Dorothy Caroline (Leaders) Thieroff, of Defiance, passed away Saturday evening, November 2, 2013, in the care of the CHP Defiance Area In-Patient Hospice Center and family.
She was born on January 28, 1920, in Henry County, Ohio, to Frederick and Grace (Keehn) Leaders. Dorothy attended the one-room Kelly School through eighth grade, and later graduated with honors from Holgate High School class of 1937. During this time she wrote personal news for the Henry County Review, a weekly Henry County paper, and also helped her family on the farm.
On April 7, 1945, Dorothy married Elmer Thieroff at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Holgate, Ohio, while he was home on furlough from the Army. Dorothy chose to be a stay-at-home mom who helped with farming, but also enjoyed contesting, gardening, canning and sewing for her family. She attended the many activities in which the children were involved.
After the children grew up, Dorothy and Elmer traveled extensively, visiting them as they attended colleges and moved to other states. They faithfully attended St. Stephen's Lutheran Church and dined out nearly every Sunday jokingly known as "Men's day of cooking."
Later in life they moved together from the family farm to a house in Defiance where she continued to pursue her love of flower gardens and a new passion for watercolor painting. Throughout the years, she gifted her children and grandchildren with many of her creations.
Dorothy was initially a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Holgate where she was baptized, confirmed and married. Upon marriage, she joined her husband's church, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Defiance. She taught Sunday school at both and was a member of the Ladies Aid at St. Stephen's. She also worked at the gift shop at the Defiance Hospital, sold Avon and worked as a bookkeeper for her husband's insurance business.
She was married to her husband, Elmer, for 65 years before he passed in 2010. Also surviving are her children, son, Franklin (Mara) Thieroff New York City, three daughters, Marlene (Bruce) Goodwin, Defiance, Beverly (Arun) Venkatachar, Columbus, Ohio, and Sharon (Mark) Zehnder, Omaha, Nebraska. She leaves six grandchildren, Julia Goodwin, Melinda (Dan) Schall, Amanda Thieroff, Eric Zehnder, Zachary (Allison) Zehnder, and Charista (Peter) Baye; four great-grandchildren, Nathan and Melanie Schall, and Nathan and Brady Zehnder; and one brother, Walter Leaders of Holgate, Ohio.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Elmer; a twin daughter, Karen Kay; brothers, Henry, Carl, Clayton and Richard Leaders; and a sister, Anna Helmke.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, November 7, 2013, at Schaffer Funeral Home, Defiance, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, November 8, 2013, at St. Stephen's Church, Defiance, with the Rev. William Stottlemyer officiating. Burial will be in St. Stephen's Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Stephen's Lutheran Church or the donor's choice.
Condolences may be left a to www.schafferfh.com.