Dorothy Ann (Simko) La Rue
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Mom came to Wisconsin in 1970. A single-woman with five children in tow. She worked her way from a telephone switchboard operator to a Telecommunication Network Engineer. A 35-year-old woman in a man’s world. With specialized training in ESS programming (don’t ask), Mom implemented the fiber optic communication network for Houston, Texas. At the age of 57, Mom retired and moved to Prescott, WI.
Retired….that’s if you call substituting at Malone Elementary as a teacher’s aide; organizing files at (what was then) Rodli, Beskar & Boles; helping customers at Scrap-N-Time; or serving as a summer nanny for the Helmer children; retired. She became Grama Rue. Grama Rue in her little blue Tracker with best friend Lillie in the passenger seat.
The ordinary now has a true face, amazing. Growing up under her hand, her discipline, her heart, was a miracle. Unbelievable luck. We had no idea at the time, we never do. We take the miracles as commonplace because they happen everyday. Mom driving you into town after working ten hours; Grandma explaining where the wind comes from, helping you get ready for prom or teaching you how to make Diosh; or Great-grandma giving you stickers to make the perfect Valentine’s Day card. She did it all, and asked for very little in return.
Last November, at the age of 81, and being continuously employed for 64 years, Mom left her final job at Regina Hospital. She faced a hard truth, she wasn’t well. Having done her life’s work and patting an approving hand on each of us, Mom lost her brief but fierce battle with lung cancer on Friday, February 19, 2016. As we held her to say good-byes, one could not help but experience the majesty of this amazing woman. Mom gave us Dawn (David) Jensen, Patricia (Brian Hatch) La Rue, Wesley (Shirley) La Rue, Mark (Jill) La Rue and Diane Seifert-La Rue. Mom counted her additional blessings with grandchildren Chance DuMond, Steffani (DuMond) Falardeaux, Ashley (Jensen) Howard, Dr. Michelle La Rue-Buyarski, Christina (La Rue) Chapman, Jorden Jensen, Travis Seifert, Coulton Seifert, Austin La Rue, Nikita Seifert and Connor La Rue. Mom also smiles down upon her six great-grandchildren, Louie, Ella, Cal, Spencer, Olivia and Henry, with baby Chapman and baby Howard on their way this summer. Mom (“L’il Buckaroo”) lost her brother and only sibling, Richard Simko (“Ranger Rick”) to cancer just one year ago. Mom also maintained an incredible relationship with her former husband, “Ed” Purvis.
Although a formal good-bye will be held privately, a celebration of Mom….Grama Rue, was held on Saturday February 27, 2016 from 2 – 5 pm at Ridgetop, W10516 Hwy 10, River Falls, WI, 715-425-1018. Although Mom loves flowers, “home” was her priority. In that regard she supported Habitat for Humanity and area animal shelters. We love you Mom.