Bio: LaCapro, Dorothy (Centenarian - 2014)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Berglund, DeChatelets, LaCapro

----Source: The Star News (Medford, WI) 12/11/2014

By Mark Berglund

Dorothy LaCapro will be one of the centenarians celebrating 12-13-14. She currently resided at Our House Assisted Living in Medford. She was born in Chicago, IL and came to this area in the late 1960’s when she and her husband bought the Kramer Motel, now known as Medford Inn. Dorothy is the mother of Patricia DeChatelets, who served on the Medford city council.

She is the head of a five generation family five times over, in addition to five great-great grandchildren.

Dorothy was born into a Polish family, the Grothmans, before marrying into an Italian family. Her husbnd found work in the bustling steel mills in south Chicago and northwest Indiana.

Dorothy’s life and times encompass some exciting and historic times in her world. She was born in the first months of World War 1. Her hometown of Chicago was booming from the start, including the opening of a new baseball park on the north side called Weeghman Park a few months before her birthday. The park would get new tenants a couple of years later as the city’s National League team was almost a decade into saying ‘next year.’

Dorothy’s early years were the era of Capone and Dillinger. She started high school one month before the stock market crash ushered in the Great Depression. She completed three grades of Catholic high school. She got good grades, including classed in Latin, in an era when report cards referred to student in a male pronoun.

Her yellow scrapbook doesn’t record why she didn’t finish the fourth year. History reminds us it was the year Chicago teachers worked without pay after the city went bankrupt. Like most in ther generation, she found a way to hold. Like most in her generation, they found away to make bigger contributions as the world once again found itself at war.

The scrapbook shows us she kept moving forward. A black and white photo shows a young couple enjoying a big band. A Red Cross certificate and newspaper clipping tell us she helped the World War II effort as a volunteer nurse’s aide. It’s a role she continued even in her Medford days as she volunteered and served as a nurse’s aide at Memorial Hospital in its first decade.

The scrapbook contains letters and accomplishments through the years. She had a certificate in elementary Italian, and in 1968 the Chicago school system recorded her general education diploma.

In addition to owning the motel for a few years, she was active at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, with the hospital auxiliary, Taylor County Commission on Aging, and the city election board.




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