Dorothy Ruth Guhl, age 92, was reunited with her husband, Albert in heaven. She died Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames. Funeral services will be 10:30 am Friday, August 2, 2013 at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Jewell. Visitation is from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at the Bethany Manor Chapel in Story City. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Jewell and military honors will be given at graveside. Memorials may be given to Bethany Life Communities in Story City and the Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.
Dorothy Ruth Durby was born on a farm near Woden, Iowa on November 30, 1920 to Palmer Theodore and Nettie Regina (Rognehaugh) Durby.
After graduating from Forest City High School in 1938, she attended Lutheran Bible College in Minneapolis. Through college, she supported herself by living with families and providing childcare. She also waitressed at Mt. Carmel Bible Camp. There in 1941, she met Albert Guhl as he was passing through Mt. Carmel before enlisting in the army. From then on, they corresponded by mail.
Dorothy then moved to Denver, Colorado to help her cousin Marjorie care for her two boys. When Albert was stationed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, they managed to see each other a few weekends in Denver, and it was there they became engaged.
Dorothy attended the Parks School of Business and worked for Montgomery Ward. Meanwhile, Albert had been sent overseas to Iran as part of the Persian Gulf Command. In 1944, Dorothy joined the Women’s Army Corps after reading an ad saying "Join the WAC, and speed them back!"
Albert and Dorothy were married on March 24, 1945 on a three-day pass at the Fort Des Moines Chapel by Pastor Gaylord Falde of Jewell. When Albert was discharged in November of 1945, Dorothy was as well, and they made their home in Jewell where they raised their five children. Albert had his own home repair business and helped build many houses, which were in great demand following the war. He also worked on the new Bethesda Church as well as the Riverside Bible Camp Chapel. They were members of Bethesda Lutheran Church and raised their family in the home Albert built.
While raising her family, Dorothy worked in the medical field in Jewell and Webster City where she utilized her medical and surgical training from the WAC.
She worked tirelessly as a volunteer for the church and in the community. She was committed to decades of service with Bethany Life Communities where she served on the Bethany Life Board of Directors and volunteered in a variety of roles. She also helped homebound folks and volunteered for R.S.V.P which provides transportation to the elderly.
She was named the county top volunteer and placed into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame, receiving a plaque from Governor Branstad in 1991. She was also written up recently in the Ames Tribune Facets magazine, posing with her WAC uniform. In August of 2009, she was one of 350 WWII veterans selected to travel on the Central Iowa WWII Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to tour the war memorials, including the Women’s Veterans Memorial in which her name is a part.
Besides volunteering, Dorothy enjoyed quilting, crosswords, and cross-stitching. She was also a member of Sons of Norway and the American Legion.
Dorothy is survived by her children Annette (Jerry) Olson of Naperville, Illinois, Randall (Katherine) Guhl of Jacksonville, Florida, Ronald Guhl of Spencer, Roger (Sandy) Guhl of Gahanna, Ohio, and Gloria Guhl of Denver, Colorado; grandchildren Krystal, Curtis, Daniel, Donovan, Lindsey, Jordan, Laura, Kristin, and Joshua; great-grandchildren, Klara, Bennett, Henry, Curtis, Annelise, Timothy, Travis, Kendall, and Finn, her sister Ruby (Dean) Farland of Thompson, Iowa, her brother Merle (Blanche) Durby of Leland, Iowa, sister-in-law Bethel Durby and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Albert Julius Guhl in 2001 and two brothers, John and Marlo Durby.