Family Login:

Dorothy G. Schwertfeger

Obituary for Dorothy G. Schwertfeger

February 26, 1923 - September 27, 2019
Horicon, Wisconsin | Age 96


Dorothy Grace Schwertfeger, 96, departed this life peacefully on September 27, 2019. She was the youngest child of Reverend Frederick August Schwertfeger and Selma (Hanser) Schwertfeger. She was born at the parsonage in Golden Lake, WI on February 26, 1923. Her family moved to Horicon in 1924 when her father began his forty-year pastorate at St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church.

After graduation from Horicon High School in 1941, Dorothy began her career with the U.S. Department of State. She served over six decades with the Foreign Service and was stationed in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Dorothy's first and favorite posting was in London shortly after the war, where she made many friends among American embassy and British officials.

During Dorothy's diplomatic career she encountered world leaders we now read about in history books. In Tehran she met the Shah of Iran and in Taiwan she was friendly with the wife of Chiang Kai-Shek who lived on the same mountainside near Taipei.

Her father and other family members visited Dorothy in Madrid in the 1960s. She collected copperware and Spanish Majolica pottery that were displayed in her villa on the Mediterranean. Dorothy also collected various artifacts from New Delhi, India, and paintings from Kinshasa, Congo, during her time in those countries. Dorothy thoroughly enjoyed living in these exotic cultures.

During the evacuation of Cambodia in 1975, Dorothy and the U.S. Ambassador were among the last of the embassy officials to be helicoptered out of the country before diplomatic relations were severed between the two countries.

In the 1990s, her career brought her back to Washington D.C. where she lived in a flat on Washington Circle until she retired. Later Dorothy was asked to come out of retirement to share her expertise with State Department officials during the second Iraq War.

Eventually, Dorothy retired to her hometown of Horicon and lived with her dear sister, Esther. They shared many fond memories of their worldwide travels together and continued to take periodic overseas trips with family members until Esther's death in 2011.

In recent years Dorothy was blessed to have a team of devoted caregivers who enabled her to live at home in Horicon even as her health declined. The family is grateful for the dedicated service these Christian women and men provided for the past half dozen years to make her life in Horicon enjoyable. A sincere thank you to Team Dorothy members: Annie, Bonnie, Carolyn (lead), Cindy, Darlene, Jayne, Jolene, Jonathan, Kayla, Kelly, Tina, Ya-Fen, and Yvonne.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, brother Frederick R. Schwertfeger and his wife Adeline, sister Esther Doughty Luckhardt and her husband Lyle Doughty, brother Harold A. Schwertfeger and his wife Mildred, brother-in-law Curt Williams, and niece Kay Williams.

Dorothy is survived by her sister Selma Williams of Mequon, and her children Heidi (Scott) Egelhoff and Mike (Catherine) Williams; Frederick's children Fred (Ruth) Schwertfeger, Jane (Tom) Triller, and Gail (Bob) Schwertfeger Jones; Esther's children Tom (Shirley) Doughty, Mary Doughty, and Patricia (late John) Doughty Shabaz; Harold's children Ron (Mary) Schwertfeger, Jim (Kathie) Schwertfeger, Tina (Jay) Hintze, and Adele (Steve) Burke-Kaney. She is further survived by other relatives and friends.

Dorothy expressed faith in Jesus Christ, and she was a loyal member of her church. Visitation will be at St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church in Horicon on Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. Funeral services will follow at church beginning at 1 p.m. with the Rev. Jonathan Szczesny officiating. Memorials may be given to St. Stephen Lutheran Church or the Dodge County Humane Society.

Recommended Local Florist

Arrangements By