Cover photo for Dorothy Joan Sturtz's Obituary
Dorothy Joan Sturtz Profile Photo
1930 Dorothy 2018

Dorothy Joan Sturtz

July 6, 1930 — October 26, 2018

Dorothy Sturtz, our precious mom, passed away peacefully at The Classic at Hillcrest Greens in Altoona, WI, on Oct. 26, 2018.


Born July 6, 1930, in the town of York, WI, Dorothy grew up on the family farm with six brothers and sisters. She attended Loyal High School and met the love of her life, Howard Sturtz II.  They married in September 1950 and lovingly raised six children. Dorothy supported and made possible Howie’s many business endeavors while patiently and unselfishly caring for their children.


Dorothy had little time to worry about herself.  Providing meals, attending to the needs of the household, and developing a strong work ethic and responsible character in her children were her priorities. She spent many years working as a laboratory technician for the Neillsville Memorial Hospital, a job she loved and took great pride in. Volunteering for Red Cross Bloodmobiles was one of her favorite ways to give back to her community. Her caring never ended; it extended to her parents Margaret and Ray Hannan as they aged, to her adult children, and, joyfully, to the end, to her many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was active in several community organizations, a member of PEO, an avid bridge player, and a ready traveler on numerous excursions that she and Howie organized for an enthusiastic public.


Mother, teacher, counselor and professional -- Dorothy wore all these hats. All of the children learned and shared in cleaning house, preparing meals and other family duties. Dorothy was selfless in countless ways; for example, staying up until the wee hours of the morning sewing her daughters’ dresses for the next school day. Finished dresses would “magically” appear, pressed and hanging,  ready to wear. A familiar scene was Dorothy standing at the ironing board pressing Howie's white shirts or making freshly baked cinnamon rolls on Saturday mornings. Her love for her family manifested itself in all she did.  She was often told what a pretty smile she had.


Dorothy and Howie lived their later years in assisted living at The Classic at Hillcrest Greens in Altoona, WI, where they were both much loved.


Dorothy was preceded in death by her beloved husband Howard of 67 years, parents Ray and Margaret (Garbisch) Hannan, brothers Jim Hannan, Bob Hannan, and sisters Terry (Chuck) Vesel, and Marcelene (Russell) Lyons.


Survivors include sisters Annette (Dick) deLorimier and Rita (Bill) Meyer, sisters-in-law Caroline Hannan and Rita Hannan; her six children, Rick (Toni) Sturtz, Sherri (John Larson) Kliczak, Susan (Steve) Reusser, Candy Karlen, Judi (Sia) Kusha and Howard  “Skip” (Tammy) Sturtz.  She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.


Sincere and heartfelt thanks are extended to the wonderful staff at The Classic at Hillcrest Greens in Altoona and to Heartland Hospice of Eau Claire, WI. Dorothy's family will be forever indebted to them for all the loving care with which they blessed her.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 17, 2018 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Neillsville. The Celebrant will be Rev. Varkey V. Joseph. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 17th at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Online Condolences may be made at


The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Dorothy’s family with funeral arrangements.


Memorials in Dorothy’s memory may go to the following:


Neillsville Food Pantry

140 W 5th St

Neillsville, WI 54456


Loyal Food Pantry

228 N. Main St

P.O. Box 50

Loyal, WI 54446


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Joan Sturtz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 17, 2018

9:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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