Obituary: Dorothea M. Mann

Dorothea M. Mann (Nitschke), 78, of Sturgeon Bay, died suddenly Dec. 29, 2017 in Appleton, Wisconsin while visiting her daughters and their families.

Dorothea was born in 1939 in Glogau, Germany, shortly before the outbreak of WWII.  She and her family made their way to Rostrup Germany in 1947 as refugees.  Here, she continued school and began her career as a tailor.  In her youth as a girl scout, her family remembers her as always on the go with no fear of trying new things.  In 1962, she traveled to Chicago to serve as an au pair and to advance her English fluency.  There she met and married Stephen C. Mann in 1964.  By 1970, Steve and Dorothea settled in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin where they raised their five children.  Dorothea found Sturgeon Bay to be the greatest place on earth to raise her family.  She was a member of Corpus Christi Parish where she found peace and joy in her community.

Dorothea was fiercely loyal to her family.  She dedicated her life to raising her children and seeing them through their education.  More recently, she cared for her husband as he coped with Parkinson’s until the time of his death in June 2017.

She could sew virtually anything: costumes for the Sturgeon Bay High School Swing Choir, prom and wedding dresses, christening gowns, riding suits, and all sorts of specialty clothing.  She often wondered what it would look like if we could put all her sewing projects in one place…we are quite sure her works would fill a stadium.  Her hands were always busy, even in retirement. She put every scrap of fabric to good use while pursuing an intense quilting hobby.  The incalculable love she poured into her hand-stitched creations encapsulate the care she continuously put toward bringing family and friends closer together.

Besides sewing, Dorothea worked at the Yum Yum Tree in Baileys Harbor and also at EconoFoods in Sturgeon Bay for many years. Her love of family picnics and these jobs helped her perfect her potato salad and her well-loved apple pies.  She would bake “a few” cookies and always come with a heaping plate to visit her families.

Dorothea, known to all as Omi, was straightforward, efficient, practical, and above all, loving.  Her experience growing up in post-world war Germany kept her full of hope and optimism.  A smile and a laugh was never far from her lips.  She was generous with her thoughts and time, always providing words of wisdom to her children and grandchildren.  Omi had a warm heart and always made friends and family feel welcome and loved. Keeping in touch was very important to Omi. Either in person, by a long email, or handwritten card, Omi never missed a holiday or birthday.

Omi is survived by her children, Stephen and Laura Mann; Margret Mann and James Coenen, Gwendolyn and Thomas Bomann, Christopher and Jennifer Mann and Fr. Quentin Mann; who will miss her dearly.  She is further survived by her grandchildren, Nicholas (Kaitlyn), Stephanie, David, Susannah, Lydia, Vivian, Blake, Forrest, Evelyn, Sarah, August and Alyssa and two great-grandchildren, Olivia and Fletcher.  Brothers-in-law, Forrest Mann, Frederick Mann and Charles Beasley. In Germany, Dorothea is survived by one sister, Gertrud and many wonderful cousins, including Klaus Benndorf who was visiting from Germany at the time of her death.

Dorothea was proceeded in death by her husband, Stephen, six months and one day prior.  Many loved family and friends have gone before her as well.  Omi’s sudden passing has caught many of us off guard.  She will be missed in so many ways.

A mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 at Corpus Christi Church. Her son Father Quentin Mann will celebrate the mass, with Father Anthony Birdsall doing the homily. Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery.

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