Sister Dorothy Rolfes, OSF, 80, died Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at Clare House in her 57th year of religious life.
Dorothy Caroline was born on February 5, 1937 to Bernard and Caroline (Reuther) Rolfes in LeMars, Iowa.
She grew up in a family of seven brothers; Arnold, Elmer, Andrew, Bernard, Lestor, Leonard, and Lawrence. Dorothy was the third youngest and the only girl.
When she was of school age, Dorothy attended St. Joseph School in LeMars and was taught by the Sisters of Christian Charity. At the time of her junior year in high school, a new school opened and was named Gehlen High instead of Saint Joseph. Mr. Gehlen had donated the land for the building and thus it was named in his honor. For Dorothy, this was the beginning of the combination of several parishes joining together to attend this school.
Her call to religious life started when she was in grade school but she delayed it for several years and finally in 1952, Dorothy gave in to answer the call, well at least “she would try it” as she stated. But first before entering the community, she worked professionally from 1955 to 1959. She then realized that it was time to commit to answer the call to religious life and thus Dorothy entered Mount St. Francis on September 3, 1959. A year later on August 12, 1960, Dorothy was received into the congregation and given the name Sister Catherine Labouré.
After the Juniorate program at Immaculate Conception in Dubuque, Dorothy began her ministry as a homemaker at Mary of the Angels, and Holy Family Hall both in Dubuque; St. Joseph in Bode, Iowa, and at Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1998, Dorothy began working in the bakery department here at Mount St. Francis. Among her many homemaking duties, baking was her favorite. If you happened to be in the bakery when Dorothy took a pan of baked goods out of the oven, you saw her smile from ear to ear. Dorothy continued working in the bakery until 2012. It was during that year that Dorothy moved to Clare House.
Sister is survived by her brother Lawrence and her sisters-in-law, Ann Rolfes and Betty Rolfes, nieces and nephews, and her Franciscan sisters with whom she shared over 56 years of her life.
Sister was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Arnold (Mary), Elmer (Hilda), Andrew, Bernard, Lester (Phyllis) and Leonard (Colleen).