Dorothy was born on August 16, 1936 to the late Otto and Hilda (Radtke) Lau in Chicago, Illinois but grew up in Mendota, Illinois, surrounded by many aunts, uncles and cousins. Getting her first library card was the greatest achievement of her younger years, as she loved to read. She graduated from Mendota High School in 1954 and then went to work for the telephone company.
She met her husband, John (Jack) Ferry, when a friend wanted her to help pick out the outside of a stereo because she had good taste, while Jack provided sound technical advice. They started dating shortly thereafter and married on December 16, 1967. Dorothy had never traveled much outside of Illinois, but within months of marriage, they were living in New York while Jack attended engineering school for IBM. Shortly afterwards they were going to Germany, where they lived for two years. She loved experiencing the different cultures of Europe and loved trying all the food, especially the bread. They returned in 1970, took up residence on the family farm in Caledonia, Illinois and raised two children. She lived there for 50 years.
Dorothy enjoyed the quiet of the farm. She started with big gardens. The gardens got smaller, but the flowerbeds got bigger each year. She loved having colorful flowers all around the farm and spent much time taking care of them.
She was an avid reader, focusing mainly on women’s experiences in World War II. Her collection of books on history is extensive. Throughout her life she tried various hobbies, such as quilting and sewing. She helped the quilters at Jefferson Prairie Lutheran Church and was proud to help make blankets that would help others who did not have such basic necessities. A long-time member of Jefferson Prairie, she helped plan weddings and funeral lunches, served on council and took part in some circles. She was passionate about helping those less fortunate, always promoting causes such as St. Jude’s and ELCA World Hunger. She was a member of her local Homemakers group for almost 50 years. Dorothy loved garage sales and flea markets. Bargaining over a price was something she became quite good at, as she increased her collection of pitchers and other dishware. She never needed any more dishes, but she couldn’t resist beautifully painted china that matched her decor.
She loved to do crossword puzzles, as long as the clues were not about sports or modern entertainment. She liked to watch Dr. Pol and cooking shows (but didn’t want to make any of the food). She enjoyed keeping a clean, organized household, going so far as to always iron the pillowcases.
Dorothy is survived by her daughter, Laura (Matthew) Lee; her son, Douglas; and two granddaughters, Catherine and Elizabeth. She is further survived by her sister Marlene Lau of Wausau, and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband and brother. Other relatives and countless friends will miss her kind, helpful spirit as will her immediate family.
Dorothy's Funeral Service will be 11:00 a.m. on Thursday July 30, 2020 in the BRIAN MARK FUNERAL HOME, 504 Milwaukee Road, Clinton with Pastor Linda Winkelman officiating. Friends will be received on Thursday in the Funeral Home from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow the service in Livingston Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to ELCA World Hunger and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Please share a memory or a condolence with the Ferry family on our website.
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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
ELCA World Hunger