Dorothy Rouse Solheim

Dorothy Rouse Solheim

MONONA- Dorothy Rouse Solheim, passed in to the loving arms of her Lord and Savior on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.

She is loved and will be greatly missed by her large circle of family and friends. Dorothy was an elegant, generous, energetic and witty lady who charmed everyone she met and carried a special love for each of her children and grandchildren. She was born on April 25, 1925, in Mundelein, Ill. to Paul and Minnie (Meyer) Rouse. She moved with her family to Arlington, Wis. in 1936. Dorothy graduated from Poynette High School and attended UW-Madison and UW-Stout. She met and later married her schoolmate, Donald Solheim in Arlington in 1946. Theirs was a happy and loving marriage that lasted 64 years, with Donald passing away in 2010. Donald and Dorothy briefly lived in Mendota, Ill., before moving to Monona in 1957, where they raised four children. In addition to raising a family, Dorothy had a lifelong love of music, which led to singing solos for World War II troops and others and serving as a choir director and as organist at Monona Lutheran and other area churches.

Dorothy was Registrar for the School of Nursing at UW-Madison from 1969 to 1985. She truly enjoyed helping many students navigate through the administrative parts of their education. In retirement she was actively involved in many church and volunteer activities, including the Bethel food pantry and meals on wheels. She and Donald served as managers at the Bethesda House of Thrift for over 20 years. They were avid travelers and made countless road trips to visit children and grandchildren with care packages. Dorothy was a faithful correspondent and a sharp observer of human nature as demonstrated by the droll letters she sent until the end of her life. A lover of music and family, Dorothy brought these loves to the lives of many, teaching the art of music and cooking to all those interested in learning. Hymns were especially important music. She was also a gifted connoisseur and evangelist of treats. Dorothy lived at Kennedy Manor in her last years, continuing to make new friends and enrich her neighbors’ lives. She took great pleasure driving around the Capitol at night to see the city lights, often commenting that it was one of the most beautiful sights to behold. Dorothy was content in life and looked forward to joining Donald in Heaven.

She is survived by her children, Thomas and wife Sandra (Nyreen), Jerrianne and husband Bill Bland, Karen and Christine and husband Errol Hartman; her grandchildren, Karla (spouse Angela), Michael (spouse Anne), and David (spouse Nicole) Solheim, and Lars and Katherine Bland; a great-grandson, Henry Solheim; her sisters-in-law, Geraldine Rouse, Laurel Rouse and Margaret Solheim; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; and her brothers, David and Roger.

Funeral services will be held at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. Burial will be private. Visitation will be held at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday.

For consideration as memorials, Bethel Horizons, Bethel Food Pantry and Bethel Media Ministry are programs Mom supported. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive