Thelma Joan Augusta Kaesmeyer

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Thelma Joan Augusta

Thelma Joan Augusta Schlutz was born in Hersey, Wisconsin on April 11, 1931 to Rev. Ernest and Thelma Schlutz, the eldest of three children.  She joined her Savior Jesus on February 6, 2021 at her daughter’s home in Mukwonago, Wisconsin.

“Dots” as she was known by all, lived with her family in St. Paul, Minnesota where she grew up learning from her pastor and parents about the saving grace of her Lord Jesus.  Skipping 3 years of schooling, she attended South St. Paul High School graduating at the age of 16 before moving on to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.  She graduated with a degree in music in 1950 at the age of 19.

While teaching piano at Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN she met Harris Kaesmeyer where “Kaese” was serving as tutor and assistant instructor.  Kaese and Dots were married on July 12, 1953 with Dot’s father Ernest officiating.  The adventurous couple spent their honeymoon at Glacier National Park in Montana.

The newlyweds continued their journey together in Palos Heights, IL where Kaese served as pastor at Palos Lutheran Church.  Dots put her musical talent to use giving piano lessons in her home while raising 2 daughters.

In 1956, Kaese accepted a Call to Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, MI while Dots enjoyed teaching piano lessons, planting multiple flower and vegetable gardens, refinishing old furniture and raising an additional 4 sons.  After living in Germany from 1990 -1992, the couple moved to Frankenmuth, MI until Dots eventually moved to Muskego, WI in 2012.

The couple was blessed with six children and when the opportunity arose, Kaese and Dots traveled to Israel, Germany, and other western European countries.

Her love for Jesus flowed out generously to her children who were always keeping her on her toes as they grew up.

Dots is survived by her brother Greg (Longmont, CO); sister Gretchen (Calgary, Alberta); and five children: Rachel (Keith) Free of Mukwonago, WI; Jim (Shirley) of Longmont, CO; Dan (Susan) of Danville, VA; John of Waukesha, WI; and Mark (Alane) of Coon Rapids, MN.  Also surviving are her 10 grandchildren Joshua (Joanna), Caleb (Kristin), Micah, Sarah, Lydia, Luke (Kayla), Tessa, Jared, Clara, and Aubrey.  Also surviving are her beloved 6 great-grandchildren.

Dots was preceded in death by her husband Kaese, parents and daughter Susan whom she cared for through 6 bouts of cancer.

Dot’s will be laid to rest at Good Hope Cemetery in Greenfield, WI to await the resurrection of all those whose hope is in the LORD.  A celebration of her life will be held by her family and friends at a later date yet to be determined.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials may be giving in loving memory of Dots to support the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod’s Home and World Missions or to another worthy charity.

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” – John 5:24


  1. Bonnie Williams McKenney Gish February 6, 2021 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    I will always treasure how kind And encouraging Dots was to me during my years at Sem. Singing with Sue was such fun, and Dots Was always supportive. I’ve had a chance to visit through the years since then and was always impressed by her warm hospitality. I have modeled myself after her example in many ways and loved her very much. I look forward to seeing her again in Heaven.

  2. Susan (Bren) Hellmann February 7, 2021 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    My thoughts are with the entire Kaesmeyer family, whose family worshipped with us at Bethany Lutheran in Saginaw and also were our classmates, teammates and walking to school companions when we all attended St Paul’s Lutheran and Michigan Lutheran Seminary. I’m thankful I was able to reconnect with Dots in Frankenmuth before she moved away. A beautiful and Godly woman, the most engaging laugh and so many talents. Her spirit will live on in the lives of her children, grandchildren and greatgrands. I’m focusing on the joyful reunion she’s having in Heaven and the Angel Choir she has joined. My prayers are with you all for God’s peace which passes our understanding. My love to you all.

  3. Amy Halloran employee at Tudor Oaks February 8, 2021 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Many staff were very suprised to learn of Thelma’s passing including myself. I am very sorry for your loss. Thelma was such a sweet lady! I am glad to know that I will see her again in heaven!

  4. Sue Holtz-Flynn February 13, 2021 at 1:13 am - Reply

    To the entire Kaesmeyer family,my deepest sympathy. I got to know your wonderful fearful mother by being good friends with your sister Sue. She was so sweet and kind that I grew her like a second mom. She was a shining example of a great mom,the way she stood by Sues side through all of her illnesses and surgeries. She was amazing. I once told her that if I hadn’t had the wonderful mom that I had, I would have chosen her as my mom. May God comfort you all, as only he can. And may you rejoice,through tears of sadness,that she is home now with your dad and Sue.

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