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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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September 27, 2020

7/17/2020 7:29:00 AM
Dorothy J. Chmiel

Dorothy J. Chmiel, age 80, of Rhinelander died on July 8, 2020 at Aspirus Hospital in Wausau. She was born Sept. 2, 1939, in Windom, Minn., to Lloyd and Evelyn (Scheldorf) Will. She is survived by her husband John "Jack" Chmiel, son Wade (Sheri) Elg, daughter-in-law Sarah Elg, grandchildren Whitney and Nicholas, great-grandson Ethan, stepson John Chmiel, stepgrandchildren Wyatt and Isabelle, sisters-in-law Helen Will and Carol Lorbetske, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her son Craig, her parents, her sister Mildred and brothers Rodney and Lloyd.

Dorothy grew up on her family's farm in Windom, Minn. She was active in 4-H, with her parents serving as local leaders. The year 1956 saw her named Windom's Flax Queen. With Dorothy's dad having a private pilot's license and owning his own plane, she enjoyed flights with him "just checking the crops". Early experiences such as these developed interests in Dorothy that lasted her lifetime.

Dorothy graduated from Windom High School in 1957. She worked for a year at Children's Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. before beginning nursing studies at St. Paul's Miller Hospital Vocational School of Nursing. She graduated nursing school in 1960 with an LPN license. Following her certification, Dorothy worked in hospitals in Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

In Rhinelander, Dorothy worked at Friendly Village and Petersen Health Care. Once retired, Dorothy worked in home health care.

In a first marriage Dorothy was married to Rodney Elg. Together they had two sons, Craig and Wade. Dorothy and Rod owned and operated Rhinelander Aviation, Inc. Dorothy and Jack married on April 18, 1987. They were blessed with 33 years of marriage. Among many other things, they shared a love of aviation. Days spent taking in the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh were a treat to both. Their dog, Zeus, holds a special place in both their hearts.

Dorothy had a strong work ethic and many interests. Family and friends were very important to her. Dorothy loved hosting large get-togethers and cooking for them. Gardening was a joy to her; following a successful garden season, she was busy with canning and freezing. She took great pleasure in feeding and watching the birds out her living room window, quilting, and doing arts and crafts.

Dorothy will be dearly missed.

Due to the pandemic, Dorothy's in-person funeral service will be private. Friends and family may be virtually present by visiting

Dorothy's service will be streamed live at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Video of the service will also be available on St. Mark's website for several weeks. When people are once again able to safely come together, a memorial gathering will be held in Dorothy's honor.

You may leave your private condolences for the Chmiel family at The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving Dorothy's family.

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