Dorothy Hillenmeyer Crutcher, who devoted much of her life to beautifying Lexington through gardening and historic preservation, died Sunday night at Hospice of the Bluegrass at St. Joseph Hospital after a brief illness.
She was 90.
Mrs. Crutcher was born in Lexington on April 18, 1918, one of four children of Louis Edward Hillenmeyer and Anna Bain Hillenmeyer.
Her father operated Hillenmeyer Nursery, one of the Lexington's oldest businesses, so it was only natural that she should become an avid gardener, said her son, Daniel Crutcher.
"Her love of gardening was perhaps the one thread that ran all through her life," Daniel Crutcher said.
Mrs. Crutcher tended a garden at her home for most of her life, and was a member and past president of the Garden Club of Lexington. She was active in maintaining and expanding the gardens at Ashland, the Henry Clay estate, and at one point held a post in the Garden Club of America, her son said.
Her other passion was historic preservation. She was a past president of the Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation, and she was deeply involved in the campaign to save and restore the Hunt Morgan House and in the restoration of Pope Villa in Lexington. She also joined in the earliest efforts to preserve and restore the West Short Street area.
Her marriage to Dr. Richard Redd Crutcher, a prominent Lexington physician, led to her interest in improving medical care. She was a founding member of the St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary.
She was a past president of the Lexington Junior League and a member of the Idle Hour Country Club.
Mrs. Crutcher is survived by her husband; three sons, Richard R. Crutcher III, David C. Crutcher and Daniel L. Crutcher; and two daughters, Ann Evans Greely and Dorothy M. Cordray.
Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.
Kerr Brothers Funeral Home is in charge.