Dorothea Eudora, or Dot as she came to be called, was born on November 19, 1915, to proud parents Milo Everett and Dora L. (Bernhardt) Winkie. Dot was an only child, and grew up in the Shorewood area of Wisconsin. She attended Ring Street School for grade school, and then went on to Riverside High School of Milwaukee.
After her high school graduation in 1932, Dot was accepted at Milwaukee State Teacher’s College (later UW-Milwaukee). While at Milwaukee State, Dot discovered what would be a lifelong passion for botany. She became fascinated by non-flowering plants, and especially the Gingko tree. She graduated in 1935, and went on to study medical technology at Marquette University. This degree was completed in 1937, and Dot found a position at Mt. Sinai Hospital as a medical technologist. She also worked for Milwaukee County for a time, in the health department, the county hospital E.R., and the pathology department.
While at Marquette, Dot met Joseph George Halser Jr., who was attending Marquette medical school. Dot and Joseph started dating, and soon fell in love. The happy couple was married on October 22, 1940, after Joseph’s graduation from medical school. Dot and Joseph moved into a home on S. Kinnickinnic Ave, with the intent to purchase the property and take over the medical practice of Doctor Thompson, who was living and practicing there at the time. With her background in medical technology, Dot easily stepped into the role of office manager for Joseph’s practice.
They had barely settled in, however, before World War II broke out in 1941. In post-war years, Dot often spoke of the demands of serving the war on the home front, dealing with the illness of her husband, and trying to build the business of the medical practice and family. The long hours of work and difficult working conditions surely had much to do with determining Dot’s personality. She was a hard worker, and continued her work at Milwaukee County Pathology Department through the first few months of her first pregnancy. Starting in 1942, Dot and Joseph were blessed with three children, whom they named Joseph III, Robert, and William.
The 1950’s and 1960’s were good years for Dot and her family. Dot and Joseph purchased a cottage in Bayfield County, and the family spent a week of vacation and work there each summer. With the help of her mother Dora, and thanks to a generally more prosperous period in America’s history, Dot was able to pursue some of her long time interests. Even before moving into the house in Bay View, she had had an interest in the Gingko tree, the history of its extinction in the new world, and its reintroduction from Asia. There were three mature gingko trees on the property, and this led to the ability to reproduce the trees. Dot gave away many seeds and seedlings, so much so that at one point she was known as “the Gingko Lady”! Many of the gingko trees were reintroduced from Japan, which led to Dot’s interest in the history and culture of that country. On August 2, 1970, she was featured in an article about the gingko tree in the Milwaukee Journal. In her free time, Dot enjoyed collecting a variety of items, including books, handkerchiefs, postage stamps, and items with mushroom patterns.
Dot’s beloved husband Joseph passed away in 1994. Dot continued to live in the house at 2445 South Kinnickinnic Ave until 2008, when she moved to 5922 South Howell Avenue. In May of 2009, she became a resident at Elizabeth Residence in Franklin, where she would spend her final years.
Intelligent, hard-working, and kind-hearted, Dot was a devoted wife, a loving mother and grandmother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many friends and family members.
Dorothea Eudora “Dot” Halser died on October 2, 2012, at the age of 96. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dr. Joseph G. Halser Jr., M.D.; and her son, William Halser. Dot is survived by her sons, Joseph G., III (Marilyn) Halser and Robert Halser; her daughter-in-law, Susan Halser; her grandchildren, Joseph G., IV (Wendy) Halser, Jeffery (Heather) Halser, James (Jennifer) Halser, Michael Halser, Jennifer (Michael) Gregor, Katherine (Jacob) Allen and David (Kendra) Halser; ten great-grandchildren; other relatives; and friends.
Private services were held. If desired, memorials to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center or Wheaton Franciscan St. Francis Hospital are appreciated. The family has been served by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, 414-744-5156. Please visit Dot’s personal memory page at www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com, where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.
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