Dorothy Helen Maher Niemer

scan0143Dorothy Helen Maher Niemer, loving and beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend left us Friday, May 29, 2015, to join her husband of 66 years, Richard Philip Niemer, Sr., and her oldest child, Richard Philip, Jr. Dorothy was a woman of surpassing faith and substance, and her absence will be a heavy burden to bear for her seven surviving children, Joseph, Mary, Barbara, Andrew, Jim, Katey and John, her nine grandchildren and her five great grandchildren. The daughter of John J. and Erene Maher of Hinsdale, Illinois, Dorothy was predeceased by her older brother Jack and her younger sister Joan Maher McElroy. Dorothy’s family sends special thanks and blessings to the staffs at the Emerald Heights Corwin Center and Evergreen Hospice Care, who loved and cared for Dorothy with extraordinary grace and compassion.


Dorothy was born on October 24, 1925 in Hinsdale. She grew up surrounded by horses and jazz. She became an accomplished equestrian and show jumper at an early age. Due to her father’s work as the publisher of Down Beat magazine, she was able to enjoy dinners at her parents’ home with such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Oscar Peterson.


Her deep and abiding devotion to God and the Catholic Church also took root early in her life, and her good grades gained her admission to St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She graduated with a degree in Social Work, with a minor in Shakespearean literature.

It was at St. Mary’s that she met the love of her life, Richard Niemer, while he was attending Notre Dame. Dorothy and Richard were married on July 9, 1949, and the two remained together until Richard’s passing on June 9, 2013.


Before Richard, Jr. was born in 1950, Dorothy was employed as a Social Worker, assigned to some of the most desperate neighborhoods of Chicago. While she stopped working outside the home after the birth of her first child, she continued to express her compassion and desire to help her fellow human beings through many and varied volunteer positions, which ranged from child care and education to elder care, visiting shut-ins, delivering Holy Communion, and teaching classes on death and dying.


In 1958, Dorothy and Richard packed up their lives and the six children they had at that time and moved to Bellevue, Washington for Richard’s new position at Boeing. In Bellevue they had two more children.  Dorothy continually volunteered her time, effort and talents to the children’s schools, Sacred Heart, Seattle Prep, Holy Names and Forest Ridge. And of course, she spent her life helping to build her beloved parish church, Sacred Heart, where she became a Eucharistic Minister. Dorothy’s devotion to her God and her Church remained strong through all her days.


Dorothy was also devoted to her grandchildren Christine, Nathan, Michael, Seth, Cappy, Tessa, McKenna, Jesse and Ben, and her five great grandchildren Alexandre, Max, Annelise, Boden, and Lucy. She loved them madly.


We are deeply saddened by Dorothy’s passing, and we will miss her humor, her compassion and her kindness for as long as we remain, but we are comforted by the certainty that she now enjoys the rewards of a life well and righteously lived.


A rosary will be conducted for Dorothy at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Redmond at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, and a memorial service will be held on Monday June 8 at 10:30 a.m., again at St. Jude. In lieu of flowers, Dorothy’s family asks that donations be made to Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle.


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