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Mary Dorchester

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Mary Dorchester Obituary
Dorchester, Mary F.

Mary Frances (Bartels) Dorchester gracefully passed away in her home in the presence of her loving family on December 7, 2012.

Born in Janesville, WI, April 16, 1940, Mary graduated from Janesville Craig High School in 1958, and attended Lawrence University before transferring and graduating from UW-Madison in 1962. She moved west to teach elementary school near Denver, CO and continued teaching near Milwaukee after moving back to Wisconsin. In 1965, she married the love of her life, Philip Dorchester, and together they started a family in Delafield, WI. Over the years they lived in Atlanta, GA, De Pere, WI, Waukesha, WI, and finally back in Green Bay, WI.

As a member of the United Methodist Church, Mary involved herself wholeheartedly with charitable works, particularly through the United Methodist Women organization, from which she received two lifetime membership pins (in both Waukesha and Green Bay) to honor her outstanding service to the church. With patience and compassion, Mary worked as a substitute teacher for children with special needs at Syble Hopp School in De Pere as well as in other special needs classrooms around Green Bay. She took great joy in helping Hmong families become acclimated in WI, and obtained her ESL certification at UWGB to teach ESL in the Hmong community and also at the Waukesha Area Technical College. Family was most important to Mary and she cherished her roles as a homemaker and caring for her grandchildren after school and in summer. Spending time with loved ones at the family's cabin near Little Sturgeon was always her favorite getaway.

Mary is survived by her loving husband of 47 years, Philip Dorchester; children Steven (Kim) Dorchester and Joel (Amy) Dorchester; grandchildren Sam and James Dorchester, and Kim's children Corinne, Penn, and Ivy Kate Klein; brother John (Gail) Bartels; brother-in-law Ashley Nicholson; sister-in-law Judy Dorchester; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Winifred (Kyler) Bartels; father, George Bartels; father-in-law/mother-in-law, Daniel & Marie Dorchester; sisters-in-law, Justine Dorchester and Janet Nicholson; brother-in-law Daniel Dorchester.

A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, teacher, and friend to all, Mary's warm and nurturing soul made her a natural caregiver. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.

Friends and family may call from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 12, at First United Methodist Church, 501 Howe St. Memorial service will be at 2:30 p.m. with Rev. Dave Wilkinson officiating. Online condolences may be expressed at

The family would like to extend special thanks to the staff at Unity Hospice for their gracious care and members of the First United Methodist Church for their thoughtful outreach and support.

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Dec. 10 to Dec. 11, 2012
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