Dorothy Gehring
(1928 - 2015)

Dorothy Gehring

August 15, 1928

February 1, 2015

Dorothy Gehring, aka Dot, aka Aunt Dot, aka Mom, aka Ammie, aka Grandma, aka Great-grandma, aka The Cookie Lady

Dorothy Helen Gehring, 86, of Cottonwood, Arizona passed on February 1, 2015 at the Olivia White Hospice Home in Flagstaff, Arizona. She was born August 15, 1928 in Black Creek, Wisconsin to Ralph and Mathilda (Gardner) Gehring. She graduated Shiocton High School 1946. She married Gilbert Miller in 1948, divorced 1970; together they have five children, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Dorothy made her own way in the world, working to support herself and volunteering her time and talents where needed. She was most proud of her hospice work in Northern Arizona.

A memorial gathering will be held Saturday, February 28, 2015, 1:00-5:00pm, River Rail Bar & Grill, 99 River Street, Shiocton, WI 54170.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the organizations under the tab “Donate.”

Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents; sister Lucille Sprague; sister Arlene Mackin; five brothers-in-law; a sister-in-law; and daughter Kristine Coffey.

Dorothy is survived by sister Irene Burnett of Weston, WI; sister Marcella Kobs of Appleton, WI; sister Pearl Kunz of Appleton, WI; brother Ralph Gehring of Appleton, WI; many nieces, nephews, cousins; Kristine’s daughter, granddaughter Megan (Dan) Nickchen of Greenville, WI and great-grandchildren Elizabeth, Zoe and Wesley; son Gregg (Deb) Miller of Appleton, WI and grandchildren Geoff, Dana and Mitch; daughter Jayne (David Marc) Williams of Flagstaff, AZ and grandson Josh (Yira Bermudez) of Princeton, NJ and great-grandchildren Caleb and Karina, granddaughter Anne of Tucson, AZ and great-grandchildren David Ryan Wichert and Ruby Wichert; daughter Nanette (Bard) Rozelle of Appleton, WI and grandson Hunter; son Gifford (Becky) Miller of Appleton, WI and grandson Nick (Katie) of Greenville, WI and great-grandchildren Lucy, Vivian and Ames, granddaughter Marissa of Greenville, WI and grandson Max of Boston, MA.

The family acknowledges honorary daughter Terri Craig and her daughter, honorary granddaughter Kaitlyn Craig for their love and friendship, especially during Dorothy’s last weeks. They are angels here on earth.

Dorothy loved all animals, but none as much as her kitty, Sophie. They made each other’s life better and were friends to the end.

In 2009, this is what Dorothy said about herself: “Born August 15, 1928 in the town of Black Creek, WI, the 6th of 7 children of Ralph Gehring and Mathilda Gardner. Moved to farm east of Shiocton at age 4. Attended 1st thru 8th grades at Riverside School in the town of Bovina. Graduated Shiocton High School 1946. Was a cheerleader and loved school because it was better than the cabbage fields. On the farm remembers getting an indoor toilet, electric lights, and a telephone. Moved to Appleton, WI in August 1946 and took a job in the office of Dr. J. L. Benton. Married Gilbert Miller in 1948 and gave life to five beautiful, intelligent children. Moved to Flagstaff, AZ in 1972, married Ernest Heeren. Moved to Newtonville, MA in 1973, was active in Ernie’s church and worked for Yesley Bros Exports. Moved back to Flagstaff, AZ in 1974. Worked at the Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce. Moved to Sedona, AZ in 1980. Managed the Sedona Chamber of Commerce. Moved to Tucson in 1983. Worked as a home manager for Walter Selk. Returned to Flagstaff in 1985 and worked for Dillard’s Dept Store, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., and The Taylor House (a guest house for family of patients at Flagstaff Medical Center.) In 2006, retired at the age of 78. Had moved to Cottonwood, AZ, in 2005, where she resides today. Through the years she has given her time and talent to medical centers and various other organizations but is most proud of her hospice work. She loves to bake pies and cookies and is a.k.a. “The Cookie Lady.”

At the memorial gathering held Monday, February 9, 2015, 8:30-9:30am, Godard Hall, Verde Valley Manor, 3400 E Godard Road, Cottonwood, AZ 86326:

Son-in-law David Williams read,

“Into each of our lives come unique individuals.
Special people who add so much to our world.
They listen, they offer a hand…
And we are very fortunate to know them.
Thank you for being one of those people.”
-Amy Wolf

Friend Cybele Sieradzki read her original poem,

Gift of God.

Friend to all,
giver of love and time,
and the soul’s greatest need.

Dorothy shared everything
with everyone;
she withheld only her private self.

She shared breakfast, lunch, dinner,
cookies on your doorstep for holidays
and no-special-reason-days,
Kleenex when you cried,
her cat, Sophie,
sunrises and sunsets,
books to read, TV to watch,
tales of the “wild animal preserve” in our backyards
(reduced to only a few hardy hangers-on,
now that the trees are gone).

She called in the evening to see if you were okay.
She stopped by for a “wellness check”
just to be sure things were going well for you.
When she hadn’t seen you for several days,
she met you at the mailbox to ask how things were going.
Sometimes, especially when you first knew Dorothy,
you thought she was just a bit nosey.
But after a while you looked forward to
those moments of concern.
Dorothy’s caring, in all those little ways, meant
you really were okay.

We will miss her wonderful sense of humor,
her cookies and cakes,
her quiet listening and shared tears.
But most of all,
we will miss her unseen but ever-present caring.

Gift of God.”

Honorary granddaughter Kaitlyn Craig read a portion of one of Dorothy’s favorite hymns, “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,”

“Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.”

Daughter Jayne Williams read a quote that Dorothy recited from memory, from her hospice bed to a room full of family members as she recommended the book “When Crickets Cry” by Charles Martin,

“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
-Helen Keller

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

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Guest Book (9 entries)
Dorothy was a wonderful friend and neighbor. She was kind to everyone she met. We shared so many "life experiences" with one another. I will never forget her. Rest in peace, dear friend. Pat
Pat Bartmus (Neighbor/Roofmate)
February 21st, 2015
Our Aunt Dorothy was a special person to our family. We especially became close the last few years, during our mother's illness. She was a great sister to our mom and flew out to spend time with her often. She will be missed by all of us as she was a dear lady. Dennis, Ruth, Terry and Rick.
Dennis Mackin (nephews)
February 17th, 2015
Dorothy was one of my parents best friends. I will remember her as a wonderful caring person. Thank you Dorothy as you move to a better place. You will be missed.
Randy Gould (Friend)
February 15th, 2015
Dorothy was a beloved friend whose wisdom, kindness and caring, and fun-loving spirit will always be remembered and missed. We first met at Northland Hospice over 15 years ago and remained friends for all these years since I moved to San Diego. I know that "God will raise you up...make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand." You've always shone like the sun to me. Sincere condolences to her family.
Deborah Reese-Stephens (friend)
February 11th, 2015
The time we spent with you at the Grand Canyon will forever be a most cherished and memorable time in our lives. Rest in Peace Aunt Dot.
Ron & Sherry
Ron Burnett (Nephew)
February 11th, 2015
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"I remember when Dorothy held my son as an infant. His instant calm and comfort with her, and mine as well, knowing he was in a safe space. Thank you for being in our lives and touching our hearts, Dorothy!"
Lisa Callan
February 10th, 2015
"Dorothy's love and caring-and cookies-will be missed by all. But we know they live on in her family and friends. Thank you to those who have shared so much with each other recently!"
Cybele Sieradzki
February 9th, 2015
"Such a big heart, as she was dying she was concerned about David's back. Rest in peace."
Beth - David Williams
February 8th, 2015
"Forever in our hearts!"
Yira-Josh-Caleb-Karina Williams
February 8th, 2015
"Lives are so much more complex than we realize. Dorothy was an angel to us. I'm lighting a real candle now and saying a prayer as I won't be able to attend the memorial in person. Does her kitty have a home?"
Janis Crosman
February 8th, 2015
"She did it her way. Rest in peace mother."
Gregg Miller
February 7th, 2015
"Mwaaaa! Blowing kisses to send you on your way to peace."
Jayne Williams
February 6th, 2015


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