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Obituary | Dorothy Elizabeth (nee Reis) Algiers, 93, of Hartford

December 6, 2020 – Hartford, WI – Dorothy Elizabeth (nee Reis) Algiers went home to heaven on Friday, December 4, 2020 at the age of 93, where she joined her husband of almost 69 years, Dr. James (Jim) Algiers.

 

Dorothy Algiers

Born on September 5, 1927, Dorothy was the beloved wife of James, mother of Elizabeth (Dr. Jack) Manley, Patricia, Paul (Therese Roth), Atty.Timothy (Sue), and Abigail (Eric Fowler). “Grandma Dee” to Dr. TJ (Rita) Algiers, Olivia and Nick Algiers, and Paul Manley, as well as Matthew Manley Browne, Hanna and Mitchell Fowler, Christopher and Damian Roth. Sister to Anna (Dale) Ellicson, sister-in-law to Betty, Marcia, and Imelda Algiers, godmother to Faith Milbrandt, William Reis, and Thomas Lieven.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband Jim, her parents Henry and Marie Reis, siblings/in-laws Don & Mary Ann Reis, Willard & Jeanette Reis, Don & Lorraine Lieven, and Helen & Bill Milbrandt. She is also preceded in death by in-laws John and Lucy Algiers, Dr. Lawrence Algiers, Dr. Norbert Algiers, Charles Algiers, Mary (Roger) Ohrmund, and Rosalie (Jack) Penland. Beloved aunt and dear friend to many, and loved by the many lives she touched through her volunteer work, participation in art classes, bridge club, neighborhood gatherings, and all those she met while living in Hartford and later Milwaukee. Dorothy had a smile for everyone she came in contact with.

Dorothy is remembered with great love by her children for her constant love and devotion to the family, the beautiful home she created, and her support for them throughout their lives.

Dorothy Elizabeth (nee Reis) Algiers went home to heaven on Friday, December 4, 2020 at the age of 93, where she joined her husband of almost 69 years, Dr. James (Jim) Algiers.

 

Born on September 5, 1927, Dorothy was the beloved wife of James, mother of Elizabeth (Dr. Jack) Manley, Patricia, Paul (Therese Roth), Atty.Timothy (Sue), and Abigail (Eric Fowler). “Grandma Dee” to Dr. TJ (Rita) Algiers, Olivia and Nick Algiers, and Paul Manley, as well as Matthew Manley Browne, Hanna and Mitchell Fowler, Christopher and Damian Roth. Sister to Anna (Dale) Ellicson, sister-in-law to Betty, Marcia, and Imelda Algiers, godmother to Faith Milbrandt, William Reis, and Thomas Lieven.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband Jim, her parents Henry and Marie Reis, siblings/in-laws Don & Mary Ann Reis, Willard & Jeanette Reis, Don & Lorraine Lieven, and Helen & Bill Milbrandt. She is also preceded in death by in-laws John and Lucy Algiers, Dr. Lawrence Algiers, Dr. Norbert Algiers, Charles Algiers, Mary (Roger) Ohrmund, and Rosalie (Jack) Penland.

Beloved aunt and dear friend to many, and loved by the many lives she touched through her volunteer work, participation in art classes, bridge club, neighborhood gatherings, and all those she met while living in Hartford and later Milwaukee. Dorothy had a smile for everyone she came in contact with.

Dorothy is remembered with great love by her children for her constant love and devotion to the family, the beautiful home she created, and her support for them throughout their lives.


Dorothy was a lifelong resident of Hartford. She began her education at St. Kilian’s School and graduated second in her class from Hartford Union High School. At HUHS, she excelled in academics, played the saxophone in the band, and was a member of the drill team. She worked at Jake Frank’s shop on Main Street during high school. Due to the times and family financial constraints, she was unable to go to college. She remained in Hartford and worked as the secretary to the plant manager of the West Bend Company. She worked there until marrying James Algiers and then worked at Allen Bradley and Western Electric to help put him through medical school.

Dorothy’s family always came first. She encouraged her children to take part in activities that helped make others’ lives better. Giving back was always a theme, and Dorothy used her time and talent as a volunteer for the Hospital Auxiliary, various charities, and at St. Kilian’s school and church while her children were young.

Dorothy was an avid reader and kept a log of over 500 books she read over a 5-year span. She took a deep interest in the library and served on Hartford’s library board for over 31 years, serving as president for many of those years. Dorothy worked tirelessly to have a new library built for the community. She proudly worked with the library board to make the new Jack Russell Memorial Library come to fruition.

As president of the library board, she became involved in the selection of the architect and the design/creation of the library. She visited libraries in the area and selected and engaged an architectural team from Milwaukee for the library.

After 31 years of fighting for a new library, Dorothy was so proud of the library built that was described as “one of the most beautiful public buildings in the MKE Metropolitan area.” In 2011 Dorothy was given special recognition by the library for her many years of service.

Dorothy also had a commitment to growing the arts in Hartford and was asked by the mayor to be on the steering committee for the Schauer Arts & Activities Center. As part of this experience (while in her early 70’s!), she took trips around the country to visit art centers and theaters. She went to Boston, Washington DC, and Pittsburgh and was on a team of 3 to 4 people, including another woman her age, Faith Quandt.

As Dorothy recalled, she and Faith “more or less directed the creation of the cultural center in Hartford.” After its completion, Dorothy and Jim were supporters of the Schauer Arts & Activities Center and season ticket holders. She also helped establish the Oil Painting Program at the center and participated in art classes for a number of years. Her talent can be seen in the many paintings she gifted to family and friends.

Dorothy, along with husband Jim, enjoyed participating in the Hartford Christmas Committee, and they were members of the founding committee. Each year, they would attend planning meetings, participate in the parade to draw attention to the need for support, and help distribute gifts. Dorothy’s community service earned her the Paul Harris Award, an honor for Rotarians, and an even greater honor for a non-Rotarian like herself. Dorothy’s many achievements were recognized this past October as she and Jim were jointly inducted into the Hartford Union High School Hall of Fame.

Dorothy loved spending time with family, going to the family cottage on Little Hills Lake in Wautoma, playing bridge, painting, visiting with friends, and traveling with Jim. Dorothy and Jim lived in Hartford until 2017, when they moved to the Milwaukee Catholic Home. Dorothy’s heart remained thoroughly planted in Hartford. As she said in an interview with daughter Abbey Algiers , “While Jim worked hard at the hospital and clinic, I worked hard to keep my family well and safe and my children actively involved in the community.” Dorothy always supported her family, church, friends, community and was well known around town.

Dorothy truly was the perfect example of a loving and beautiful wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. She will be deeply missed by all the lives she touched.

When asked if she could do anything differently or live anywhere in the world, Dorothy simply replied, “I don’t know if I’d do anything much different because my life was very happy and pleasant where I was. I thoroughly enjoyed living in Hartford.”

The family would like to thank all who touched the life of Dorothy Algiers throughout her time living in Milwaukee, especially those at the Milwaukee Catholic Home, Harbor Chase, Dr. Michael Johnstone & Dr. Craig Schultz, the outstanding 5th floor caregivers at East Castle Place and the caregivers of Holistic Hospice. The kindness and care provided will always be remembered by her family.

Shimon Funeral Home of Hartford, Wisconsin will provide a private family service on Friday, December 11. The service will be live-streamed – please see the Shimon Funeral Home website for details. A memorial service for both Dorothy and Jim Algiers will be held at a later date.

Donations in memory of Dorothy Algiers can be made to St. Kilian’s Parish (Hartford, WI), the Jack Russell Memorial Library (Hartford, WI) and the Schauer Arts & Activities Center (Hartford, WI).

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