Cover photo for Dorothy Mae Fiorelli's Obituary
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1928 Dorothy 2018

Dorothy Mae Fiorelli

March 24, 1928 — June 28, 2018

Dorothy M. Fiorelli age 90, passed away June 28, 2018, at her home in Broken Bow, NE.

Visitation for Dorothy will be on Sunday, July 1, 2018, from 1:00 to 8:00 PM, with family greeting 6:00 to 8:00 PM. A Wake service will be held at 7:30 PM at Govier Brothers Mortuary. Funeral services for Dorothy will be Monday, July 2, 2018, at 9:30 AM at the St. Anselm’s Catholic Church in Anselmo, NE with Father Jim Hunt officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Anselm’s Catholic Cemetery in Anselmo, NE. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be left at

Dorothy Mae (Leep) Fiorelli was born March 24, 1928, at Milburn, Nebraska, to Charles and Nellie (Pettis) Leep, and grew up on the family farm near Milburn. She attended grade school and her first two years of high school at Milburn.  She then transferred to Merna High School, which meant she had to board in Merna during the week.  She participated in Girls Glee Club, the Pep Club, and was a member of a Girls Octette.  She wanted to work at the telephone company after graduation, but her dad needed her at home to help in the fields.

She loved to dance and was able to regularly attend community dances because her mother, Nellie (playing piano), her uncle, Charles Pettis (fiddling), and others, frequently played for those dances.  It was actually at a dance at Mary’s Hall in Anselmo that she met Frank Fiorelli. He caught her eye because he was quiet compared to the rest of the young men in attendance.  The couple married on August 20 (Frank’s birthday) in 1949 and five children were born to their marriage.

Dorothy worked alongside Frank on their farm south of Anselmo, tending cattle and hogs, raising chickens, milking cows, stacking bales, driving the grain truck during harvest, running to Broken Bow for parts when needed, and helping keep the financial accounts for the farm.  She prepared three meals each day for the family, and for many, many years, a noon meal for hired men.  She also raised a large garden and canned vegetables.

An avid reader, she especially enjoyed mystery novels.  She also subscribed to and read several different newspapers daily.  As she and Frank grew older, they liked to put jigsaw puzzles together.  During the last years of her life, she spent many hours each day doing crossword, word searches, and various other types of puzzles.

The couple enjoyed traveling together. In 1974, they went to Europe as part of a farm tour to celebrate their 25th wedding, and later took a bus tour of New England.  In between, they simply drove around Nebraska, just to get out and see places. 

Approximately five years ago, Dorothy moved into an apartment at Liberty Square in Broken Bow.  Her daughter-in-law, Kim Fiorelli, became her caregiver, to the sincere and heartfelt gratitude of all of the other members of her family.  To Dorothy, Kim was her fourth daughter.

Survivors include five children and their spouses: Rhonda (Rick) Walker of Sidney,

Randy (Kathy) Fiorelli of Anselmo, Radine (Doug) Stewart of Broken Bow, Renea (Larry)

Coleman of Broken Bow, and Ronnie (Kim–Dorothy’s “fourth” daughter) Fiorelli of Broken

Bow. She is also survived by eleven grandchildren: Adina Walker of Fort Morgan, Colorado,

Charles (Nicole) Walker of Sidney, Tony Walker of Sidney, Jeremy (Christine) Fiorelli of Broken Bow, Marci Fiorelli of Kearney, Kimberly Fiorelli of Bellevue, Tyson (Jerusha) Stewart of Lincoln, Kinsi Coleman of Broken Bow, Kia Coleman of Lincoln, Chris (Jessica) Fiorelli of Broken Bow, and Shane (Lacey) Fiorelli of Broken Bow; and ten great-grandchildren: Alysha

Walker of Wiggins, Colorado, Austin Deaver of Longmont, Colorado, Makenah and Owen Walker of Sidney, Frederick Fiorelli of Broken Bow, Tara, Trinity, and Tyler Murray of Bellevue, Neelie and Caleb Fiorelli of Broken Bow, and a host of other relatives and friends.

She was proceeded in death by her husband Frank; a granddaughter Tania Stewart; parents Charles and Nellie Leep; sister and brother-in-law, Vada and Bart Rush; sister Gertrude Leep; and brother Charles Leep.


We all have fond memories of growing up under Mom’s loving care and tutelage.  We remember that she would make weekly lists of household chores for each of us, especially us girls.  (Like cleaning the cream separator!!!).  Then there was the kitchen table problem.  It had a bench along two sides, which required a rule rotating the five children weekly so that everyone could sit on the ends a fair share of the time.  When we traveled in the car, the five of us would bicker over who got to sit next to the doors, so Mom set up a routine making each of us change places every time a stop was made.  If a complaint was voiced about there being a shorter time between certain stops, Mom always said it would even out in the end.

She sewed–a lot.  There was one Easter we remember in particular that she made similar dresses for the three of us daughters, using a different color for each.  We looked so nice in our Easter dresses, new white shoes, and Easter hats. 

She was an active member of St. Anselm’s Church. She belonged to the Altar Society, and there were many times she’d take us girls to the church to help clean. She made sure all her kids participated in catechism classes and CYO.

She worked hard at keeping her house clean, but with five kids that wasn’t always possible.  We recall that she would scrub and wax the floors on her knees every Saturday, which meant that we weren’t allowed to get it dirty, and which also meant that we should be kept outside, weather permitting, as long as possible.  (She seriously should never have let us back in.) No one can count the times milk was spilled on the floor when we brought in the pails from milking morning and evening.  When the weather was inclement, and we had to stay inside, we drove her crazy jumping from one piece of furniture to another to stay off the floor while she scrubbed. 

She had an aversion to heights.  When the family vacationed in the mountains, she would hide her face in a pillow and make sure she was not on the side looking down.  Then there was the trip to the Grand Canyon when she steadfastly refused to even get out of the car.

Livestock was another point of interest.  She did help with the hogs, but no one could say she liked it.  And working with cattle wasn’t much better for her.  There were times when they would knock her down because she didn’t get out of the way fast enough.  

Mom had a way about her that meant she could persevere under the most trying of circumstances, seldom complaining, but quietly just doing.   

She was a house maid, laundress, ironer, cook, seamstress, nursemaid, chauffeur, farm laborer, lawn mower, gardener, canner, book and newspaper reader, keeper of farm financial records, puzzle solver, all and everything.  But, first and foremost, she was our Mother. She raised five kids and then accepted into her heart all those they chose to marry.  When the grandchildren and children came along, she just opened her heart wider to engulf them.

She leaves behind a legacy of love for each of us to try to emulate.  We love you Mom.

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