Dorothy Eleanor Kearns was born August 18, 1919 and was lovingly welcomed into the home of Effie and Edward Kearns Sr. She passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at the age of 100 at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs NE, where she resided for the past thirteen years. She was raised with older brother Johnny and younger brother Edward Jr. on a ranch located near the Niobrara River south of Rushville. Dorothy and her two brothers worked hard on the ranch caring for their cattle, chickens, and hogs. They also helped with stacking hay using teams of horses. Dorothy and her brothers rode their Shetland ponies to school. Their parents told them not to run those little ponies. But guess what - they waited until they were over the hill and out of their father's sight and raced them all the rest of the way! She graduated from Rushville High School in 1937. Dorothy worked at J.C. Penney's and Levy Jones, but spent much of her life caring for others. Her parents eventually moved to town, leaving their sons to care for their ranch holdings. Dorothy never married, but cared for her parents until the ends of their long lives. Her mother lived to the age of 87 and her father was nearly 101 when he died.
Dorothy went to lots of dances and always had a great time with all her cousins and family. Her parents were avid dancers and her father always said that everyone should learn to dance. One of Dorothy's favorite old dance songs was the Tennessee Waltz.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, brothers John Kearns and his wife Mary, Edward Kearns Jr., nephews Mike and Pat Kearns, and great nephew Stephen Kearns.
She is survived by her sister-in-law Marguerite Kearns, her nephews and nieces, Joan Kearns Hollibaugh of Denver Colorado, Doris Kearns Carlson of Scotia New York, Jim Kearns (Lois) of Salt Lake City, Utah, Betty Maberry (Don) of Rushville Nebraska, Karen Rhoades (Ralph) of Lincoln Nebraska, Tom Kearns (Deb) of Rushville Nebraska, Carol Kearns of Ocean Side Oregon, Peter Kearns of Hot Springs South Dakota, Ruth Kearns Ziegler of Friend Nebraska, Corrine Kearns Emery (Randy) of Salt Lake City Utah, and Sharon Kearns of Deadwood South Dakota, She was also aunt to 37 great nieces and nephews, 56 great great nieces and nephews, and 34 great great great nieces and nephews! And you better believe she knew each and every one of them. Dorothy also had many people she loved and who loved her and treated her like family. Dorothy's faith in God and support of family and many friends made her life a good one.
A Vigil will be held on February 13, 2020 at 6:30pm at the church, and a Celebration of Life will be held in Rushville at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 10:00am on Friday, February 14th. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Rushville Nebraska. A memorial has been established for the Immaculate Conception Church in Rushville and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.
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