After a long andstory-ed life, Dorothy Lou Kroeger went home to be with the Lord, November 10, 2022. After a short illness, she passed away at the family home in Newburgh, Indiana, at the age of 87.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband Paul Norman Kroeger, son John Edward Kroeger and her three sisters Judy (Maurer) Champlain, Joyce (Maurer) Hillenbrand, and Guylene Maurer, and grandchild Mathew Elliot Kroeger.
Dorothy was born at home in Millersburgh Indiana, June 7, 1935, to Guy and Esther Maurer. She married Paul Kroeger in August 24, 1957. Dorothy lived a quiet life of service to the family and to the community she lived.
Learning the honor of hard work and service as a young girl in 4-H, she spoke of her love of showing cattle and livestock as much or more that her work in home economics. As she grew, she was more inclined to be found working with her dad, Guy on the farm more than in the home with her mother, Ester and older sister, Judy. She was an intrigel part of the family enterprise of raising chickens and eggs, boasting of raising 5000 free range chickens, before it we a modern trend.
After graduating from Millersburgh High School, she went to work at the Embassy Men’s Apparel factory in Boonville, where she worked in the bookkeeping offices. She was a dedicated worker in that she figured the payrolls of the ladies based on their piece-work poundage. She remarked that it was important because the ladies depended on her figures, for their pay. She would giggle that she worked at a place that made “Fancy Draws, for Fancy Dressers”.
Dorothy knew her future husband through 4-H activities, but began dating thru Rural Youth activities. Dorothy and Paul particularly enjoyed square dancing and hay rides. After a brief courtship, they married in the old Zion Church in Newburgh Indiana.
Paul and Dorothy built a family home, designed by Paul, of Bedford stone and native lumbers harvested from the family farm, in the Dayville community. She was always proud that the family and community chipped in to build the house that would become a home for all her boys.
Dorothy worked with her husband Paul in whatever they did. They had a trucking business and, hauled and spread lime for the local farmers in the 1960s. She would tell stories about how farmers would ask Dorothy to spread the lime on their fields because she was so much better at being careful than Paul.
As time when on, Paul and Dorothy began raising pigs, she absolutely love raising those pigs, and was never so proud to brag that at one time she had a 10 piglet average when most farmers were having 8.
Dorothy and Paul were also innovators in crop farming too. They were one of the first in the community to use a new farming technique in the early 70’s, called Buffalo No-Till corn planting. Dorothy would tell the story that other farmers at the time would say she was “Farming Ugly”.
Through the time while her children were in grammar school at Yankeetown Elementary School, Dorothy served in various roles with the PTA. At one point, she was treasurer for the school organization. She and her friend Judy Hopple counted the funds for the fall festival at close to $5.000 and had no place to deposit it before Saturday and they flipped a coin as to who was going to sleep with it under her bed? Dorothy “lost” and told the story a very sleepless night!
In 1978, Dorothy became an innovator again, by starting work at Alcoa Aluminum Works in Warrick County. As a woman she faced discrimination head-on by working in the pot-room setting carbons in the smelter. She worked in several different areas including, recycling, finishing, and the acid house. She earned the respect of her fellow workers because “she would work, regardless of whether she was a woman or not”. She worked 15 years, and retired in 1993, as the first woman to “Walk out of the plant, Not on Red-Card”. Dorothy had a life long love of gardening, learnt from her parents, partly out of necessity and partly as a love of cultivation. She particularly loved gooseberries, and rhubarb, and strawberries, in deference to her mom and dad. With a busy family of four boys to feed, her garden at Dayville continued to grow. After one of her sons showed an interest in growing plants, Dorothy and Paul built a small greenhouse in 1974, and the beginnings of a new industrious life began. She loved growing and transplanting vegetables from seed to bedding plants to garden plants. She would remark “it was easier to grow in smaller fields”, (flats of plants).
Dorothy’s most remarkable, and enduring accomplishment in life was her commitment to education. She served on the Warrick County School Board for an astounding 40 years. She would tell you, without campaigning, that she would run on the ideals of: “Common Sense and Good Judgment”. She held several offices but preferred the role of Secretary. She also served at District, and even State School Board office levels. She even received the Award for Distinguished Service from the National School Board Association.
But through all the board meetings she would set, her proudest moments were when she was able to present diplomas and GED Certificates to the Class Graduates. She was so proud that she presented diplomas to not only her own children, most of her grandchildren, but even three generations of Warrick County students of her serving time. Another point, which she would proudly state, is that she lobbied hard to institute the FFA programs in all three of our Warrick County High schools.
Throughout her life, as a farmer’s daughter, independent young woman, new bride, new mother, middle aged, or elderly woman, Dorothy quietly went about seeing a need and working to fill it. As an obedient daughter, a consciences factory clerk, mother of four boys, a hard working farmer, industrial worker, or saged horticulturist, Dorothy tried her best to do what is right and just and honorable, and true.
She is survived by her sons, Guy Louis Kroeger. Theodore Joseph Kroeger and Paul Norman Kroeger Junior, grandchildren Denver Paul Kroeger, Tyler Jo Kroeger, Emily (Kroeger) Hale, and great-grandchildren Natlya Hale, and Elliot Hale.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 19,2022 at Zion United Church of Christ, 10 W. First St. Newburgh, IN 47630.
A visitation will be held Friday, November 18, 2022, from 2-8 p.m. at the Titzer Family Funeral Homes, Simpson Chapel, 510 W. Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630 (812) 853-8314. Burial will follow at Bates Hill Cemetery.
Sympathy wishes may be made to the family at titzerfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are in the care of Titzer Family Funeral Homes