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Dorothy Joan Gersdorf

November 8, 1931 June 13, 2018
Dorothy Joan Gersdorf
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Obituary for Dorothy Joan Gersdorf

Dorothy Lowry Gersdorf, 81, of Grinnell died peacefully on June 13, 2018, at the Mayflower Community Health Center.

A celebration of life gathering with the family present has been scheduled from 6:00 to 8:00 Wednesday evening, June 20th, at the Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell. A private burial will be held at a later date at Hazelwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be designated to the Mayflower Community Open Dining Fund.

Dorothy was born on November 9, 1931, in State Center and grew up and graduated from Marshalltown High School in 1949.

On June 9, 1951, she was united in marriage with Donald Leon Gersdorf, in Marshalltown. The couple was the parents of three sons, Kim, Dirk and Erin.

Dorothy lived in Marshalltown from 1931 until 1958, when she and Don moved to Garwin where they ran Don’s Tap. Dorothy was the bartender as Don continued to work days and bartended at night. In 1960, they decided that managing work, a business and family was overwhelming and they returned to Marshalltown prior to moving to Grinnell in 1966.

Dorothy was dedicated to her husband and children and was a hard worker, working in the home most of her life. She did however do some work outside the home babysitting and was employed at East End Grocery in and later at a greenhouse, Wayside Flower Shop and St. Francis Manor, all in Grinnell.

Dorothy had a good sense of humor and had many stories to tell. She enjoyed a variety of hobbies and activities; she raced stock cars, went deer hunting in Wyoming for 16 years, enjoyed the horse races in Hot Springs, Arkansas, visiting casinos playing the slot machines, and playing cards, particularly solitaire, pinochle and cribbage.

The Gersdorf’s are a close-knit family and Dorothy delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her son, Erin and grandson, Zachary both work at the Mayflower Community.

Dorothy was admitted to the Mayflower Community Health Center on April 18, 2014, and has been very much a part of the community there attending activities and visiting with residents and their family members. She will be missed by staff and the residents as will her family who visited regularly and supplied her with her favorite meals, Chinese and Italian food. Entering the Health Center foyer, Dorothy greeted everyone and without her welcome it will not be the same.

Dorothy is survived by her three sons, Kim of Des Moines, Dirk (Rhonda) of Grinnell and Erin (Sharon) of Grinnell; eight grandchildren, Steve (MacKenzie) of Waukee, Ryan (Jess) of Pleasant Hill, Zac of Grinnell, Bailey of Florida, Jon of Clive, Michelle of Des Moines, Stephanie (Joe) Filigno of Cincinnati, Ohio, Shane Vest of Story City; nine great-grandchildren; and one sister, Linda Medhus of Gilman. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Don in 2010; two brothers, Wayne and Harold Lowry; one sister, Shirley Fair; and one grandson, Jay Spear.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Dorothy Joan Gersdorf, please visit our Tribute Store.

Cemetery Details


Hazelwood Cemetery Final Resting Place

First Avenue West
Grinnell, Iowa 50112

First Avenue West Grinnell 50112 Iowa
United States

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