Karl Michael Dotzel passed away Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, after a brief hospitalization at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, New York City. He was 80 years old.
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Karl was born at home in the Georgetown section of Wilkes-Barre to George Nicholas and Angela Geffert Dotzel. He grew up in a lively household with five brothers, George, Fred, Joe, Norbert and Phillip. He attended St. Joseph's grade school and St. Mary's High School. During his adolescence, his parents purchased a large farm in Mountain Top, where Karl spent summers with his brothers refurbishing the buildings, hunting and fishing, and building a family bond that would last into their old age.
His education was punctuated by a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Miller as a radarman first class. He was discharged honorably in 1956 and attended King's College, Wilkes-Barre, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education in 1960.
He began his career teaching language arts and German at Greenbrook Elementary School, Greenbrook, N.J.
After a brief and dazzlingly romantic courtship, he married the love of his life, Mary Therese Baloga, at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Wilkes-Barre, on July 22, 1961. They settled in a tiny apartment in Plainfield, N.J., where they started their family. Karl continued his teaching career at Florence Gaudineer Middle School, Springfield, N.J., and was also a reference librarian at Springfield Public Library. As the Dotzel family grew with the birth of four daughters and two sons, they relocated to Piscataway and then to Whitehouse Station, where they lived for 38 years and were blessed by the addition of four sons-in-law, 13 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. The family has remained close and united over the years, spending many vacations and celebrations together and supporting each other's needs.
Karl is survived by his precious wife, Terri, whom he called his "next breath"; by his daughters, Carolyn and her husband, Tom Moore, Whitehouse, N.J.; Maria Lynne and her husband, David Seldow, Phillipsburg, N.J.; Suzanne and her husband, Mark Horvath, White Township, N.J.; and Andrea and her husband, Edward Patrick Jr., White Haven; by their grandchildren, Jessica and her husband, Nate, Julianne and her husband, Kyle, James, Peter, Monica, Carly, Mark, David, Lauren, Patrick, Sarah, Edward and Grace; and their great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Noah and Eleanor.
Their sons, Karl and Patrick, who died in infancy, escorted their beloved father to the throne of God.
Karl will be waked at Kearns Funeral Home, 103 Old Highway 28, Whitehouse, N.J., from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday. The family welcomes all those who loved Karl to join them for this special celebration of his life. His funeral Mass will be offered at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Whitehouse Station, N.J., at 9:30 a.m. Monday.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Karl's honor to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Department 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142, or www.stjude.org.
For more information or to send condolences please visit www.kearnsfuneralhome.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice on Nov. 17, 2012