Dorothy Kathleen Bielawski Kluseman
Dorothy Kathleen Bielawski Kluseman, 86, of 1717 East College Street, Iowa City, Iowa died on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
A life of 86 years touches many people and has a treasure of experiences. There was an open house held on Friday, February 27th at the home of Kris and John Rutherford, in Iowa City as well as a celebration of Dorothy’s life at the Egelhof Siegert Casper Westview Funeral Home in Dubuque, IA on Saturday, February 28th. Burial took place in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Dorothy was born on December 15, 1922 in Willis, Michigan, the daughter of Kathleen and Victor Bielawski. She was the youngest of eleven children. She worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant as one of the “Rosie the Riveters” during World War II. Dorothy attended college in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She moved to Chicago in 1950 where she met and married her first husband, Paul Stjernholm. Paul was killed in a train accident when their first son, Paul, was a baby.
Dorothy met her husband, Ralph at a car dealership in Chicago in 1953. She told him she would buy a car if he would teach her how to drive. They were married on October 9, 1954 in Sisseton, South Dakota. They moved to Dubuque, Iowa in 1956 when Ralph began work at Clemens Motor Sales. Dorothy worked in retail at Rosheks and Armstrongs. She loved to learn and took many classes at Clarke College and Loras College in Dubuque and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Dorothy and Ralph moved from Dubuque to Iowa City, Iowa in September 2005 to live with their daughter, Kristine and her family. Dorothy and family took care of Ralph until his death on September 19, 2006.
Her family includes her children, Paul Kluseman and his wife Diane of Chicago, Ralph D. Kluseman and his wife Sheila of Dubuque, Karen Kluseman Jirsa and her husband Todd of Estes Park, Colorado and Kristine Kluseman Rutherford and her husband John of Iowa City, six grandchildren Brian, Laura, Kay, Dylan, Claire and Aaron and three great-grandchildren Celeste, Ashton and Colton.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph, her son David Eugene Kluseman, her grandson Matthew Alan Kluseman and her siblings Joseph, Helen, Rose, Lillian, Anne, Alex, Edward, Beatrice, Anthony and Mary.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that contributions be made to St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Dubuque or The Newman Singers in Iowa City.