Dorothy Frances Whittenbaugh, 92, Elgin, Iowa, died Monday, October 15, 2012, at the Good Samaritan Center in West Union. She was bortn February 27, 1920, in rural Arlington to Dow and Emma (Knapp) Peeper.
Dorothy grew up working on the family farm. She graduated from Arlington High School and continued to work on the farm until her marriage to Stanley Halsted at the Little Brown Church, Nashua, on September 22, 1940. Together with friends, they operated a café in Nashua for a brief time before returning to Arlington. To this union were born a daughter, Darla and a son, Jerry. Dorothy farmed full time while Stan served in the Navy during WWII. They owned and operated the Arlington Locker Plant until Stan’s death November 29, 1972. Together they enjoyed traveling with their children, fishing in Canada, visiting family in Oregon and California and vacations in the western states and into Mexico.
Family gatherings and holidays were always highlights whenever Dorothy was in the kitchen. She enjoyed cooking and excelled at pleasing. She was an avid knitter and produced beautiful handcrafted sweaters that are still admired and appreciated by the younger generations. She loved her pets and doted on the many dogs and cats that were her pampered extra kids.
Dorothy’s life always centered on caring for her children, her aging parents, her friends and the community. She was a member of the Arlington United Methodist Church. She continued to focus on caring for others as she baby sat, and served as site coordinator for the Arlington Senior meal site earning the Governor’s Volunteerism award for her work. She volunteered many additional years for the Wadena and Elgin meal sites.
She was blessed to find love a second time and married Robert G. Whittenbaugh at the Illyria Community Church, Elgin, May 7, 1977, moving to his home in Wadena. To their united family Bob brought his children Stella, Robert C. Nancy, and their families. Their retirement years were spent caring for grandchildren and attending school activities and events. They wintered in Arizona and Texas and traveled to visit family in the Washington, D.C. area. Following Bob’s death August 16, 1984, Dorothy lived independently, moving to her home in Elgin.
She was an active member of the Illyria Community Church and enjoyed her card clubs and many friends. Dorothy also traveled with her daughter Darla on trips including a drive to Oregon, flights to Arizons, twice to California, a bus trip to Branson, and a very memorable flight to Jamaica to attend the destination wedding of her granddaughter Kellie. At 83 years, Dorothy was the first to respond to the wedding RSVP – via e-mail, and then went shopping for a new swim suit. Dorothy moved into her daughter’s home shortly before her 90th birthday which she celebrated with a host of friends and family members. Declining health lead to her move to the Good Samaritan Center March 16, 2011. She became a favorite of her caregivers as her sweet nature and friendly ways brightened their working hours.
Dorothy is survived by her children, Darla DeWitte of Elgin, Jerry (Cheryl) Halsted of LaCrosse, WI, Stella (Willard) Hoing of Silver Spring, Maryland, Nancy (William T. Jr.) Grindle of Marion; her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Quint (Maggie) DeWitte and their children, Calvin, Seth and Abigail, Justin DeWitte, Kellie (Robert K) Scott and his children, Jessica, Sean and Caroline, Robin (Kevin) Fitzgerald, and their daughters Bria and Kate, Charles (Laura) Hoing and their children Kate and Will, Scott (Debbie) Hoing, and their family, Alison (David DeBoer), Andrew and Sara, Robert J. Whittenbaugh and Judy Whittenbaugh, William R. (Jenn) Grindle and their children, Greyson and Giana; daughter-in-law, Joyce Whittenbaugh and three nieces.
She was preceded in death by her husbands, Stanley Halsted and Robert G. Whittenbaugh; parents Dow and Emma Peeper, son, Robert C. Whittenbaugh; son-in-law, Gary DeWitte; siblings, Effie Sackett and Fred and Roy Peeper; three nephews and four nieces.
Memorials may be directed to the Illyria Community Church, Elgin Fire and Rescue or the Good Samaritan Center, West Union.