Dorleen Witt


Dorleen E. Witt, 91, of Cedar Falls, Iowa and formerly of Oelwein, Iowa died on Tuesday morning, May 6, 2014, at the Martin Health Center of the Western Home in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, 2014, at the Jamison-Schmitz Funeral Home in Oelwein, Iowa with the Rev. Ruth Ratliff officiating. Visitation was from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 9, at the funeral home and after 9 a.m. on Saturday.  Interment was Eastside Cemetery, Elkader, Iowa, at 12 noon on Saturday, May 10.

Memorials may be given in her name to the Cedar Bend Humane Society, the Western Home Foundation or directed to the family.

Dorleen E. Aulerich was born on March 26, 1923, the daughter of Emil F. and Amelia D. (Schultz) Aulerich, at her parent’s farm home near Luana, Iowa. She was baptized at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Monona, Iowa. Dorleen graduated from Luana Consolidated School at Luana, Iowa, in 1940 and received her B.S. degree from Iowa State College at Ames, Iowa, in 1944. Following her graduation, she worked at North American Aircraft in Los Angeles, California, as a riveter on a P-51 fighter plane assembly line. In 1945, she returned to Iowa and taught at Durant and then Elkader high schools. 

On August 7, 1946, she married Donald C. Witt. They established their home in Elkader where Mr. Witt was a partner in the William J. Witt & Sons Funeral Home. To their union were born three children:  William (Karen Franczyk) of Cedar Falls, Carol of Fayette and Donna (Michael Mettler) of Indianola.  Following her husband’s death on February 6, 1971, Dorleen completed graduate work at the University of Northern Iowa. She worked as a supervisor in the Clayton County homemaker health aid service from 1972 to 1974 and then as consumer representative for Interstate Power Co. in Oelwein from 1974 until her retirement in 1988. 

Dorleen was active in church and community organizations.  She joined the PEO Sisterhood in 1948 and filled many roles, served 19 years with the Oelwein Area council of churches including three years as president, was information director for the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Iowa, and volunteered for the United Way and several other groups.  She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Oelwein and following her move to Cedar Falls she joined the congregation of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  In 1997, she was recognized in Who’s Who of American Women.  In retirement, Dorleen enjoyed traveling and attending elderhostels. She was known for her love of animals and, in particular, for her care and rehabilitation of neglected and abused dogs.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.  She is survived by her children and a sister, Florence Bruns of Monona.

Memorials may be given in her name to the Cedar Bend Humane Society, the Western Home Foundation or directed to the family.

An on-line obituary is available at


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