Memorial services for 86 year old Dorothy French of Ortonville will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 24, 2019 at First United Methodist Church, Ortonville, Minnesota. Rev. Melanie Reiners, Rev. Barb McKewin and Rev. Dr. Devern Schwenn will officiate at the service. Special music will be provided by Roger Goosen, organist, Sherry DeBoer, pianist, DeAndre French, trumpet and Julie French, soloist.
The active urn bearers will be Gary Ninneman, Bill Ninneman, Jr., Jon Ninnemann and Mark Ninneman.
Dorothy Ann French (VonEschen) was born March 27, 1933, the youngest of five children, to Ernest and Mamie (Dallman) VonEschen
Dorothy grew up in Ortonville and graduated from Ortonville High School in 1951. She married Allen French on September 15, 1953 at the United Methodist Church. She shared her beautiful soprano voice singing for weddings, funerals and church services.
Dorothy worked at National T and Red Owl grocery stores and for Pat Daly of P.D. Products. She was an integral partner in the family farming operations, milking cows, tending chickens and pigs, and cooking huge meals for the many hired men.
Dorothy and Allen adopted their daughter, Julie, on April 1, 1969.
Dorothy took great pride in her gardens — raising vegetables to can and freeze and growing flowers, particularly hybrid irises. Ever the gracious hostess, and a wonderful cook, she often prepared feasts for family gatherings and hired farm workers. In 1979, Allen sold the farm and they moved to town, in Ortonville, where Dorothy continued her gardening, which she said was her therapy. Dorothy branched out to roles in the church as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent to AWANA instructor, and helped in the church kitchen with meals for various events and services.
Dorothy spent time caring for her grandson, DeAndre, especially enjoying his school programs and concerts. De was truly the apple of her eye. She often shared how special it was to her that she was the first one to hold him after he was born. More recently, she loved making his favorite brownies and rice krispy bars for him.
Dorothy adored animals. After Allen passed away in 2015, Dorothy, Julie and De moved together to a house in Ortonville where she loved and cared for their dogs, Suzie and Rowdy. As her health declined, her gardening was reduced to flower pots, which she cared for diligently.
Dorothy died unexpectedly in her sleep on August 16, 2019. She is survived by her daughter, Julie French, grandson DeAndre, her “grand-dogs” Rowdy and Suzie, sister Joyce Ninneman of Milbank, sisters-in-law, Elsie French of Washington and Irene McHone of Arizona, plus many nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members and friends.
Arrangements by the Zahrbock Funeral Home, Madison, Minnesota.