Dora M. Kuehner, 104
May 21, 1911 — Sept. 26, 2015
Dora M. Kuehner, 104, of Madison, died peacefully on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg.
She was born May 21, 1911, on the family farm near Rockfield, the daughter of George and Louisa (Klevenow) Bast. She was married to Conrad L. Kuehner, a professor of horticulture at the University of Wisonsin-Madison, on Sept. 26, 1941, by her brother, the Rev. Karl Bast, at his first parish in Raymond, South Dakota. They were married for 11 years until his untimely death in 1952. During their marriage she accompanied Conrad on his UW Extension-related trips throughout the 48 states, sharing his love of travel and meeting people. After Conrad’s death, she served as a personal nurse for nine years, and then joined Dr. Weston Tormey as an oral surgery assistant. After Dr. Tormey’s retirement, she held a variety of positions in personal nursing.
Pursuing her love of people and travel, Dora joined the People to People organization and made her first international trip as an ambassador in 1964. She made more than 20 trips throughout the world in the following years, forming lifelong friendships and sharing her experiences back home through slide presentations and talks. In addition, she continued traveling with friends extensively throughout the U.S. and the world, and particularly enjoyed cruises.
She was a long-time member of Eastside Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madison, where her brother was minister, and was active with the Women’s Mission Guild, serving as a delegate to many conventions. In the spring of 2000, she was honored by the Madison Civics Club for her 40-year membership. She was a member of The Daughters of Demeter at UW, dating from her husband’s tenure with the UW College of Agriculture. She was a longtime member of The Friends of the Arboretum, attending meetings and presentations until her last year.
In her later years, Dora developed friendships at, and then joined, the Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel on the UW campus. She loved all the activity and especially the young people and their families. After she gave up driving, the Chapel always made sure she had a ride to church every Sunday. For a time she hosted a weekly study group, and became a mentor and surrogate grandmother for many young women. Dora considered herself blessed with many wonderful and caring friends, helpers, relatives and neighbors. In good weather she loved to sit out on her driveway, in her “green cathedral,” and greet people and make new friends as they passed by.
In her later years, with her limited vision and mobility, she felt God still had a job for her: to pray for those in need. To the end she firmly believed: “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” — Psalm 118:14.
Survivors include a niece, Mary (Noel) Starosta; two nephews, Lee Bast and Tom (Maryann) Bast; three grandnieces and four grandnephews; and many friends throughout the world (whom Dora included in her family). She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Conrad Kuehner; her brothers, Eugene and Karl Bast; sisters-in law, Viola and Lillian Bast; and niece, Karla Kindschi.
On Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, there will be a visitation at 9 a.m. and a short pre-burial service at 10 a.m., the Rev. Thomas Trapp officiating, at the Mueller Funeral Home, (W63 N527 Hanover Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53024). (It was Dora’s wish that there be no open casket). A private burial service will follow. A lunch will follow at noon, details to be announced during the visitation.
A memorial service will be held at Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel (220 W. Gilman St., Madison) at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, with the Rev. Thomas Trapp officiating. A visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of services. Lunch and time of remembering will follow the service at church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bast School Endowment Fund at Eastside Evangelical Lutheran Church (2310 Independence Lane, Madison, WI 53704) or to the Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel (220 W. Gilman St., Madison, WI 53703). The family is grateful to the staff at Agrace HospiceCare for their care and support.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services is assisting the family: 3325 E. Washington Ave., Madison, 608-249-6666 or online at www.cresssfuneralservice.com.