Obit: Dorrance, Lorene A. Elland (1911 – 2011)

Surnames: Dorrance, Elland, Thurston, Jahr, Christopeherson, Urberg

----Sources: Jackson County Journal, 31 Aug 2011

Lorene A. Dorrance—Former Humbird, Wisconsin teacher

***Nearly 100 years of age

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Lorene A. Dorrance passed to glory on Aug. 3, 2011, while residing at the Family Heritage Care Center in Black River Falls. She was almost 100 years of age.

She was born Adelia Lorene Elland Aug. 20, 1911, on a farm in Trump Coulee, town of Preston, one of seven children born to Alydia Millie Thurston and Milan John Elland. Her sister, Mildred Jahr, brother Hillard Elland and sister Luella Briggs, all of Blair, preceded her in death.
Lorene was baptized by the Rev. Christopherson and confirmed by the Reverend Konrad Urberg in the Trempealeau Valley Lutheran Church. She graduated from Blair High School in 1928 and the next year completed teacher’s training at Wisconsin State College-Eau Claire.
In the fall of 1929 she started teaching at Russell Corners and taught without pay until June, when the community was able to scrape together money to pay her at the end of the school year. She continued to teach at Russell Corners for two more years, 1929-1932, and then taught rural school at Caswell in 1932, Sunnyside and Whitehall.

At a Blair community dance in 1936 she met Charles Wesley Dorrance, a farmer from Hixton, and they were married Nov. 6, 1937, at the Blair Lutheran parsonage by the Reverend Urberg. Following a honeymoon visit to Mr. Dorrance’s uncles in Minnesota, they returned to the Dorrance farm north of Hixton where they engaged in dairy farming for more than 25 years. Five sons were born to Lorene and Charlie.

Raising hay, showing cattle, cleaning eggs, attending 4-H meetings, threshing and educating their children in the Presbyterian, then Methodist, Church of Hixton kept them very busy. Middle son, Herman Joseph Dorrance, died while in the Navy from complications during a heart operation in 1963.

Mrs. Dorrance returned to college and graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1971. At her graduation she became the oldest person to receive a degree from Eau Claire. She taught classes in Humbird, Hixton and Black River Falls schools, retiring in 1976.

When the interstate freeway divided the old Dorrance farm, Lorene and Charlie moved west of Hixton and continued farming for an additional 15 years. Lorene was a member of the Hixton Methodist Church, ladies aid and Sons of Norway. She was a past worthy matron of Eastern Star. With her husband Charlie, she visited her sons in Colorado, California, Arizona, Montana and Wyoming. She traveled to England and Norway in the 1970s. Charles Dorrance died May 13, 1985, and Lorene continued to live on the family farm until fall 2007, when advancing age and severe winters forced her movement to assisted living.

Lorene is survived by her younger brother, Alden Elland of Blair; her sons, James (Joan) Lake Stevens of Washington, Michael (Gail) of Bridesville, B.C., Canada, Stephen (Kay) of Milltown and David of Oregon; by grandchildren Linda Davis of California, John Lake of Oswego, Ore., and Nathan of Milltown; and by great-grandsons Braden, Bryce, Reid and Garrett.

A family remembrance service and celebration of Lorene Dorrance’s life as a mother, church member, friend, community worker and teacher will be conducted at the Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home in Hixton on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, at 2:45 p.m. Family and friends are invited for visitation from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Trinity Rest Cemetery Association, care of Kay Jensen, 131 Elder St. Hixton, WI 54635.

Jensen-Modjeski Funeral Home of Hixton is assisting the family with arrangements.



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