Dorothy L. James

By on July 14, 2009

Dorothy L. James, 91, of Elburn, passed away in the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 8, 2009 at Provena Geneva Care Center, Geneva.

She was born July 14, 1918 the daughter of Benjamin and Edna (Horner) Lane in Rex 5, a coal mining town in Iowa.

Dorothy grew up in Rex 5 and was a teenager when the family moved to Albia where she met and married Charles James on February 8, 1936, Albia, Iowa. They made their home in Albia for a short time before moving to Lovilia, Iowa. Over the next several years they lived in several surrounding communities.

Many years later, Dorothy took a job for a short time at National Electronics near LaFox and, though she had never done “piece work” in her life, her natural abilities quickly passed the others and she made her mark on the assembly line. In addition to her time “on the line”, Dorothy also cleaned houses for several families including the Rowe, Crawford, Goetz and Mercer families.

She was a member of the Elburn Mother’s Club.

Growing up during the depression years helped fortify Dorothy’s spirit as well as her work ethic and determination. It also showcased her “thriftiness” and an eye for a good bargain. A self proclaimed “queen of the garage sale”, Dorothy lived by the credo that, “You buy them whether you need them or not because after all, it’s a bargain.” In the kitchen, using portions as unique as her own hands, and known only to her, Dorothy made the best homemade noodles. Laughter was a mainstay in the James home and that gift was passed on to her children because she believed it bridged the gap during hard times. In her younger years, Dorothy played basketball as a center in high school. In later years, you could find her touring the countryside in her white Ford Taurus. If miles equaled memories, thousands were made and none will be forgotten.

She now leaves five children Deloris (James) O’Connell of Kaneville, Dixie (Richard) Schroeder of Batavia, JoAnn (Fred) Cregier of Geneva, Larry James of Elburn and Charlene Gerhinger of St. Charles.

Twelve grandchildren; Fourteen great-grandchildren; One brother, Dean (Donna) Lane of Iowa City, Iowa and a family of friends.

She now joins her parents, husband Charles, one son Paul in infancy, four siblings: Marie Hyde, George Lane, Harold Lane, Ferne Remmark; and three grandchildren: Tammy Gerhinger, Todd Olesen and Christopher James; one son-in-law Jerry Gerhinger who preceded her in death.

Visitation was held Monday, July 13, 2009 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A time to share memories followed during a Remembrance Service. Interment followed at Blackberry Township Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite local charities. Checks may be made to the “Dorothy James Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at