Dorothy Piccirillo, 92, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed away on June 9, 2021 surrounded by her family. She leaves behind four daughters and their spouses; Linda and John Nelson of Kansas City, Cyndy and Dave Blake of Fairfax, VA, Cheryl and Brad Woodford of Lee’s Summit and Lisa and Kelly Thornburg of Longmont, CO. Ten grandchildren; Zac Nelson and spouse Billie Sue, Rachel Nelson, Josh Nelson, Anthony Blake, Evan Blake, Megan Cogan and spouse Steve, Steven Woodford and spouse Daniele, John Thornburg, Adam Thornburg and Abby Thornburg. Eight Great-Grandchildren; Madison, Gage, Camille, Kaleb, Alyssa, Ryan, Zachariah and Noah. She is also survived by her sister, LoVaune Rasmusson of Salina, KS and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her first husband John in 1978, and her second husband Dale Carlson in 2007 and her brother Melroy (Red) Anderson Jr. in 2021.
Dorothy was born November 19, 1928 to Melroy and Olga (Lundquist) Anderson in Salina, KS and spent her childhood in Lindsborg, KS. She graduated from Trinity Lutheran Hospital in Kansas City as a Registered Nurse in 1949. She worked as an RN for 44 years, the last 30, for Pediatric Associates on the Plaza.
Dorothy married John N. Piccirillo on July 29, 1950. Dorothy and John spent the first year of their marriage in California because John had been recalled to the US Marines due to the Korean Conflict. In 1951 they returned to Kansas City, and a few years later John built a home in southeast Kansas City where they raised their family.
Dorothy was a long-time member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Westport. She served as a Circle Chairperson and on the Care, Outreach, and Funeral Luncheon Committees. Dorothy and John were members of the Couples Club for over 50 years, initially formed of young couples from Immanuel. The club provided an incredible group of friends bound in faith and created a loving extended family.
Dorothy was also a homemaker, room mother, PTA member, Girl Scout leader and a member of the Scandinavian Association. Her children and grandchildren were her passion. Dorothy was present at, or arrived soon after, the birth of every grandchild. She attended every one of their high school graduations and most of their college graduations.
Dorothy and John traveled frequently to Colorado while they were raising their family and many special memories were made there. After John’s death, Dorothy had the opportunity for further travel with friends and family. After her marriage to Dale in 2002 she was fortunate to visit Sweden, Spain, Chile, Greece, the Caribbean and even Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Dorothy was proud of her Swedish heritage, taking her children to her hometown of Lindsborg to celebrate the Svensk Hyllningsfest, held every odd numbered year. Staples of family holidays were the baking of cinnamon rolls, Swedish cookies and rye bread, and breakfasts of Swedish pancakes. One of the many fond memories her grandchildren have was sitting at the kitchen table anxiously awaiting the mouth watering taste of her cooking, on one particular morning as she labored over swedish pancakes, a giant fireball filled the air to her grandsons’ amazement, who then regaled, “Do it again Grandma!”. While living at John Knox Village she could fill the entire 3 story apartment building with the aroma of rye bread, causing much interest in where it was being made.
Dorothy may be gone but the examples she set live through her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She left them an undeniable sense of passion and perseverance that can only be described as grit. In their own way Dorothy’s family embodies these traits in everything they do from their dedication to school, career and family. It is without a doubt that the legacy she left, has and will span generations.
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