Dorothy Marie Kerl, 90, of rural Hiawatha, surrounded by her family, passed away Wednesday evening, October 18, 2017, at Falls City Nursing and Rehabilitation. She was born at Table Rock, NE, Aug. 13, 1927, one of five children born to the late John and Edna Branek Findlay and grew up in the Table Rock-Humbolt area where she attended schools, later graduating from Humbolt High School where she received normal training that qualified her to teach school.
She loved teaching in the one room country schools, which she did prior to being married. Dorothy was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church at Falls City, and of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Church. She had served as president and held various offices through the years of the ladies auxiliary to Homer-White Post #66, Hiawatha American Legion. During the younger years of her children, she was involved in the 4H Program. She enjoyed sewing, and dearly loved spending time with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was always kind and forgiving and so proud of the grandchildren who made it in the Army.
She was the true matriarch of Kerl Green Valley Dairy. Their dairy was voted “Farm Family of the Year” in 1972. She met Claude L. Kerl while home on furlough from the Army. They married following his discharge Aug. 10, 1947 at the Dawson Methodist Church. They farmed with his parents before starting their own farming operation. They farmed near Oneida, KS, Falls City, and were partners in a dairy operation near Baker, KS. They purchased their farm and built a Grade A Dairy in 1960, north of Hiawatha. She truly loved the farm and was involved with the daily milking, chores, driving tractors, haying…whatever needed to be done, she did. He died March 17, 2006.
Survivors include a daughter, Marilyn Montgomery (Bruce); two sons, Donald Kerl, David Kerl; daughter in law, Sharon Kerl; six grandchildren: Michelle Richbourg, Jennifer and Nathan Schutte, Heather and Alex Evert, Mark and Jacquelyn Kerl, Wyatt and Alison Kerl, Meshach and Lauren Casey; 14 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter on the way. Dorothy was also preceded in death a daughter in law, Jeannie Kerl; by two brothers: Harlan Findlay, Merrill Findlay, two sisters: Kathryn Findlay in infancy, and Edna Waniska.
Cremation is planned with a memorial Celebration of Life Service planned for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 24, at First Presbyterian Church in Falls City, Nebraska, with Reverend Nancy Tuma officiating. Private family inurnment will be at Corneilson Cemetery, east of Reserve.
The family will meet with friends from 6 until 7:30 Monday evening at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, Hiawatha. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Brown County Veterans Honor Guard or Corneilson Cemetery, sent in care of the funeral home.