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Sister Dorothy Kiel

We commend to your charity the soul of our beloved
Sister Dorothy Kiel
Who departed this life on November 11, 2020
In the seventy-sixth year of her religious life
Age: 90 years, 10 months, 27 days

Vigil Wake Service:
Monday, November 16 at 9 a.m.
St. Mary's Church, Alton, IL

Resurrection Service:
Monday, November 16 at 10 a.m.
St. Mary's Church, Alton, IL
Celebrant is Fr. J Friedel, CDP Associate and student of Sr. Dorothy
Procession to and burial at Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis. Catholic Archdiocesan Cemetery. No lunch to follow.

“I have called you by name... And you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1.

Called Mary Ann in baptism, Sister Dorothy was the second of seven children born to Bill and Dora Kiel, who lived on a farm near Brussels, Illinois. From early in her childhood, Mary Ann’s faith and the seed of her vocation were nurtured by her religious parents and later by her teachers whom she loved: the Sisters of Divine Providence at Saint Mary’s School in Brussels. Sister Lucy Schmidt, her mother’s sister—a Sister of Divine Providence—was perhaps also an influence. Mary Ann entered the Sisters of Divine Providence in August 1944 and received the name Sister Dorothy in honor of her mother Dora and her younger sister Dorothy.  

After her profession of vows, Sister Dorothy spent the next 54 years responding to the call of the ministry of education. She ministered equally well as a teacher of phonics, reading, and arithmetic in the primary grades and as, years later, an instructor of calculus and trigonometry for seniors in high school. Recently, one of Sister Dorothy’s former students—now a 55-year-old pastor—remarked what a magnificent teacher she was. He went on to say, though her field was mathematics, she challenged her students and made learning fun in any subject. To him, history came alive in the 8th grade when his class was challenged to memorize and put into action “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”—and to this day he can recite it.  

Sister Dorothy ministered in St. Andrew in Tipton, St. John in Imperial, Mt. Providence and Ascension in Normandy, and North American Martyrs in Florissant. In Illinois, she taught at St. Mary’s in Madison and in Brussels, Divine Providence in Westchester, and Brussels High School.

Sister Dorothy received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in math and a minor in education at St. Louis University, and later, a Master of Science in education at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

In the mid-1980s, she underwent a serious cancer surgery followed by numerous chemotherapy treatments that threatened Sister Dorothy’s teaching ministry. It was a call to suffer patiently while her body was healing slowly. Fortunately, by 1991, she regained her health and became “The Math Department” for the next 10 years at her hometown high school in Brussels, Illinois. In May 2001, after preparing final examinations for her math classes at home, Sister Dorothy suffered a stroke a few minutes before leaving for school. The stroke was so severe it affected her speech for the rest of her life.

Sister Dorothy resided at St. Clare’s Villa for Assisted Living for several years and later at Stearns Nursing Rehabilitation Facility where God called her home.

Responding faithfully to God’s many calls during her lifetime—at baptism, on entering religious life, in ministry as educator, in the many years of suffering, and her final call to eternal life—Sister Dorothy can be assured of God’s promise: “Yes, you are mine... Welcome.”

Birthday: December 16
Sr. Zita Telkamp

CLICK HERE to view a photo album and share your thoughts and stories of Sister Dorothy.
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to make a contribution in honor of Sister Dorothy's memory.