Catholic 08

Dorothy M. (Mullen) Puhr

February 14, 1926 ~ January 30, 2024 (age 97) 97 Years Old

Dorothy Puhr Obituary

Danville - Dorothy M. Puhr, 97, died peacefully on Jan. 30 at the home of her son, Mike, and daughter-in-law, Joann. 

Dorothy was born in Devils Lake, ND, on Feb. 14, 1926, the daughter of Edward Mullen and Leona LeDuc Mullen.  She attended St. Mary’s Academy in Devils Lake, Lake Region Junior College, St. Benedict’s College, and Valley City State Teachers College, where she earned her degree in elementary education in 1949.  From 1949-1953, she taught second grade at Horace Mann School in Fargo, ND.  In July, 1953, she married Edward R. Puhr of Fingal, ND, who preceded her in death. She was a proud Army wife, moving to new assignments with her husband and family several times in the 1950s and 1960s as he pursued his military career.

After giving birth to five children, Dorothy returned to teaching in Devils Lake from 1964-66.  After she and her family moved to Danville in 1966, she joined the faculty at St. Patrick’s School (later Holy Family School), where she taught third grade from 1967-2000, touching the lives of hundreds of students.  After retiring from full-time teaching, she served as a reading tutor at Holy Family for five years, until age 80.  After her work at Holy Family, she served as an LPHDNA neighborhood block captain, volunteered with Meals on Wheels, helped prepare and serve funeral meals at Holy Family Church, was a Eucharistic minister at nursing homes and the hospital, and served as a Patient Ambassador at the hospital.  She participated in water aerobics at the YWCA until it closed, then joined the Family Y for exercise classes.  For over 50 years she was a member of the choir at St. Patrick/Holy Family parish and was a frequent soloist. 

On two occasions—the day of her retirement from Holy Family School in 2000 and on her 90th birthday, in 2016—she was celebrated through “Dorothy Puhr Day” in Danville. For that birthday, she received proclamations from the City of Danville from Mayor Scott Eisenhauer, the Illinois House of Representatives presented by Representative Chad Hayes, and an Illinois Senate Resolution from Senator Scott Bennett.  She was the winner of several teaching and service awards, including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, the Pere Marquette Award for service to the Diocese of Peoria, and Walmart’s Outstanding Teacher Award—Danville’s first recipient of this honor.

Dorothy loved crafts and home-improvements of all kinds, including crocheting, sewing, baking, reupholstering furniture, wall-papering, painting interior and exterior walls, laying new linoleum, and rearranging furniture.  She had a keen sense of style and a flair for color.  Until recent years, she hosted gatherings for her family almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas, preparing almost all the food herself.

Dorothy is survived by her five children: Kathleen Puhr (Louis Axeman), Michael Puhr (Joann), Patrick Puhr (Seresa), Timothy Puhr (Julie), and Teresa Mawdsley (Alan).  Other survivors include her older brother, John Mullen (JoAnn) and youngest brother, Edward Jr. (Jerry Hanley), and her sisters-in-law, Maryann Mullen and Rita Mullen; two step-grandchildren, Lorraine Axeman and Carmela Bracco, along with nine grandchildren: Patrick Puhr, Jr. (Lynn), Matthew Puhr (Lisa), Benjamin Puhr (Raven), Christopher Puhr (Meagan White), Andrew Puhr (Liz), Joseph Puhr (Michele), Nicholas Puhr, Karen Mawdsley (Stephen Kostka), and James Mawdsley; and thirteen great-grandchildren: Katelyn, Lauren, Madden, Nixon, Kayden, Janey, Aria, Mila, Yamanya, Kylie, Finnian, Declan, and Columba Puhr. Also surviving are numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Her last two and a half years were blessed by the presence of her Home Instead helper, Verline Barber.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Puhr; her parents Edward and Leona; her baby sister, Elizabeth Jane; her brothers James and Michael; her grandchildren Robert Puhr, Andrea Puhr, and Stephen Puhr; and her great-grandson, Brendan Puhr.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Dorothy M. Puhr will be held at 10 AM on Monday, February 5, 2024 at Holy Family Catholic Church. Father Steven Loftus will officiate. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park in Danville. Visitation will be held from 4-7 PM on Sunday, February 4, 2024 at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 3940 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61834. A Recitation of the Rosary will be at 3:30 PM prior to the start of visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity or organization of the donor’s choice.

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Recitation of the Rosary
February 4, 2024

3:30 PM
Sunset Funeral Home & Cremation Center
3940 N Vermilion St.
Danville, Il 61834

February 4, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Sunset Funeral Home & Cremation Center
3940 N Vermilion St.
Danville, Il 61834

Mass of Christian Burial
February 5, 2024

10:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
444 E Main St
Danville, , Illinois (IL) 61832


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