord of Kirk Rentals and Farms. She researched and helped to restore two log cabins on her property which will be featured in a Trail of Tears documentary to be released summer 2008. Her most important attributes are those as a caregiver, friend neighbor, and community member. Her “pioneering spirit” has served her, and those around here, well.
Ora was inducted April 26, 2008.