Sister Dorothea Burr, Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, 97, died Friday, August 5, 2016 at Villa St. Joseph, La Crosse. She was in her 74th year of religious profession.
Sister Dorothea began her career with twelve years of teaching on the elementary level in Wisconsin and Iowa. With a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Viterbo College (University) and a master’s degree in home economics from UW-Stout, she taught at the high school level; five years at Marycliff High School in Spokane Washington, seven years at Aquinas High School in La Crosse and four years at Cathedral High School in Superior, Wisconsin. She also taught home economics for two semesters at Viterbo College (University), as well. In 1971 when Cathedral High School closed, Sister Dorothea moved to inner city Milwaukee. From 1971-1989, she taught sewing at Harambee School and St. Elizabeth Youth Program, while also working at a government sponsored food program. When the staff was cut, she was hired part time by Zander Home Church Vestment Company. Wanting full time employment and benefits Sister Dorothea was hired as receptionist and bookkeeper by Milwaukee Catholic Retirement Home where she worked for twelve years. When she retired from there, she spent two years as assistant bookkeeper and receptionist at Second Harvesters Food Bank. Sister Dorothea volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital and a shelter for battered women. Sister Dorothea then worked in the employment program at Interfaith Program for the Elderly, where after nine years of employment, she spent another seven as a volunteer assisting the poor. Sister Dorothea retired to Villa St. Joseph in 2006.