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