Dorothy E. Kielley was a loving and sincere woman. She cared for her family and was supported by her faith. Like many of her generation who weathered war and economic depression, Dorothy was strong in character and resilient in spirit.
Dorothy was born to Paul and June (Sisson) Morse in Stanley, Wisconsin on January 17, 1929, months before the U.S. stock market crashed. Countries around the world experienced long years of scarcity, and Americans learned to live frugally and rely on core values of hard work and family loyalty. Farm families like the Morses fared somewhat better because they were self-sufficient enough to always provide the basics of life.
Dorothy was the second of three children—older sister Bea and younger brother Gene—growing up on the farm. Dorothy was a typical farm girl, helping her mom in the kitchen and doing her share of chores. In 1941, the family moved to Portland, Oregon but returned to Stanley when Dorothy was 17, in time for her to graduate from her home town high school.
Dorothy always enjoyed dancing, so it was fitting that she met her future husband on the dance floor. One fateful evening, Richard Kielley and Dorothy showed up at the Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It turned out to be the beginning of a romance that blossomed into love and commitment. Dorothy and Richard were married by a Justice of the Peace in Milwaukee in 1949.
Dorothy and Richard were blessed with four children—Richard, Steve, James and Linda—but deeply saddened when their son James died at 4 months of age. With courage and support, Dorothy and Richard continued to pour their lives into their family. They moved to Oak Creek, where Dorothy remained at home to provide a loving but firm environment in which her children could thrive.
As a family, the Kielleys took many camping trips to Wisconsin Dells or to Florida and California. Every year they vacationed near water, and for Dorothy it didn’t matter if the water was in the ocean, a lake, pool or hot tub. She just loved the water. Little wonder that one of the most memorable trips of her life was to Hawaii where she and Richard spent their 25th wedding anniversary. The two of them had nine more years together before Richard died in 1983.
Living on her own, Dorothy still enjoyed life, whether going dancing with friends or staying home to listen to Lawrence Welk. Some lovely memories began to fade with the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, but the joys of family life and friends were as pleasant as Dorothy’s favorite color pink.
Dorothy E. Kielley (nee Morse) of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, died Monday, March 3, 2014 at the age of 85. Dorothy is survived by her children, Richard (Elizabeth) Kielley, Steven (Lisa) Kielley, and Linda (Christopher) Stepanovich; grandchildren, Sharyl (Keith) Lasanske, Michael (Donna) Kielley, Jason (Rebecca) Kielley, and Amy Kielley; brother Gene Morse; sister, Bea Hess; 10 great grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends. Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Richard and infant son James.
Visitation will be held on Thursday March 6, 2014 at Abundant Life Church, 995 South Sawyer Road, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 from 5:00 p.m. until time of service at 7:00 p.m. Private interment will be at Forest Hill Memorial Park, Oak Creek, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Abundant Life Church.
Thank you to Season’s Hospice for the excellent care, and all the caregivers who provided loving care over the last few years.
Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes. Niemann / Suminski (414) 744-5156