Dorothy L. Torell, age 90, passed away peacefully at her home in Sartell, Minnesota on December 16, 2020. She was born at home in Sauk Rapids to Fred and Anna (Grabinski) Lezer on November 9, 1930. She attended Trinity Lutheran School through the 8th grade and graduated from Sauk Rapids High School in 1948. On January 25, 1952 she married William A. Torell at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Dorothy was one of five lively sisters. As teenagers, the youngest three traveled to Minneapolis and made a record at a recording booth. Dorothy’s sister Anamae recalls with a chuckle, “We thought we could be the next Andrews Sisters.” Eleanor adds, “Among the three of us Dorothy always sang the low parts.” Dorothy’s children frequently asked to play the record. The sisters’ voices made beautiful harmony, and the children were convinced their mother was famous. Dorothy’s sisters brought her great joy all of her life, and her love of music continued through the years.
Dorothy often shared memories of working at the Dairy Bar in Sauk Rapids and of her time at Lutheran Brotherhood while living at the Girl’s Club in Minneapolis where she made life-long friends. She also recounted experiences as a youthful bride staying at military locations in Maryland and Arkansas where Bill was stationed during his enlistment.
Dorothy and her husband settled in Foley, Minnesota, where Bill started his law practice and they raised four children: Mark, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Robert. Once the children were school-aged, Dorothy worked alongside her husband at the office. They were members and active participants at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church in Foley.
Dorothy enjoyed taking art and upholstery classes at St. Cloud State University, serving as the mayor of Ronneby for a time, and even owning a bar. She had a passion for designing houses, and she kept the builders and contractors on their toes. Her hobbies included embroidery, crocheting and knitting, along with sketching, painting on canvas, and upholstery work. Dorothy had an insatiable love for travel. Whether traveling with her young family or later on with Bill as an empty nester, she thoroughly explored the United States and also much of Europe. She journaled daily about their adventures. In later years Dorothy loved interacting with young people, whether they were her grandchildren or great-grandchildren. She will always be remembered jitterbugging with her children and grandchildren. Her love of music and dancing will be fond memories amongst her family and friends.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, William A. Torell, in 1989; parents, Fred Lezer in 1976 and Anna Lezer in 1963; sisters, Helen Lezer as an infant, Lorraine Miller in 2002, and Gladys Mendel in 2015; and great-granddaughter Ryleigh Farrell in 2010. Dorothy is survived by her sisters Anamae Lauermann and Eleanor Doig, and by Bill’s sister, Marilyn Thompson; children, Mark (Julie) Torell, Elizabeth Torell, Sarah Torell, and Robert Torell. She is survived also by grandchildren Jill Druckman, Mitchell Determan, Ross Determan, Kristyn Farrell, Laura Bemboom, and Tara Collins; and 12 great-grandchildren Keira, Grace, Luke, Kellan, Aidyn, Eve, Owen, Everett, Rosalie, Gabriel, Azrael, and Coraline.
Join in celebrating Dorothy’s life December 26, 2020 at:
Trinity Lutheran Church, 2163 Mayhew Lake Road NE, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
Visitation 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Funeral Service at 12:00 pm
Interment will be at Green Lake Cemetery in Wyanett Township, east of Princeton, Minnesota. Service with Dignity provided by the Foley Funeral Home.
Memorials in Dorothy’s honor are preferred to C.A.R.E. (Community Action Respecting Elders)
PO Box 65, Foley, MN 56329; or to Trinity Lutheran Church.
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