Dorothy Clara Mae Kusel was born at home in Aspinwall, Iowa (Crawford County) to Louie and Clara (Eickelkamp) Ehrichs on August 27, 1923. The attending physician was Dr. O.W. Wyatt of Manning. She was baptized on May 30, 1925, by the Reverend John M. Ansorge of Zion Lutheran Church, Manning, and confirmed by him on April 18, 1937. Dorothy attended school through the eighth grade in the two-room Aspinwall Independent schoolhouse and graduated in 1941 from Manning High School. She attended Iowa State Teachers College at Cedar Falls, Iowa, during the summer quarters and taught school for three years.
On May 28, 1944, Dorothy and Amos Ray Kusel were married by the Reverend Carl Schmidt at Zion Lutheran Church in Denison, Iowa. They purchased their farm north of Manning in 1946 where they raised four children. Dorothy joined the rural Homemakers Club. She was also the author of a food column, "Kitchen Korner" featured in 23 Iowa weekly newspapers for over 21 years. In addition, she gave cooking demonstrations and served on the Carroll County Girls' 4-H Committee for 20 years.
After the death of Amos on September 1, 1970, Dorothy was hired on January 1, 1971, by the owners of the Lewis-Reinhold Drug Store, and in April of 1971 she also became the Executive Director and Secretary for the Low Rent Housing Agency of Manning. She then served as a Certified Public Housing Manager and Director for the Terrace and Elm Crest Apartments until December of 1992.
Active in the North Central Iowa Area Agency on Aging (Elderbridge) Dorothy served in official capacities on state, district, county, and local levels. Under her leadership Pioneer Trail Congregate Meals began in Manning on October 18, 1976. In 1981 she represented the aging agency at the White House Conference on Aging in Washington, D.C. and the Iowa Commission on Aging on a good-will trip to China.
As president of Manning Community Services, Inc. (a corporation formed to deliver services to the area elderly) Dorothy helped bring to realization the MCS Red Bus in 1979 and the MCS Senior Center in 1980. She was the volunteer bookkeeper for the Congregate Meal Program for 17 years and for the Red Bus and Senior Center until 1993. She was truly an activist for Senior Citizens, and in 1990 Governor Branstad recognized her for her volunteer work for the elderly.
Active at her church Dorothy served as an organist, choir member, Junior Choir Director, Bible Class teacher, and Director of Music for Vacation Bible School. She was a charter member of the Altar Guild, served as the Dorcas dinner and dining room co-chairman, and recorded communion rolls for 20 years. In 1973 the Manning Rotary Club honored her as the Religious Leader of the Year.
Dorothy was well-known for her musical entertainment activities and her beautiful hats. After retiring, she spent many hours proof reading and researching for her son David's historical/genealogy projects. She also enjoyed her vast library. All of her family members were recipients of her favorite gifts to give...books.
Dorothy passed away at the Manning Regional Healthcare Center on December 18, 2021, at the age of 98 years, 3 months, and 21 days.
She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Marjorie (in 1925), brothers Gene (wife Patricia) and Glenn (wife Dorothy) Ehrichs, sister Shirley Ann Schramm (husband Walt), and son Barry Ray Kusel (2014).
She is survived by daughter Angela R. Pratt (husband Dan), sons Douglas G. Kusel (wife Joy) and David A. Kusel, daughter-in-law Jean Kusel; grandchildren Nina and Sean Pratt, Brad Kusel (wife Heather--deceased), and Teri Kerkhoff (husband Scott); great-grandchildren Jeremy, Hallie and Laynie Pratt; Erin and Brody Kerkhoff; Ross, Brock and Kora Kusel.
In Loving Memory Of Dorothy Kusel
Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 10:30 AM at Zion Lutheran Church, Manning, Iowa
Reverend Jonathan Conner Officiating
Congregational Hymns "I Know That My Redeemer Lives", "Beautiful Savior", "How Great Thou Art", "The Lord, My Savior and Friend", Angela (Kusel) Pratt, Organist
Casket Bearers are John Detlefsen, Sean Pratt, Jeremy Pratt, Claus Bunz, Dr. Martin Ahrens and Dennis Backhaus
Honorary Casket Bearers are William G. Ohde, Rick Schramm , Ken Puck, Kim Schramm and Dr. Walter Felker. +In Memoriam Bertha Ruhde, Fredda Hinz, Erwin Hansen, Art Rix, Marie Brady, Daryl Genzen, Orval Fink, Orren Ramsey, Billie Voge and Scott Schramm
Interment at Manning Cemetery, Manning, Iowa
Memorials may be directed to Zion Lutheran Church in Manning or the Guiding Eyes for the Blind (Yorktown, NY).