On Saturday, February 20, 2021, our family lost a precious and much-loved member, our Mother, Dorothy Jean Smith Menk.
Dorothy was born on July 18, 1929, to Irma Anne Mace and Donald Smith. She was the youngest of 8 children. Dorothy was raised in Redwood Falls where she graduated from Redwood Falls High School. After graduation, she attended Johnson Academy of Beauty Culture in Mankato.
On September 9, 1948 she married her soulmate, Dale E. Menk. Dorothy enjoyed a variety of jobs, the most important one being a mother to 4 active children. Dorothy worked at Control Data in Redwood Falls. She became an expert at fine welding. Because of her expertise, Dorothy was selected to do the welding on an electrical harness that was sent into space. She was employed as an Educational Assistant by Cedar Mountain School District until her retirement in 1998. Upon retirement, Dorothy continued with her work at Cedar Mountain as a substitute EA until she moved to Winona, MN.
Mom found time to be an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Morgan as a Sunday School teacher, singing in the choir and quilting. After moving to Winona, Dorothy enjoyed volunteering at Central Lutheran Church. Dorothy was an active member of the VFW serving in many capacities: President of the Sherman Bohn VFW Auxiliary, District VFW President, Poppy Department Chair, National Home Chair, and Historian for the local VFW.
During her 91years and 7 months, Mom saw history made; marvelous strides in the medical field, and wondrous technical innovations that made life better. But to her, these were just things, to her family was more important. Dorothy enjoyed traveling, visiting with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Dorothy left a great legacy for her family in her beautiful china and porcelain paintings as well as the Christmas ornaments she gifted to her great-grandchildren.
Dorothy is survived by her children, Edwin (Sue) Menk, Marilee (David) Fish, Trudi (Mark) Ewing, and Larry (Sandi) Menk. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband (Dale), twin daughters (Bernadette and Bernadine), granddaughter (Jessica Ewing), Dorothy’s parents and her 7 brothers and sisters.
Mom will always be near and dear to us both in our memories and our hearts. Dorothy truly left a positive mark on her world! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn our loss.
A celebration of life will be held on July 17 at 11 am in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Morgan, MN. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to your favorite charity.
Arrangements are with Nelson-Hillestad Funeral Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via www.nelson-hillestad.com.
Blessed be her memory.