Meet Dot Koble
She’s Called Simpson Meadows Home Since 2020
She nailed it!
At a time when most women stayed in the kitchen or dipped their toes into the waters of the secretarial pool, Dot Koble studied industrial arts at Millersville and then went on to teach the subject in several Chester County schools.
“I was discouraged from even considering this major, but that made me want to pursue it more, and I loved it,” Dot says with a smile.
Dot was born in Schuylkill County. When she was in fourth grade, the family moved to Lebanon County. Her father was superintendent of schools in Lebanon. They also had a farm in Adams County, where they spent summers. Dot and her brothers often worked at another farm nearby.
“My brothers spoiled me, just like my parents did,” she says.
After high school, she went to Millersville, where she studied woodshop, mechanical drawing, leather, plastics, and other industrial arts. She became only the fourth woman to graduate from Millersville with that degree. And when she got her first teaching job in West Chester, she was the only woman in the area doing so.
One year, Dot worked as a counselor at a Devereaux Camp in Maine. She met a co-worker, Sam McLean, who became her first husband. They lived in Berwyn and Downingtown and had four daughters together. While she was teaching in Downingtown, she had one of her daughters in class. Her daughter asked her what to call her in class.
“I told her to call me ‘Mom,’” Dot recalls. “By the end of the term, the whole class was calling me ‘Mom.’”
Later, she taught at Lionville and had three of her grandchildren as students.
Sam McLean passed after the couple had been married about 15 years. After his passing, Dot took her daughters to Disney World and Sea World.
“They loved it. When they got home, they wanted to go to Hershey Park, so we did that, too,” says Dot, who says her happiest memories are “mostly of the children.”
She has also enjoyed traveling throughout her life. For four years, she worked with Volunteers in Mission, spending two weeks a year doing volunteer work in Puerto Rico. When one brother was stationed in Japan, she visited him there and climbed Mt. Fuji. Her other brother married a woman from Hawaii who had gone to Smith College. Dot traveled with her to the couple’s wedding in Kansas, and she also visited her sister-in-law’s parents in Hawaii. One memorable experience was driving around the Big Island after a volcanic eruption.
In college, Dot had dated Ron Koble. After many years, they reconnected and they were married about 20 years ago. The couple traveled around the United States, across Canada and down the West Coast by train, then drove a car back across the south to Georgia and up the East Coast to home. Dot has also visited Ireland, and went to Austria and Germany with another retired teacher.
Learning life lessons
Dot says it’s important to “have fun everywhere,” and believes that “getting in trouble every now and then” and “taking each day as it comes” are the keys to aging well. She moved to Simpson Meadows in 2020. She chose to live here because her daughters live nearby in Downingtown, Coatesville, and Guthriesvillle.
“You have everything you need,” she says of life at Simpson Meadows.