Dorotha L. Bristol, 89

Dorotha Lorraine Pedersen was born to Christian L. and Lillian P. (Munksgard) Pedersen on April 15, 1931 in Renton, WA. Her parents had moved there seeking better employment opportunities. In July of that same year the family moved back to the Brown Lee area of Cherry County. Dorotha was raised there, learning the value of hard work and attending classes in one-room schools. After graduating from Valentine High School, she married Melvin O. Bristol May 19, 1949. To this union was born son, Dennis, on April 1, 1950.

Dorotha ranched with Melvin in the Valentine area from the time they married. She was very involved in the physical activities as well as the business decisions. Dorotha had a great devotion to the cattle and they were almost like a second family to her. She admitted that the work was very demanding, but said that she enjoyed doing it.

When not involved in ranching activities such as working in the hayfields and spring calving, Dorotha kept up the household. Also, she always planted a large garden, freezing excess vegetables for use during the colder months. Each spring she ordered baby chicks that came through the post office. You can guess what happened to them when they grew to fryer size!

Dorotha used a foot treadle sewing machine, making clothing and patching work clothes. Also, she did lots of crocheting and embroidering. She always enjoyed visitors even if they showed up uninvited. She made sure they were comfortable and furnished refreshments

In 1992, the couple ceased their ranching operation and semi-retired. At that time, they began working for the Simmons northeast of Valentine. That lasted until late 1997, when Melvin began to have health issues. After Melvin’s death in 2003, Dorotha continued to live in Valentine.

In 2013, she experienced a minor stroke while in Omaha for a grandson’s wedding. After rehab, the decision was made that Dorotha move to assisted living near Omaha. She was then able to receive weekly visits from her son. Also, there were family gatherings with grandchildren and great grandchildren when they came from out of town.

Dorotha was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Melvin and sister Elaine Larson. She is survived by sister, Thelma, brothers, Vernon and Lester (Linda), son, Dennis (Susan), grandsons, David (Carlota), Joseph (Stephanie), and Michael (Anna). Also, she leaves six great grandchildren.

Private family funeral service was held on Saturday, August 15 at Grace Lutheran Church in Valentine. Graveside service was held following the funeral service at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Valentine. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was entrusted with service arrangements.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

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