Christian 10
Official Obituary of

Dorothy T. Owen

March 19, 1925 ~ February 25, 2024 (age 98) 98 Years Old

Dorothy Owen Obituary

Dorothy Theckla Owen, nee Rettler, aged 98, passed away less than one month short of her
99th birthday on Sunday, February 25, 2024. She passed peacefully in her sleep. For the last
two years, she resided at New Perspectives West Bend, in both their assisted living facility and
then in Betty’s Harbor Memory Care Unit where she was cared for until her passing.
Dorothy, along with her twin brother Donald, was born to Joseph and Apollonia (Gundrum)
Rettler at home on the farm on Clover Road in the Town of Hartford on March 19, 1925.
In 1947 she met the GI of her dreams, Ernest D. Owen, and waited for and finally married him
after his seven years of service at St. Kilian’s Catholic Church on February 6, 1954. They made
their lifelong home in Hartford and welcomed their only daughter, Katherine in 1960.
Through the years, Dorothy, no stranger to hard work, held positions primarily in food service
beginning at age 15 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hartford and later at St. Kilian’s Catholic School
Cafeteria, Gateway Nursing Home, Super Value’s Bakery and most recently in the HUHS Lunch
Program where she finally retired in 1991. During the War she worked at Weyenberg Shoe
Factory and Libby’s Canning Factory, as well.
She served in many civic and church organizations including the Daughters of Isabella,
Christian Mothers, and the VFW #8834 Ladies Auxiliary. Up until just a few short years ago she
gave of her time and talent in service to her beloved parish, St. Kilian’s, in a variety of ways, like
counting money and preparing and serving funeral meals.
In spite of her stoicism, which was typical of her generation, she had a wicked sense of humor.
She loved a good laugh and was a practical jokester. Having grown up during the Great
Depression on “The Farm” surround by 5 brothers, she learned to hold her own. It was during
these formative years that her characteristic tenacity was nurtured. Nothing life threw at her
was too daunting and the simple pleasures are what she found to be the most precious. The
things she enjoyed the most included summers at the cottages on Little Cedar Lake, baking
bread and canning, antiquing, and a good “Old Fashioned.” She also enjoyed an occasional
bus trip to a casino, a daily walk, nurturing her geraniums, praying her rosary, completing word
search books, watching sporting events on TV, and walking up the block to Highland Ave to
either visit her parents who moved there from the farm or her daughter Kathy and family when
they made their home there. Her most recent pleasures included FaceTime calls from the
“Kids”, visits from friends and relatives, Kentucky Fried Chicken, a good cheeseburger,
anything chocolate, and being in her own home surrounded by her things and lifelong
memories. Her greatest source of pride were her granddaughters Emily and Nora and their
accomplishments and was beyond honored to be a great-grandmother to their five beautiful
Dorothy’s life was one of service and devotion to family and her Catholic faith. Throughout her
long life she unwaveringly upheld her convictions. By her example, the values of loyalty,
strength through adversity, love and trust in God, hard work, simple practicality, and common
sense have been passed on as a true legacy that will undoubtedly live on in the lives of those
she loved the most.
Those who preceded her in death included her parents, Joe and Abbie (Gundrum) Rettler,
brothers and sisters-in-law, Albert (Winnie), Norman (Ruth), Donald (Frances), Harry (Priscilla)
and Joseph Jr. (Jeanette) Rettler. She was also predeceased by her husband, Ernie Owen and
son-in-law Kip Nelson. Those she leaves behind to cherish her memory include her daughter
Katherine Knapp, (Steve), grand-daughters and their husbands, Emily ( Alex) Weisberg, Nora
(Andrew) Hartzell and great-grandchildren, Tzofiah, Oriel, and Yarah Weisberg, and Lewis and
Maren Hartzell, along with many dear nieces and nephews, other relatives, friends, and

A memorial prayer service will be held, Tuesday March 12. 2024 at 11a.m. at the Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home located at 226 South Main St., Hartford WI.  Family will receive relatives and friends from 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home.  Committal will take place at St. Kilian's Cemetery.

The Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home-Hartford is serving the family.

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March 12, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home
226 S. Main St.
Hartford, WI 53027

Memorial Service
March 12, 2024

11:00 AM
Berndt Ledesma Funeral Home
226 South Main Street
Hartford, WI 53027

March 12, 2024

1:15 PM
St. Kilian's Cemetery
State Street & Hwy U (Airport Rd)
Hartford, WI 53027


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