Dorothy June (Penn) Gilbertson passed away on Sunday, May 7th at the age of 100 after a very brief illness, under the care of St. Croix Hospice.
Dorothy was born on January 10, 1923 in Appleton WI to Leo and Anna (Zak) Penn. At a very early age she and her family moved to Fairbanks, AK where her father was an electrician. The family moved to Ashland, WI-her parents’ hometown-where she received her elementary through high school education. She graduated with the Ashland High School class of 1940, and from Northland College (also in Ashland) as a member of the class of 1944. She moved to Detroit after college and worked as a bank teller for a number of years. She then worked as a secretary for Dr. Leonard Haas at the Wisconsin State Teacher’s College (U.W.E.C.) where she met her husband, Lester Gilbertson who was a teacher of English there. They were married on April 7, 1956. She became a stay at home mom upon the birth of their son Paul and daughter Kay. Dorothy was active in her children’s education, serving as a den mother in Cub Scouts, a Brownie leader, and room mother for her children at Boyd school. She, along with her husband, followed their children’s activities all through their educational experiences from grade school through University, attending concerts and plays and other events.
Dorothy was an active member of Plymouth United Church of Christ where she sang in the choir, was a member of the Artisans circle, and participated in the church bazaars, luncheons, and thrift sales. She also looked forward to helping decorate the church for the various seasons.
Dorothy was a volunteer for many years at Luther Hospital (Mayo Clinic), a long standing member of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Northland College Alumni Association, and enjoyed crafting, card playing, reading (nothing better than a good murder mystery!), word games, and puzzles, but most of all she loved quilting. She was a member of many quilt groups through the years, but was most fond of the Plymouth U.C.C. quilt group that she belonged to for 20+ years. Her last outing was to the weekly quilt group gathering at Plymouth less than a week before her death.
Dorothy is survived by her son Paul (Gay), son in law George (Sue Falch) Stecher, grandchildren Joseph (Emily), Steven (Heather), Matthew (fiancée Savannah Peterson), and John Stecher. She is further survived by great-grandchildren Graham, Maren, and Tate Gilbertson, nieces Ruth Anne Lauson (John), Kathy Tanner, Beth Angle, Karen Windorff (Jim), and nephew, Rick Penn (Jan), cousins and many friends. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, husband Lester, daughter Kay Stecher, brother John (Jack) Penn and his wife Ann, brother and sister in law Donald and Lorraine Gilbertson, and niece Dianne Jones.
Funeral services for Dorothy will be held at Plymouth United Church of Christ, 2010 Moholt Dr. Eau Claire, WI, on Saturday, May 13th at 11:00 a.m. with visitation two hours prior to the time of services. Burial will be at Prairie View cemetery in the village of Lake Hallie.
The family would like to thank the staff at Heritage Assisted Living for their care and compassion shown to mom over the years she resided there, to the many members of the Mayo Clinic health team that looked after her medical needs through the years, her Plymouth Church family, and to all those who were there for her when she needed them.
Memorials may be directed to Plymouth United Church of Christ or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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