Dorothea “Dot” Annette Gerads


Dorothea “Dot” Annette Gerads, 85, of St. Joseph, passed away peacefully May 17, 2024, in her home at Serenity Place Apartments in St. Joseph.

The Requiem Funeral Mass was May 24 at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in St. Cloud. The Rev. Isaac Delmanowski officiated with burial at St. Francis of Assisi Parish Cemetery near Freeport.  

Dorothea was born April 25, 1939, at the St. Cloud Hospital to Edward and Effie (Oelrich) Michel. She was the ninth of 11 children and grew up in Clearwater. Dorothea minored in theology at Marquette University and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in elementary education. She loved teaching, especially English grammar. After college, she taught first grade at the elementary school in Upsala, when she met Gregory Gerads. Gregory and Dorothea married Aug. 3, 1963, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in St. Francis. They were married for 58 years and were blessed with eight children.

Gregory and Dorothea farmed the Gerads family dairy farm near St. Francis for most of their lives and raised their family there. Dorothea was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She especially loved babies and children. She enjoyed teaching, reading, music, singing, homemaking, baking, gardening, sewing, puzzles, games, crafts, birds and butterflies. She continued to teach for many years at various schools her children and grandchildren attended. 

Dorothea’s faith and family were the most important things in her life. She especially loved spending time with her family and friends, visiting, receiving letters and phone calls. She was a member of St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, was devoted to the Mass and rosary, enjoyed singing in the church choirs and was a member of the Christian Mothers. She enjoyed helping others and socializing with people at church and where she lived.

Dorothea is survived by her eight children, Ruth (Joe) Bloch of St. Francis, Stephen (Lee Ann) Gerads of Hayden, Idaho, Jeffrey (Melissa) Gerads of Little Falls, Sister Mary of Jesus (Beth) of Massena, New York, Peter (Becky) Gerads of Albany, Peggy (Darren) McClanahan of Sauk Centre, Karen (Brian) Lillis of St. James, Missouri, and Judy (John) Anderson of Corydon, Indiana; sister Emily Lunsford; 57 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren and many relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Gregory; her parents, Edward and Effie Michel; brothers Lee Michel, William Michel, Thomas Michel, Dehlbert Michel, Alvin Michel, Vincent Michel, Robert Michel, and Stephen Michel; sister Marilyn Imholte; and granddaughter Beth Gerads.

Pallbearers were grandsons Jordan Gerads, Daniel Bloch, Patrick McClanahan, Roman Gerads, Nicholas Anderson, Damien Gerads and Robert Lillis.