Dorothy Jean Embree, 79, of Mt. Sterling died on Monday, February 1, 2021, at Seasons Hospice, Naperville, IL. She was born on August 29, 1941, in Gridley, IL, the daughter of Kathryn Anna Caroline (Kline) and Elva Vernon King. She married Russell Lewis Embree of Camp Point, IL, on January 29, 1959. She was a member of the First Lutheran Church, Mt. Sterling, IL.
She is survived by her children Mike (Karen) Embree of San Antonio, TX; Don (Sally)
Embree of Waukee, IA; Kathy (Jim) Koenig of Wheaton, IL; and Lisa (Alvaro) Perales of Bettendorf, IA; brother Richard (Geri) King of Mesa, AZ; sister Rose (Ronnie) Briggs, Mt. Sterling; sisters-in-law Norma (Lionel, deceased) McCallister of Erie; Carol (Ralph, deceased) Embree of Sturgeon, MO; Linda (Marion) Malcomson of Campbellsville, KY; and Marilyn (John, deceased) Reische of Mt. Sterling; brother-in-law Fred (Betty) Bessell of Camp Point, IL; grandchildren Dutch (Embree) Cosmian, Halsey Embree; Scott Embree, Carrie Eby, Betsy Bathke; Elizabeth Koenig, Julia Koenig; Isabella Perales, Samuel Perales; great-grandchildren Beatrix Cosmian; Colby, Lucy, and Nora Embree; Faith Eby; Austin and Jackson Bathke; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, Russ’s parents Mazie Pearl (Lewis) and John Henry Embree; sister Alice (Norman) Bowen; and great-granddaughter Aden Elizabeth Embree.
Dorothy attended Bell School, a one-room schoolhouse, in rural Mt. Sterling, and Brown County High School in Mt. Sterling. While in high school, she met Russ at the roller skating rink in Mt. Sterling. The couple was eventually engaged and married in Quincy, IL, with Betty Embree and Fred Bessell acting as witnesses. Dorothy married a Navy man, and the couple was first stationed in Albuquerque, NM, and then in Norfolk, VA, from 1959 to 1962. Following Russ’s years in the service, they resided first in Buckhorn, IL, and after a year, moved to Mt. Sterling.
In 1966 Dorothy and Russ learned of work in the Quad Cities area, and they eventually moved, along with Russ’s sister and brother-in-law, Norma and Lionel McCallister, to Erie, IL. Dorothy was homemaker and also sold Avon for a short time driving on many gravel roads with the country route. She babysat for many children through the years, including Bart, Amy, and Chad Jepson, Angie Duffy, and Kathleen Pratt.
Dorothy was very social and made many lifelong friends in Erie. She and Russ were members of the Erie Triangles Square Dance Club, and enjoyed fun and crazy times with their fellow dancers. She was her children’s most enthusiastic (and loudest) cheerleader and attended every single event that they were involved in through the years—band and chorus concerts and contests; Cardinal Capers; parades; softball, baseball, basketball and football games; track meets; and wrestling meets and tournaments. Dorothy was an excellent seamstress and made many square dance dresses, matching dresses for her daughters, as well as matching Erie Centennial outfits for her family. She enjoyed crocheting and made baby blankets for each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was very competitive and loved to win at cards and wanted to be the first one to find morel mushrooms in the spring. Dorothy was also the hostess of a daily coffee klatch, made up of some of her best friends in Erie, Marje Glazier, Sylvia Russell, Mary Lou Luken, and many others. She always enjoyed the company of others.
Dorothy and Russ moved in 1997 to Dorothy’s family farm in Mt. Sterling, where together and while living in a camper, built a new home after the original farmhouse was lost in a fire. After returning to Mt. Sterling, Dorothy enjoyed exercising with Russ at the YMCA and joined a new group of coffee drinkers who met each morning at McDonald’s. The couple continued to actively farm the ground and raise cattle until Russ’s passing in 2019.
Dorothy’s home was warmly welcoming to all. There was always coffee brewing and room for more at the kitchen table. She was an excellent cook and loved to bake. Her delicious fruit pies were enjoyed by both family and friends, and everyone had their favorite. Her pies never failed to appear at all family and social functions. Whenever the church held a soup supper or ice cream social, Dorothy received many requests from people ahead of time to reserve a piece of her pie. Nothing could have made her happier. At Christmas time, she and Russ made candy--fudge, divinity, caramels, and turtles. They shared their delicious homemade candy with both family and friends.
Caring for other people brought Dorothy the greatest joy and satisfaction. She helped anyone in need, including taking in some of her kids’ friends who needed a temporary home. Dorothy helped care for her parents as well as Russ’s parents. She thoroughly enjoyed watching over a special family friend, Wayne Nicolai. She was especially fond of children and could have been called “The Baby Whisperer.” Being with her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her the ultimate joy, playing games with them and spoiling them.
Dorothy’s loving and caring for Russ was her life. For many years before Russ’s passing, she handled the challenges of his Parkinson’s Disease and pancreatic cancer with fortitude and grace, never feeling sorry for herself and never giving up hope. She also made sure Russ didn’t stop trying or lose hope. Russ and her family and friends meant the world to Dorothy, and she was loved by so many and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
We know that Dorothy deserves a beautiful tribute and understand that under normal circumstances many friends would love to attend. But sadly due to the current health situation and under the direction of the local health department, the services are to be conducted with only family members in attendance.
Friends are encouraged to watch Dorothy’s services streaming live at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 6, 2021 on the funeral home website at hendrickerfuneralhome.com.
We also encourage the community to leave a condolence or remembrance on the website for the family.
There will be no visitation.
Memorials are suggested to Brown County Against Cancer and may be left at or mailed to the Hendricker Funeral Home, 406 South Capitol Avenue, Mt. Sterling, IL 62353
The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling is assisting the family with the arrangements.
To send flowers to Dorothy's family, please visit our floral store.
Brown County Against Cancer
P.O. Box 68, Mount Sterling IL 62353