Dorothy Erusha Votroubek
Dorothy Erusha Votroubek, 99, said goodbye on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, just three months shy of her 100th birthday. Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids. A visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, at Brosh Chapel & The Avacentre, located at 2121 Bowling St. SW in Cedar Rapids.
Dorothy always was feisty. She never was at a loss of opinion, and if the bottoms of your kolaches weren't properly browned you heard about it. Her father's advice became hers: "Remember I know more about being young than you do about being old." She always had time for cooking and fun whether with her children and grandchildren, with the GNO (Girls Night Out group) or at their summer home in the Lake of the Ozarks, where there always was food and drink, no matter who stopped in for a visit.
She was nicknamed "Grasshopper" when she was little because she could jump off of anything and over anybody. Maybe it was those early aerial efforts that had her always wishing she could fly. She dreamed flying dreams and she finally flew twice, at 80 and 85, in a giant balloon over her beloved Iowa farm landscape.
She was born to John and Barbara Svoboda Erusha on New Year's Eve 1919 on the farm in rural Amana, Iowa, and never fell out of love with farm life. At 4, she put up such a fuss as the youngest child that the local teacher had her mother send her to school. Because of her early start, Dorothy graduated from high school when she was only 16 and attended Iowa State Teacher's College, where she received her teaching certificate and went on to teach in a Johnson County one-room schoolhouse and in Norway, Iowa, for eight years. She was a beloved teacher, playing ball with her kids, making lunches, stoking the fire, making home visits and carrying water in addition to educating them. Many of her students have kept in touch with her.
She set her sights on Emil Votroubek during her school days and married him on June 18, 1940, at Holy Trinity Church in Walford, Iowa. They farmed, she taught and was active in Farm Bureau and 4-H in Iowa County until 1947 when they moved to Cedar Rapids. There, Dorothy and Emil raised three children and she immersed herself in community volunteer work: making hot lunches for All Saints School, leading Camp Fire and Blue Bird groups, volunteering with Tuesday Evening Optimists, serving as PTA president. It was said that Dorothy could sell ice to Eskimos, and she proved it by working in both the toy and fur departments at Armstrong's Department Store and later for the Oster Corp. as its local consumer education specialist. She loved an audience, and they loved her.
Dorothy had a habit of just hanging up the phone and not saying "Goodbye." So now it seems appropriate that she has left saying "Goodbye" in her own way and leaving a legacy of her love for family and friends.
She is survived by her children, Janelle (George) Votroubek McClain, Mark (Wendy) Votroubek and Gerilyn (Jim) Votroubek Stewart; grandchildren, Yara (Joe) Conway, Logan (Rebecca) McClain, Quinton (Ana) McClain, Brent (Carissa) Votroubek, Spencer (Melissa) Votroubek, Kara Stewart (Adam Jesse), Blake Stewart, Josh (Priscilla) Boyle and Jessica Boyle (Nolan Roberts); and great-grandchildren, Owen, Ethan, Clayton, Hans, Maxwell, Aldo, Karra, Kaydence, Calvin, Ezra, Zoe, and Maddox.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Emil, in 2011; her parents and all five of her siblings.
"In the dreams of her childhood, Dorothy
flew. She flew to escape earthly
problems and she flew to see the world
through the eyes of birds. No plane
could replicate the freedom of her
dreams. Childhood dreams in which she
spread her arms like wings and soared
effortlessly above the ground."
by Quinton McClain
Memorials may be directed to National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.brosh chapel.com.