Dorothy "Dottie" Helmrich
Dorothy "Dottie" Helmrich passed on Oct. 20, 2020, at age 91, in Manchester, Iowa.
Dottie was born to Edna and Henry Clemen of Dyersville. Iowa. In 1949 she married Merle "Casey" Helmrich; they were married for 43 years until Casey's passing in 1992. With their 10 children they farmed many farms in Delaware County until they purchased a farm north of Robinson, Iowa, where two of their sons still live.
Dottie was a woman of faith, a great card player, good at Scrabble, skilled at jigsaw puzzles and a self-described crossword puzzle addict. She loved having company over and was incredibly proud to host an annual Christmas event for family and friends that often numbered in the hundreds.
Dottie was an active member of St Patrick's Catholic Church in Ryan, Iowa, from 1962 until 1995, when she moved to Manchester and became a member at St. Mary's Church. She taught CCD classes at St Patrick's in Ryan & St. Paul's School of Religion in Manchester. Dottie taught at St Paul's for 18 years. She "found a home" there. She worked on 20 CEWs (adult retreats) and six TECs (teenage retreats) and became a Franciscan associate.
Dottie was preceded in death by her husband, Casey; a grandson, Jarod; sister, Mary, and Mary's husband Herman Helmrichs; brother, Bob Clemen, and Bob's wife Helen; sister, Thresa Pape; and her brother, Ken Clemen. Also preceding her in death were her brother-in-law, Bob Helmrich, and Bob's wife Norma; her sister-in-law, Doris, and Doris' husband, Dale Petlon; sister-in-law, Dorothy, and Dorothy's husband, Dean Manson; her sister-in-law, Hazel Coleman; her sister Bett's husband, Bob Fessler; her sister Darlene's husband, Sal Kafer; and ex-sister-in-law, Gloria Clemen. She lost her dear neighbor, Bill, a good friend to her after moving into town. She lost too many friends to count over the years.
She is survived by her sister-in-law, Joann Harris; sisters, Bett Fessler, Darlene Kafer and Jean and her husband Roger Palmer; Dick Clemen and his wife, Mary; and her brother, Chuck.
All of her 10 children survive Dottie. They are David (and Linda, ex-Mary) of Villa Park, Ill., Daniel (and ex-Jean, ex-Kay) of Dallas, Texas, Stephen (and Deb) of Columbus, Ohio, Randy (Louise, ex-Patty) of Robinson, Iowa, Julie (Lisa) of Milwaukee, Wis., Joni (Ronnie) of Mount Vernon, Iowa, Thresa (Rod) of Cascade, Iowa, Tony (Joellyn) of Robinson, Iowa, Barb (ex-Ronnie) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Jeanne (Gary) Taylor of Glen Ellyn, Ill.
Additionally, Dottie is survived by her 27 grandchildren: Dave's four children, Jenny, Sarah, Marc and Joe; Dan's three children, Leigh, Cory and Jason; Stephen's three children, Steve, Jessica and Amanda; Randy's two children, Brenda and September; Joni's two children, Rachel and Adam; Thresa's two children, Andrew and Beth; Tony's four children, Rick, Justin, Aaron and Heather; Barb's three children, Jenna, Casey and Keegan; and Jeanne's four children, Hannah, Holly, Emma and Michael. Dottie is survived by 31 great-grandchildren.
Dottie lived a life of connection. To her family. To her friends. To her neighbors. To her colleagues. And in the end, to the staff and her fellow residents at the Good Neighbor Society.
A private Mass and internment will be held just for Dottie's 10 children.
On Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home and Crematory, 1500 N. Franklin, Manchester, Iowa, from 1 to 3 p.m. there will be an in-person memorial service (masks required). The priest will speak at 2:50 p.m. From 4 to 6 p.m. there will be a virtual memorial service. A registration link is available from family members.