Dorothy Lill Larson

Dr. Dorothy Larson

Dorothy Lill Larson lived vibrantly for 100 years and peacefully passed on August 27, 2020 in Mascoutah, Illinois.  Dr. Dorothy was born on May 2, 1920.  She grew up in Mascoutah and found her greatest joy staying close to home but for college she relished four adventuresome years majoring in zoology and chemistry at Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale.  She went on to teach high school physics and aeronautics in Mascoutah and DuQuoin.  In 1944 she earned a masters degree in zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Excited to return home after graduation she put her cat in the front basket of her bicycle and together they rode 356 miles from Madison, Wisconsin to Mascoutah.  The following school year she began medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago where she was paired with Bill Larson as her cadaver partner in the anatomy lab.  They were cadaver partners for a full year and remained life partners in their medical practice in Mascoutah and in family life until Dr. Bill’s death in 1980.

As the first female physician in St. Clair County she practiced medicine for many years, delivering hundreds of babies, assisting with complex surgeries and tending to the routine of a small town family practice by giving good care, advice and comfort to her patients.

Throughout her life she enjoyed learning and hobbies that included painting, pottery making, sewing, reading, current events and feeding multitudes of people.  Like her mother Flora, she welcomed and accepted people from all walks of life.  Family and friends will always remember her delightful sense of humor and ability to find fun in many of life’s situations.  She appreciated and studied the spiritual practices of many beliefs and traditions. In retirement Dr. Dorothy spent her last 35 years enjoying time with grandchildren, teaching art at Mascoutah Elementary, rescuing animals of all kinds while continuing to evolve, grow and embrace the many life lessons that came her way.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert F. Lill and Flora Beinecke Lill, her husband William R. Larson, MD, a daughter Jane Larson, a grandson Alex Larson Day, a sister, Marjorie Lill Worms, brothers in law, Elfred M. Worms, Meryl T. Schroeder, Clifford Willets, sisters in law Marion Larson and Ruth Willets, and son in law Gary Harter.

Surviving are her daughter Nancy Larson and spouse William O’Hara, grandchildren Mark Larson Harter (Jen), Sarah Larson (Robert), Patrick Larson Day (Jennifer), sister Patricia A. Schroeder, nieces and nephews Kent Schroeder (Jeanette), Kay Connolly, Jan Worms, Marjorie Dunaway (Dan), son in law David Day and a host of other family and friends and children who called her Grandma Dorothy.

Dr. Dorothy thoroughly enjoyed celebrating her 100th birthday with a parade led by the Mascoutah Fire Department. She noted the pandemic was perfectly timed so there could be no visitation or funeral gathering.

In lieu of all other gifts, in keeping with her interest in the world she was an avid listener of radio and if you wish to make a donation in her memory she suggested WSIU 90.7 Public Broadcasting 1100 Lincoln Dr. Suite 1003, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, the Mind’s Eye Radio 9541 Church Circle Dr., Belleville, IL 62223 or the Mascoutah Food Pantry 17 West Main Street, Mascoutah, IL 62258.

A special thanks is extended to the loving residents and caregivers at Assisted Living at Silver Creek in Mascoutah for their kindness and compassionate care.

Her carbon footprint was small but her legacy is overflowing.

Moll Funeral Home 

Mascoutah, IL

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous on August 30, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I grew up in Mascoutah. Dr. Dorothy Larson was my doctor. I didn’t get chicken pox until I was a sophmore in high school and I was very sick. My mom called Dr. Larson. Dr. Larson, of course, knew it wasn’t safe for her other patients to have me in her office with chicken pox. She asked my mom to bring me to her house that evening. Dr. Larson said, “She doesn’t need to get dressed. Just bring her in her pajamas”. Dr. Larson was always gentle and kind, but her kindness that evening has never been forgotten.
    Peace be with you, Dr. Dorothy.
    Barb Pritchett

  2. Anonymous on August 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Dr. Dorothy always supported my work as editor of the Herald during some tough times when lots of influential people in the city didn’t want to read or hear about bad leadership and criminal behavior at City Hall.
    She and her sisters advised me to follow the story wherever it went. Their support helped keep me going despite some huge public pressure. I always appreciated their advice in a time of turmoil.
    With every encounter, Dr.Dorothy made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. I tried to give that back to her in kind.
    She was a treasure in this city. She graced us and inspired us.
    Think about it. Our city is 187 years old. Dr. Dorothy helped make it better for 100 of those years by leaving her footprints all over the place. We walk in the footsteps of a giant.
    Gene Isbell, Venice, Florida

  3. Anonymous on August 29, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Grew up next door to the Lill family, great people , down to earth, couldn’t ask for better people.

  4. Anonymous on August 29, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    I consider it a privilege that God saw fit to let my life intersect with Dr. Dorothy. Although she was in the last quarter of her time on Earth when we met, I found her to be one of the sharpest people I have ever met in both mind and wit. She cared deeply about her community and all people who were fortunate enough to know her. Although her body finally gave out, her legacy and spirit will forever live in those whose lives she helped start at their birth and so many others she positively influenced in her journey through life. Rest in Peace Dr. Dorothy and know we all appreciate huge difference you made to so many in this world! Wayne Armstrong

  5. Anonymous on August 29, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    So sorry fot her loss. She was my doctor when i moves from Florida to Mascouth. She was a very friendly person as a doctor. An when she wasn’t doctoring. She took care of my in laws Mr. An Mrs Elroy Keller. They would alwzys check on them when she would leave the office. They lived right next door to the doctors office.. she wlll really be missed.

  6. Anonymous on August 29, 2020 at 10:37 am

    I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Dorothy Larson‘s death. She was an inspirational woman with a great sense of humor. As a child, knowing a unique
    woman physician in my hometown gave me the idea and encouragement to become a physician myself. She was an excellent role model. She also raised 2 wonderful daughters who shared her sense of humor and love of life. She was a true friend to many and kept up her love of learning to the end. She will be sorely missed. My sympathy to Nancy and her grandchildren and nieces and nephews.
    Linda Cunningham MD

Leave a Comment