Cover photo for Dorothy S.  Mansheim's Obituary
Dorothy S.  Mansheim Profile Photo

Dorothy S. Mansheim

d. March 5, 2014

Dorothy S. Mansheim, 91, of LaCrosse, passed away peacefully on March 5, 2014 at Bethany Riverside Nursing Facility surrounded by her family.

She was born June 13, 1922, in LaCrosse, to Adolph and Katherine (Zanter) Seiler, and she was the youngest of twelve children.

After graduating from Aquinas High School in 1940 she entered the St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing and graduated in 1944. During her senior year, she met her future husband, Dr. Bernard Mansheim, then a medical intern at St. Francis.

Following Dr. Mansheim’s entrance into active duty in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, they were married at Carlisle Barracks, PA on November 4, 1944.

While Dorothy spent most of her adult life as a devoted wife, mother and homemaker, she found time in the earlier years of her marriage to pursue some interesting and rewarding opportunities in nursing. While her husband was stationed at Crile General Army Hospital in Cleveland, as a staff nurse on the Orthopedic wards, she had the opportunity to work with Dr. Sterling Bunell, an internationally famous hand surgeon in the rehabilitation of injured service men returning from the Battle of the Bulge.

Several years later, in 1952, she was employed as the supervisor of the premature nursery at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City, IA. At the time some premature infants were afflicted with a severe, blinding eye disease (retrolental fibroplasia). Dorothy worked closely with Dr. Fred Blodi, a professor in the Eye Department at the University, who was one of the first investigators to determine the cause of this eye disease most likely due to the excessive administration of oxygen to premature infants. Together they developed a protocol utilizing only minimal levels of oxygen that became the basis for what is known today as best practice in the field of pediatric ophthalmology.

As the years progressed, Dorothy’s nursing and homemaking skills were put to excellent use in the loving care of her growing family. She was a lifelong member of Blessed Sacrament Parish, and somehow found time to attend daily mass there for over fifty years, often serving as a lector at week day masses. She enjoyed singing in the funeral choir, helping with the school lunch program and delivering mobile meals.

Dorothy was a founding and life member of the St. Francis Medical Auxiliary, a member of the Alumni Associations of the St. Francis School of Nursing, Viterbo University and the University of Wisconsin.

After raising five children, Dorothy rekindled her interest in the nursing profession. At age 48 she returned to Viterbo University earning a Bachelor of Science degree on May 17, 1970. She then went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Health Science at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and all of her siblings. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Bernard Mansheim and her five children: Dr. Paul (Renee) Mansheim, Dr. Bernard (Denise) Mansheim, Mary (Dr. Peter) Naus, Nancy (John) Formella and Dorothy (Robert) Schaettle.

She is further survived by thirteen grandchildren, Aaron (Helene) Mansheim, Ben (Dr. Sari) Mansheim, Chris Edmondson, Meera Mansheim, Alison Mansheim, Dr. Peter (Elizabeth) Naus, Dr. Kathryn (Dan) Naus Hester, Dr. John (Rhonda) Naus, Mary Beth (Jonathan) Naus Rhea, John Formella, Paul Formella, Karl Schaettle and Paul Schaettle. She is also survived by 16 great grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass celebrating Dorothy’s life will be held on Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 4:00 PM in The Faith and Life Center at Bethany Riverside, 2555 So. 7th St., La Crosse, WI, Monsignor Delbert Malin will officiate. Friends and Family may call from 2:30 PM until the time of the Mass. A burial will be held at a later date.

In keeping with Dorothy’s wishes, her body will be cremated. In recognition of Dorothy’s life-long interest in Nursing, the Dr. Bernard and Dorothy Mansheim Nursing Scholarship was established at Viterbo University on her 90th birthday. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to this scholarship fund or to the charity of one’s choice.

The family is very grateful for the excellent and loving care that Dorothy received from the entire staff of the Lighthouse Unit at Bethany Riverside and for the assistance of Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Homes.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy S. Mansheim, please visit our flower store.


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