KEARNEY – Dorothy L. (Mess) DeLaet, 83, of Kearney died Sunday, March 13, 2022, ending her battle with Alzheimer’s disease at Country House Assisted Living in Kearney. While death has not lost its sting we rejoice that she now lives in victory.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church with the Rev. Tim Barone officiating.
Burial will follow the service at Riverdale Cemetery.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Friday at Horner Lieske McBride and Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services.
Dorothy was born Oct. 13, 1938, to Isabelle (Carr) Mess. She was baptized April 5, 1953, at Evangelical United Brethren Church in Kearney. She graduated from Kearney High School with the Class of 1956. During high school she was editor of the school newspaper and wrote a column called Spots by Dot.
On June 26, 1957, she married Celestian “Joe” DeLaet in Kearney. Three sons were born to this union. Dorothy then graduated and obtained her teaching degree from Kearney State College. She received her first and only teaching assignment at Kenwood Elementary School in Kearney where she taught for 26 years. Dorothy thoroughly enjoyed teaching her students and also developed many lifelong friendships with her coworkers. Dorothy was awarded the Peter Kiewit Nebraska Teacher Achievement Award for promoting Random Act of Kindness with Kenwood students. She also received the Kearney Public School Foundation Excellence Retired Educator Award.
She was a charter member of PEO Chapter IX and was a past president of the chapter. She was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church where she was active in many Bible studies, served on various boards, and was a past president of LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League). Upon her retirement in 1998, she volunteered for Kearney Public Schools, CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital, and also with the adult literacy program. Dorothy had a dry sense of humor and a quick wit and could dish out as well as take good-natured ribbing. She loved to travel with her husband and with her many friends even after her husband passed away.
Survivors include her sons, Greg (Marlene) DeLaet of Kearney, Doug (Arlene) DeLaet of Odessa and Brian (Maki) DeLaet of Wheat Ridge, Colo.; sisters, Gertie Lee of Wheat Ridge, Colo., Shirley (Neal) Scott of New York City; brothers, Leslie (Rosemary) Mess of Rogers, Ark., and Leroy Mess of Wheat Ridge, Colo.; grandchildren, Jim (Jeny) DeLaet of Herndon, Va., Nathan (Melissa) DeLaet of Grand Island, Noelle (Elliot) Wegner of Lincoln, Caleb (Afnan) DeLaet of Denver, John (Tessa) DeLaet of Kearney, Drew Chancellor of Colorado Springs, Colo., Noah DeLaet of Wheat Ridge, Colo., Cole Chancellor of Kearney, Megan DeLaet and fiancé Tyler Adelman of Kearney, Sarah DeLaet of Fort Collins, Colo., Anna DeLaet of Denver; great-grandchildren, Keith DeLaet, Jayson DeLaet, Kollin DeLaet, Kyle DeLaet, Frankie Wegner, Louie Wegner and Ellis DeLaet.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Joe in 2003; and her mother Isabelle in 2006.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church.
Visit hlmkfuneral.com to leave condolences.
Published by Kearney Hub on Mar. 16, 2022.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the