Dorothy Olinger OSB, 96, died on December 27, 2022. A wake service will be held at 7:00 PM on Friday, December 30, 2022 and the Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 AM, on Saturday, December 31, 2022, both in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel in Yankton, South Dakota. Burial will be in the Monastery cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Yankton.
Dorothy was born March 21, 1926 the seventh of nine children, to Edward and Mary (Schiltz) Olinger on a farm near Emery, South Dakota. She attended St. Martin’s School and stayed with her aunt during those years because her mother died when she was eight years old. She graduated from the eighth grade in 1940 and attended one year of high school. She left school to care of the family and work part-time at the Post Office, Drug Store and Telephone office. She later worked full-time at the grocery store in Emery. When her father died in 1948, she was left in charge of her two younger brothers.
Dorothy entered Sacred Heart Monastery on August 20, 1952. She was invested as a novice on June 28, 1953 and received the name Stephan. She made first profession on January 2, 1955 and final profession on June 29, 1958. She began teaching and went to school for her degree from Mount Marty College in Yankton, South Dakota on August 4, 1968. She taught in Pueblo, Colorado; Webster, Chamberlain, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Lincoln and Albion, Nebraska. She felt privileged to have spent three summers working at Goodwill Homes for Children in Memphis, Tennessee, as well as with other racially diverse children during her years of ministry. Many summers were given to religious vacation schools in various places.
After Vatican II, Sister Dorothy enjoyed greater opportunities to minister to others by serving as a Eucharistic Minister and parish visitor. She also participated in retreats and accompanied groups on her guitar. Occasions for personal spiritual renewal were given to her at this time through the Charismatic Movement, Cursillo and a thirty-day retreat.
Dorothy was a quiet, kind, sensible, and caring person. She enjoyed cooking, baking (she was known for her pecan pie), spirited card-playing with friends, and traveling whenever possible. Though a very private person, she extended a generous compassion to those she served and lived with in the community.
Dorothy is survived by her Benedictine community; her brother, Raymond, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Mary Olinger, sisters, Margaret, Rosella, and Irma, and brothers, Joseph, Anthony, and Wilfred.