Dorothy Ellen (Nielsen) Clay, age 78, of Siren, WI passed away on Monday, October 24, 2022 at home with her loved ones by her side.
Dorothy was born on December 23, 1943 in Ladysmith, WI to parents Robert and Vivian (Blazek) Nielsen. She was the second born of eight children, and took great pride in helping raise her younger brothers & sisters. She quickly gained an interest in cooking, baking, sewing, and other various skills necessary in life on a farm. Additionally, she helped keep house and look after children of other area families as well as in Chicago during the summers.
Dorothy attended Ladysmith High School, graduating with the class of 1962. She exhibited her love of music while in school by playing the tuba in the concert band and the sousaphone in the marching band. Following graduation, she completed the fall semester at UW-Stout in pursuit of a degree in dietetics. Dorothy then returned to Ladysmith, finding both employment and enjoyment at the Peavey Paper Mill, as she met Leonard Clay there as well. They were united in marriage on June 29, 1963, which ultimately produced three children: Steven, Dennis, and Susanne.
Mom’s passion for cooking led to a variety of jobs in the food service industry. She worked in the kitchens of both Capeside Cove Nursing Home and Siren School. She also served as kitchen manager & head cook of Camp Ojibway Presbyterian Camp on Mud Hen Lake. Mom returned to UW-Stout in the fall of 1985 in hopes of achieving her original goal of a Bachelors in Dietetics/Food and Nutrition. After numerous credit hours of in-person study and an internship at Harper Hospital in Detroit, MI, she was awarded her degree. Mom returned to Siren and was immediately employed by the Frederic Care Center as Manager, Nutrition Services. Soon after, she accepted the position of Diabetic Educator for the St.Croix Tribal Health Clinic in Hertel, WI and the LCO Health Center in Hayward, WI. Early into this posting, mom relocated temporarily to south central South Dakota in support of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, where her services were deeply appreciated. She retired after 14 years with great adoration from those she served.
Mom enjoyed gardening, canning, sewing and upholstery work, baking and cooking, and knitting and crocheting. One of mom’s favorite hobbies was making fabric children’s books, and watching kids button the buttons, zip the zippers, tie the laces, and feel the different textures. She was also active in the Siren Methodist Church, serving in a variety of capacities: board member, Sunday school teacher, choir member, and Christmas pageant coordinator.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Carl, Maurice, Martin and Christian.
She will be greatly missed by her loving husband of 59 years, Leonard; children Steven (Denise) Clay, Dennis (Shoshana Batterman-Burkhead) Clay, and Susanne (Graydon) Stone; 9 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; brother, Robert Nielsen; sisters, Patrese Nielsen and Marcella Nielsen; many nieces and nephews, along with other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 11:00 AM (visitation from 10:00 - 11:00 AM) at Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Siren with Pastor Steve Ward officiating.
Arrangements were entrusted to Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home. Online condolences can be made at www.swedberg-taylor.com.