Dolores (Dee) Mary Stierwalt, 89, of Sadorus passed away at 12:25 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021, at University Rehab, Urbana, from the effects of a stroke.
Dee was born Feb. 6, 1932, in Pesotum to Mary (Schumacher) and Otto Reinhart. She was married to Bob Stierwalt for 62 years at the time of his death on Dec. 12, 2012. Upon their marriage, Dee made her home in Sadorus in partnership with Bob in their farming life.
Bob and Dee raised seven children on the farm and are survived by Gail (David) Rice of Denver, Bonita (Paul) Compton of Homer, Richard Stierwalt of Ivesdale, Steven (Judi) Stierwalt of Sadorus, Sharon Rutan of Danville, Diane (Paul) Cain of Philo and William (Jeanne) Stierwalt of Sadorus. Dee is also survived by sister-in-law Edith (Lawrence) Reinhart, 19 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Tamara (Rich) Stierwalt; two grandsons, Curtis Baker and Stephen Rutan; and five siblings, Marie (Benjamin) Rund, Celestine (Gilbert) Magsamen, Cornelia (Maurice) Smith, Lawrence (Edith) Reinhart and Madonna (Lawrence) McMahon.
While Dee started her education at St. Mary's Parish School in Pesotum, her sophomore through senior years of high school were spent as a boarding student at Mount St. Clare Academy in Clinton, Iowa. Dee had wonderful memories of her time with the nuns at the school and as the boarding student who traveled farthest to school.
Dee was a full-time mother to her family of seven wonderful children (her words!). As it became feasible, Dee started working in the fields during the spring planting and fall harvest as a partner to Bob.
Leading 4-H club for 17 years and membership in the Champaign County Farm Bureau Women's Committee were other important roles in her life. Square dancing and bridge were also favorites that kept both Bob and Dee active.
Dee's Catholic faith was always a very important part of her life. She was a parishioner of St. Joseph's Catholic Church parish in Ivesdale for 71 years and active supporter of the parish, including serving on the Altar and Rosary Society. She was well known for her cinnamon-roll contributions to many St. Joseph parish events.
During the earlier years of the children's lives, Dee made dresses for her daughters and later made comforters for each of the children with the help of the younger children. She enjoyed reading and cooking for the family and hosting the ever-growing Christmas celebrations at the home that she and Bob built for their retirement.
Bob and Dee inspired a love of travel in the whole family. Road trips to world's fairs, national parks and historical sites with everyone in a nine-passenger station wagon with luggage on the roof were favorite family memories. Bob and Dee spent many happy winters enjoying the climate, restaurants and Aloha spirit in Honolulu, Hawaii. With Bob, Dee traveled to every continent except Anarctica.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Ivesdale, with a 4:30 p.m. Rosary service. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the church.
Memorials may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church, 201 Fifth St., Ivesdale, IL 61851.
Freese Funeral Home, 407 N. Bourne St., Tolono, is handling arrangements. Condolences may be offered at Freesefh.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dee Stierwalt, please visit our floral store.