Memorial for Dorothy Williams Meisenhelter ’48
CHAMPAIGN — Dorothy Elizabeth Williams was born June 17, 1927, to Fred Williams and Laura Fenton Williams in Clinton.
She was baptized in the lake at Weldon Springs, where she also loved to swim with her dad. She graduated from Clinton High School in 1945 and obtained her R.N. diploma in 1948 from Millikin University. She then worked at Decatur Memorial Hospital. She married E. Lynn Meisenhelter in 1949, and they had almost 60 years of marital bliss.
While volunteering on the polio ward in Decatur, Dorothy contracted a severe bout of polio, but was nursed back to health by her chiropractic parents. After Lynn returned from service overseas, they relocated to Champaign, so he could attend the University, while she continued working as a nurse.
In 1961, they built a home in Urbana near the fairgrounds where they began raising their three children — Diane Meisenhelter, Jan Reifsteck-Meisenhelter and Steven Meisenhelter. They later moved to a home near Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist church, where Dorothy sang in the choir and taught Bible school. Dorothy worked at Cole, Burnham and Mercy hospitals and finished her nursing career in the office of Dr. Shepardson and Dr. Atkins. After Lynn passed in 2008, Dorothy moved to a condo she dearly loved on Duncan Road, closer to First Christian Church, where she has been a member since 1997.
She is survived by her three children, Diane, Jan and Steven; Diane’s husband, Timothy Crump; Steven’s wife, Stacy Jeffers Meisenhelter; and five grandchildren — Ryan and Tara Reifsteck, Jesse Meisenhelter, Zak Meisenhelter, and Cameron Jeffers.
Dorothy received two special awards from the Senior Legislative forum — nurse of the year in 1982 and caregiver of the year in 1989. Dorothy made over 50 hand-sewn quilts registered with the State of Illinois and given to friends and family. Lynn and Dorothy loved ballroom dancing with the University Club and Star Dusters. She expressed gratitude and devotion to God; her wonderful family and friends; and her love of nursing. Donations in her name can be given to the American Cancer Society or any Veterans’ organizations.
Visitation will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2018, at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive West in Savoy. A funeral service will follow at the funeral home at 11:30 a.m. Pastor Don Orr will officiate. A graveside service will take place at 2 p.m. at Graceland-Fairlawn Cemetery in Decatur.
Online condolences can be shared with her family at www.morganmemorialhome.com.