Dorothy (Dee) Marks, 96, was born into this world to John Taitt and Gerda Nelson Taitt on April 6, 1923 in Ashland, Wisconsin, and went to heaven on July 9, 2019 to join her parents, husband, son, and many family members and friends, and to be there to greet her children and remaining family and friends.
Dorothy attended schools in Ashland throughout her childhood and youth. She was active in orchestra, badminton, and yearbook, serving as editor her senior year during which time her classmate, photographer John Szarkowski, was the photographer. She and her classmates coordinated annual class reunions, the last being in 2006 (#61). Dorothy never lost her love for Ashland and the Chequamegon Bay area.
Dorothy moved to Milwaukee before WW II to attend business college and was the female manager at VaporBlast near the 16th Street viaduct during the war. She met a returning GI at the USO in Milwaukee, fell in love, and married Leonard Marks. While in Milwaukee she was proud to be a church youth leader for youth that included the future astronaut, James Lovell.
The family moved to Cedarburg where Dorothy and Len raised six children. Dorothy’s love for all things Cedarburg was endless. She worked for many years for the City of Cedarburg, retiring as City Clerk. She particularly enjoyed working with Mayor Fischer. She then moved to Ashland to be near her mother, Gerda, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 103, before relocating to Sun Prairie and Waunakee Manor to be near family.
Dorothy and Len believed strongly in family, friends and education, and instilled in their children the belief that they could accomplish anything to which they were willing to commit hard work, being role models as they both occasionally worked two jobs to help their children succeed in education, sports and life. They were in the Westlawn “Neighborhood Group” which enjoyed sheepshead, neighborhood events, and a commitment to the belief that it truly takes a community to raise each and every child. The Marks children had about ten sets of parents who helped them toe the line.
Dorothy and Len were living examples of a commitment to community service. Dorothy was active in Girl Scouts and Girl Scout leadership at the local and regional level from childhood in Ashland and in Cedarburg, teaming with her dear friend, Germaine Suhfras. They coordinated an International Year and Festival in the early 1960s to recognize all our diverse roots. Dorothy was active in the Women’s Clubs of Cedarburg and Ashland for many years, including as District Director. She helped involve the Ashland club in early conservation and recycling efforts. Dorothy was active for several years in the St. Anne’s Altar Society of St. Francis Borgia Church, and volunteered with Meals on Wheels, at the local libraries, and on election days as city clerk. She and Len sponsored an AFS student, Sak, from Thailand.
Dorothy was proud of her Swedish-Norwegian, Scottish and Canadian ancestry, and loved learning about her royal and historic roots. A highlight was traveling across part of Canada at the age of 81 with a daughter to visit several of the historic sites and fur trade forts associated with her ancestors. She was a coordinator of the first Scandinavian family reunion in 1977. Dorothy was an avid Packers, Badger, Braves, and Brewers fan, including at opening day with Germaine. She made the best peanut butter and chocolate Rice Krispie treats and her counted cross-stitch items are treasured.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Leonard; her parents; son John; twin daughters Jean and Joan; her siblings, John (Jack) Taitt, Thomas Taitt, and Marguerite (Midge) Peterson; AFS son Sakda Prangpatanpon, and other family and friends.
She is survived by her devoted children Ronald (Betty), Carol, Dale (Denise), Sally (Gary), James (Danielle), and daughter-in-law Heather. She is further survived by eleven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, special cousins, nieces and nephews, and life-long friends, Marion Bruce, Germaine Suhfras, and Mary Forncrook, as well as other friends and family.
A celebration of Dorothy’s life and mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday July 17, 2019, 11:30 AM at St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church North 1375 Covered Bridge Rd. Cedarburg. Visitation will be at the church on Wed. from 10:30 – 11:15 AM. Internment will be in St. Francis Borgia Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Cedarburg High School scholarship fund, Meals on Wheels, or a local library.