With the spirit of Christmas all around, Dorothy Mae (Rodencal) Kafer was born on December 21, 1935 to Mae (Radliff) and Ed Rodencal in Berlin, WI. A true gift to this world, she was called to her eternal home and loving Lord on Saturday, May 18, 2019 while at home in her beloved "Old Red Brick".
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She was raised in Berlin and graduated from Berlin High School with the class of 1954. During this time, she worked at the dairy bar downtown, the A&W stand and at the Rex Movie Theatre. When she was a senior, Harry Kujawa stopped her in front of Farmers & Merchants Bank and offered her a job. He was a customer at the A&W and was impressed with her work. "Mr. Kujawa was such a nice, kind man. I thought he walked on water." She ended up working at the bank for three years.
During high school, Dorothy played piano for the Berlin High School dance band known as the "Midnight Twelve" where there was a senior saxophone player in the band by the name of George Kafer. The two became very close like brother/sister and were best friends during her high school years. George went into the Navy on a flip of a coin after graduation. Dorothy was a faithful correspondent and they continued to maintain their special bond. When George returned home from the service, they both knew that they were each other's "one" and they were married by candlelight at the Grace Evangelical Church in Berlin on December 29, 1956. Together they would move to the Kafer family farm and raise their family.
God blessed them with seven wonderful children. Peggy Lou (Jim) Hendricks of Eureka, George Edward (Gwen) Kafer of Coleman, Kathy Sue Kafer (in heaven), Michael Paul (Florence) Kafer of Eureka, Christopher John (Gina) Kafer of Ripon, Patrick Leonard (Stacy) Kafer of Eureka & Polly Anna Kafer of Eureka. The children went on to bless her with 15 grandchildren - Zac, Abby Mae and Karl Hendricks, George J. (Cassandra) and Travis E. Kafer, Shae (Aaron) Oetken, Destiny (Joshua) Pavlak and Chelsey Kafer, Kyle, Jacob and Karlee Kafer, Kaleb Ray Kafer, Billie Jo Basler (Christopher), Richard M. Westenberger II, Paul and Amber (Dan) Clabots. 18 great grandchildren - Cole, Micah, Day, Alianna & Aspen Mae Hendricks, Kamren Hayes, Kallie, Makayla & George S. Kafer, Ezra & Faith Oetken, Elijah Kafer, Rex & Justus Goldapske, Myra Westenberger, Christian, Cadence & Draven and one great-great grandchild - Oaklyn Mae Hendricks.
Along with her family, she is survived by brother-in-law Leonard (Paula) Kafer, nieces and nephews.
When she entered the gates of heaven, she was greeted by her husband - George F. Kafer, Mother & Daddy (Ed and Mae Rodencal), brothers and sisters-in-law Freddy & Erma, Earl & Nonie Rodencal, daughter Kathy Sue, brother-in-law Kenneth Kafer, great grandchild Ricky Westenberger and many beloved aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces & friends. What a joyous reunion!
She was blessed to be the organist at Eureka United Methodist church for 61 years where she loved serving the Lord also with Ladies Aid, VBS, Jr. Choir director and Sunday School teacher.
In later years, Dorothy began attending the Senior Center in Berlin and was a natural to lead the "Berlin Senior Singers". She followed her mother's footsteps as being known as the "Sunshine Lady". They would go to different nursing homes or assisted living facilities in the area and together turn sad faces into smiles with their music and jokes! Being part of this group was one of her greatest joys.
She never took for granted the many years George and she were able to make memories with cherished friends at Antique Thresherees, Navy reunions and their many travels.
She enjoyed being the Town of Rushford election greeter, painting, sitting on her porch, being at the river, daily devotions, reading while savoring the sunshine, the bird's music, the flowers fragrances, gentle wind blowing her chimes and visits from loved ones.
Dorothy loved the Lord with all her heart, always thanking God for all her blessings and giving all the praise and glory to HIM!
There will be a celebration of her life at Eureka Church with visitation on Tuesday, June 4th from 4-7 pm, 10-noon on June 5th with service at noon. Interment at Eureka Cemetery and fellowship with lunch to follow.
A special thank you to the Visiting Angels, especially Louise, Lydia, Caitlin, Katie & Jamie along with the countless others with their prayers, love and thoughtfulness.
Life is a journey taken on a train
With you and I as passengers traveling down life's lane.
The journey is a short one, though it doesn't seem that way.
So live each day as if it were your last, as you travel life day by day.
Dorothy Rodencal, 1947 (7th/8th grade)