Dorothy Kohnke


(Apr. 4, 2006)

A memorial service will be conducted Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m. at Union Presbyterian Church in Powell for Dorothy Mae Kerndt Kohnke, 92, who died Tuesday, April 4 at St. John’s Lutheran Home in Billings, Mont. after a short illness.

She was surrounded at death by her family and the caring staffs of St. John’s Chapel Court and Big Sky Hospice.

Dorothy was born to Julius and Olga (Erickson) Kerndt on Dec.17, 1913, in Churches Ferry, ND. She graduated from Valley City Teachers College in 1935. She met her future husband, Louis A. Kohnke, on the train to Powell, Wyo., where they both began their teaching careers. They were married in 1939.

Dorothy taught in Powell starting with high school English, drama and P.E. and ended her career as a remedial reading teacher. She retired in 1974 after teaching for 26 years. Dorothy spent many hours doing genealogy for the family. She always loved spending time at the family cabin in the Bearthooths along the Clarks Fork River. She especially loved looking for arrowheads and finding projects to keep Louie busy.

She would play a game of bridge, Scrabble or Spite and Malice with all comers. She was a fierce competitor, even against her grandchildren. Her penny-a-point games with her family were special to her and all of the family. She was a life-long member of Eastern Star, where she held many offices. As her eyesight failed she was still able to play games and listened to hundreds of books on tape.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Louis A. Kohnke; brothers, Oscar and Floyd Kerndt; and sister, Edna Kerndt Stucky.

Survivors include daughter, Julia Kinsey (Don) of Big Timber, Mont.; sons, Keith Kohnke (Donna) of Billings and Gary Kohnke (Nancy) of Las Vegas, Nev.; five grandchildren; two great-granddaughters and numerous nieces and nephews.

Per Dorothy’s wishes, cremation has taken place.

For those who wish, memorial donations can be made to St. John’s Lutheran Home, 3940 Rimrock Road, Billings, MT 59105; Big Sky Hospice, Box 35033, Billings, MT 59107 or Powell Education Foundation, 160 N Evarts, Powell, WY 82435.