Dorothy May Kreitlow
Dorothy May Kreitlow, age 83 of Howard Lake, died Sunday, Dec. 5, 2004, at Buffalo Hospital.
She was born May 15, 1921 to Henry and Florence Heine of Ellendale, N.D., who gave their daughter her middle name, May, for the month of her birth. She was the only girl of the four children in her family.
As a schoolgirl, Dorothy’s parents’ farm was far out on the Dakota prairie, so, during the school year, she stayed with her grandmother, Doretta Heine, who lived closer to the school.
After high school, Dorothy attended North Dakota Normal and Industrial School, and soon found her calling as a teacher. She taught home economics in Ogilvie for awhile, and then became an extension home demonstration agent in Wright County.
At the end of World War II, Dorothy presided over the largest extension women’s groups in the state.
In 1945, she was promoting and working with 4-H clubs when, at a Rural Youth meeting, she met Willard Kreitlow, a farmer in Middleville Township.
They were set to be married in North Dakota in November 1947, but couldn’t get there because of a huge blizzard. Undeterred, they drove to Ireton, Iowa, found a minister friend, who agreed to perform the ceremony; and the wedding took place with three guests.
Dorothy settled into life as a farmer’s wife, a term she often said she didn’t appreciate as she also helped run the farm, and felt she was a farmer, too.
She was a teacher in Howard Lake schools. This was shortly after “rural electrification,” so she also demonstrated electrical home appliances for the Wright Hennepin Co-op.
Always interested in learning, she continued taking education courses in St. Cloud, at the University of Minnesota in Mankato and Minneapolis; and at the Adler Institute.
She had a passion for family, community, and for helping the less fortunate, which led to her role in helping to start the Wright County Family Education Center.
She also worked part-time in Waverly and Silver Lake schools, taught homebound students, and substituted in other area schools.
In addition, Dorothy was very active in St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, teaching Sunday School, leading women’s groups, and serving as a delegate to state and national Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) conventions.
In 1949, Dorothy presented Willard with their first child, David, who now lives in Beaverton, Ore., employed as an engineer/designer, and is the father of two children, Katy and Brian.
Dorothy’s second child was a daughter, Marienne, a musician and composer, who now lives on the Kreitlow farm with her husband, Jerry Ford.
Dorothy will be remembered and missed as a dear friend and teacher who gave 100 percent of herself and always dreamed of doing more.
In addition to her children and grandchildren, Dorothy is survived by her brothers, Ken, of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Russell, of Spencer, Iowa.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Don.
A memorial service for Dorothy took place Saturday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Howard Lake, with the Rev. Joel Swedberg officiating. Music was provided by Grant Judd.
Arrangements were by Swanson- Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake.