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Dorothy Everett

Everett Dorothy Obit

Dorothy Ness Everett August 5, 1928 – November 15, 2021 Daughter of Henry and Alma Nedrelow; Beloved Wife, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Godmother, Musician and Friend, Age 93. She has set sail and is on course, Celestial stars as her guide, she joins her Dearly Beloved.

Born in Rochester Minnesota to Henry (b. Laerdahl, Norway 1886-1962) and Alma Lund (b. Grand Forks, North Dakota 1891-1956), she grew up in Plainview, Minnesota with brother Orville and sister Ruth. She was the cherished baby of the family. The family later included Orville’s Adell, and Ruth’s George. She spent time with her mother’s family during summer months on the Lund farm in Emerado, near Grand Forks, North Dakota. Dorothy and her Lund cousins, Donna and Tom, rambled across the wheat fields on the farm. Dorothy’s father, Henry Nedrelow of Laerdahl had met Miss Alma Gelina Lund soon after she returned home to Emerado after she attended college to become a school teacher. They married in 1912, first living in Mabel, Minnesota and then settling in Plainview, near Rochester. This is in the beautiful Driftless area of Southern Minnesota. Dorothy’s life was woven with an unbroken thread of connection to family and community, whether it be her kith and kin or her many musical and academic families. We are woven through with that same thread.

Dorothy “Dot” and Richard “Dick” Ness had an epic romance extending over half a century. Dorothy and Richard exchanged their wedding vows in Plainview, Minnesota on March 17, 1950. They met at the University of Minnesota in zoology class. A spark was lit. It was an amazing marriage. Dick attended medical school and Dorothy attended grad school in microbiology and laboratory science at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Master’s in Laboratory Medical Technology. She worked in the hospital lab and later ran the blood bank at the University of Minnesota in the Old Mayo/Fairview Hospital on the East Bank. In her work she was deeply analytical, detailed-oriented and exacting as a scientist in hematology, cell biology and pathology. This is an essential role in saving lives and curing sickness in a bustling hospital environment. When Dick was in medical studies, he developed a serious progressive paralysis and was hospitalized. Dorothy collected a specimen, prepared it in the lab and interpreted the results within her eyes she had great attention to detail. She provided critical identification for the correct diagnosis and treatment of Guillian-Barre Syndrome. As with many things in life, she liked to nail it. These were the days of the polio epidemic and she feared for her young physician husband, with two little ones at home and one on the way. Dick recovered. She was admired by her colleagues then and throughout her life.

Dorothy and Dick built a tiny home nestled in the tall oaks near campus just off of East River Road, overlooking the Mississippi River. They worked, studied and had three children in Minneapolis- Nancy (1953), Richard (1955) and Susan (1957). The next step of their lives brought them to Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Carol (1960) and Jonathon (1962) arrived on the scene. Their lives in Fergus Falls ran through 1960-to the early 1990’s. Dorothy and Dick had started what became a busy ophthalmology practice and regional eye center, across the street from Lake Region Hospital where Dick performed eye surgery.

The Ness Family lived on Hoot Lake. Over the decades Dorothy’s home had a distinct bustle and thrum filled with love and life. There was the air traffic control of a big family alongside her career. She lovingly wrangled the restless polymath of a husband that was Dick Ness. Wrapped around all was music. Kids would come home to Dorothy at her piano, full-on singing, practicing for one of her many musical engagements. This was their mother. She was an accomplished pianist and church organist. She sang in a beautiful mezzo soprano voice. There were horses, boats, packs of kids, flowers, birthdays, the changing color of leaves and the spangle of sunlight across the lake outside her home; a place of food, celebration, with a beat of life and joy. There was a steady succession of mutt pups, Great Danes, a few bold cats, horses, an adopted raccoon, a pet monkey and a talking parrot commenting on the whole thing. Dorothy taught the parrot to sing Beethoven. Dorothy always had a dog of some stripe or another by her side. They knew she was a soft touch. Dick’s father Clarence Ness moved up from Waterloo to join the family, and later sister Ruth moved from Minneapolis to be closer to Dorothy in Otter Tail County. Family dinners were for a crew of at least 8 or 9 every night, and Dorothy gathered her family around the table each evening. Becky (Engelson) Hanson lived with the family during Becky’s high school years, an ever-present part of the clamor of love that was Dorothy’s family. Dick and Dorothy moved out to their cabin on Otter Tail Lake, by Battle Lake, Minnesota to be closer to great sailing. Following this there was an ice boat and a two-seater flying parachute. Otter Tail Lake was also a place where the couple could trip out in Dick’s 1955 Lake amphibious airplane, flying and landing on the lake. Kids moved on through and Dorothy and Dick spent wonderful years traveling about to see their kids and spending family time with their many dear friends at Otter Tail Lake.

The couple retired to Goodyear, AZ in the early 1990’s, traveling back to their beloved Otter Tail Lake in the summer. In Goodyear they enjoyed hot air ballooning and aviation glider flying. Above all they cherished their many friendships in the community as a charter Pebble Creek couple., building a home in the Arizona Gila River area west of Phoenix. Dorothy continued to sing and travel. They had a lot of fun. Dick Ness was a partner in life like no other. They two loved being with each other but they also had independent lives and interests that breathed passion, frisson and depth to their long marriage. Traveling with Dorothy was a notch above: one had to struggle to keep up with her when on the road. She wanted to see and do it all.

Dorothy traveled from Zanzibar to Antarctica, Bulgaria to Borneo, China to Peru. She was a proud member of the Circumnavigator’s Club. She saw migrating elephants and polar bears; migrating birds and whales, she would be at tops of mountains and deep in the sea. She fed stingrays and swam up to electric eels. She would then take a picture of it to share with her friends. She was enamored with coral reef diving- she like the bling and cloisonne color of the coral habitat. She traveled back to the Fjords of Norway, to Laerdal, Norway, the birthplace of her father, along with sister-in-law and best friend Adell “Shorty” Nedrelow. She had more than one reunion with her Norwegian relatives in several trips back to Norway. She visited the family farm in Laerdahl, on the south side of the Sognefjorden (fjord) in the traditional district of Sogn, a place of deep water and high arches and vertical spires of rock that come straight out of the sea. She went to Russia with Cousin Donna (Lund) Leak. She traveled with Dick to sail in Tahiti and the Marquesas in French Polynesia, and sailed on the QE2 in a trip of a lifetime.

Along with music, marriage and children, her passion was education. Hard work and a good education had brought so much to her in life and she wanted to inspire others to work hard and learn. She taught at Fergus Falls Community College for over 30 years. She started their lab science program, and wrote an extensive and exacting curriculum, providing a critical educational resource and career path for many who went on to staff area hospitals. She was interested in rural educational opportunities and in the advancement of others. She was mentor and friend to many in the college, hospital and musical arts communities in Fergus Falls.

Music was Dorothy’s first language and she understood it as her connection to God. She participated in the sacred liturgical musical ministry of the Church. Dorothy sang with the Geneva Eschweiler Singers of Fergus Falls Community College with the group’s crowning achievements of singing in Carnegie Hall. She also sang in various choirs at First Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and later in the Amor Zion Lutheran Church in Richville, MN. She was a charter member of the Pebble Creek Singers in Goodyear, AZ and she sang in the choir at The Church of Litchfield Park. She lived for twenty-eight years in her home in Pebble Creek. She was friend to many in her Arizona community. She continued to travel back to Otter Tail Lake in the summer where she loved to celebrate her August birthday, surrounded by family. Her children lovingly cared for her as their Queen Bee.

Dorothy loved everything from Bach to Bachrach. Dorothy and Dick loved to dance. Dorothy was a snappy dresser; she loved colors that reflected the vibrancy of her life. Such color! She loved hummingbirds and other sparkly creatures and things. She was an avid photographer, a voracious reader, and enjoyed a variety of needle crafts. In later years she cross-stitched textile works that directly represent the tapestry of life she embraced. Her cross-stitch and needle point gems went out to her far- flung family, as a gift directly from her hands. The panoply of her work is a joy to behold. She loved birthday parties, or any party for that matter. If the beat and music was good, she would dance. Dorothy was fun-loving and spontaneous. Nothing surprised her children. She was the one that fed a few of her grandchildren their first taste of ice cream. She loved Christmas. Stitch by stitch we see her life reflected as a witness to the beautiful tapestry of God.

In 2008 she married Ret. Army Major Jack Veeder Everett, geologist, explorer and fellow adventurer, in a ceremony on the waters of Otter Tail Lake. The two were together for 5 years. They traveled across Africa, South America and other points across the globe. Dorothy was especially enchanted with Egypt and Argentina. Dorothy and Jack took it all in: they met wonderful people and enjoyed cultural experiences abroad and in their beloved Arizona. She enjoyed time with Jack and the families of Jack’s four sons.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her beloved husband Dr. Richard “Dick” Ness, brother Orville and sister Ruth, and their loving spouses Adell and George, son-in-law Dr. Harvey Casebeer, and second husband Jack Veeder Everett, and her beloved countless friends from a life fully lived. She lives on in her children Nancy (Casebeer), Richard Ness, Susan (Gonzalez), Dr. Carol Ness, and Jonathon Ness. Her family of children’s spouses are: Dr. Harvey Casebeer, Celia Lenander Ness, Dr. Hector Gonzalez, John Rice and Bridget Kilgore. In order of birth, are her grandchildren: Dr. Dorothea Pedersen, Richard Alton Ness III, Luke Hegerle, Christopher Casebeer, Nichole Casebeer, David Gonzalez, Sofia Gonzalez, Maya Alma Gonzalez, Sean and Levi Ness. Her family included Randy Pedersen, Joel Hegerle and Dana Steffens and Chelsea Hegerle. Dorothy’s great-grandchildren were a special joy with great grandson Leif Hegerle (Luke and Chelsea Hegerle) and great-granddaughters Sonja, Audrey and Fiona (Dorothea Pedersen and Jared Murat). May they all be guided by her love.

On joyful wing cleaving the sky, Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I’ll fly, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Funeral services at The Church at Litchfield Park, Litchfield Park, Arizona, 10:30 Saturday, November 20, 2021 with the Rev. Dr. Lynne Kammeraad. Arrangements by Thompson Funeral Chapel, Goodyear, Arizona.

5 Comments on “Dorothy Everett

  1. Sue, so sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing…the obituary was so interesting to read! Thank you for sharing your Mom’s story with those of us who only knew small parts of her life! If you are ever in St Paul, I’d love to get together!

  2. Dorothy Ness Everett’s was a life well and fully lived.

    My sympathy to all her kids and their families.

  3. I can only imagine the beauty you see and hear now Dot. The music of the Lord, there is no sweeter sound for those who have accepted Him. As you knew, we are all creations of God, but we only become children of God when we receive him.
    John 1: 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

    Sing my dear Dot, sing in the heavenly choir for ever more…..as my Mom said before she passed from this life “next time in glory”
    What a day that will be!
    With Love,

    Celia

  4. May you all find peace and comfort in the memories you have of Dorothy. She was an amazing woman….a life well lived.
    God Bless…..

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