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MADISON – Dolores Ann Lichte, age 84, of Madison, passed away peacefully on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, at the UW Health University Hospital, surrounded by family.
Dolores was born at home in Honey Creek Township near Leland, Wisconsin, on September 3, 1938, to parents Harold W.P. Grosklaus and Rose L. (Hanusa) Grosklaus (later Tracy). She was born one hour before her parents’ first wedding anniversary.
At age five, Dolores moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, and entered Kindergarten mid-year at South School. She graduated from Reedsburg High School at age 17 in May of 1956 and three days later began working for Hankscraft Inc. in Reedsburg as a secretary. She held that position until August of 1962.
Dolores began dating her high school sweetheart, Larry Lichte (a sophomore), at age 14, during the second half of her freshman year.
Dolores and Larry married on September 1, 1962, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Reedsburg. Dolores moved to Madison to join Larry, who was attending the UW-Madison Law School. She became employed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the English Department, which was the largest department in the College of Letters and Sciences at the university. She served six years as Administrative Assistant for the department and the department chairman; three of those years she was also Administrative Assistant for Professor Helen C. White, world-renowned English literature scholar, for whom the Helen C. White Library on the UW-Madison Campus is named. In 1966, Professor White requested that Dolores be given a 20% raise, stating, “She maintains a very cheerful and efficient office. Indeed, she is a fine leader and executive. She has more than earned it.”
Dolores and Larry’s first child (Marsha Louise Lichte) was born in 1965, and their second child (Paul Matthew Lichte) was born in 1968, at which time Dolores left her UW-Madison position to become a full-time mother and homemaker. She was very proud of her children, their accomplishments, and the adults they became.
Dolores had an extremely strong faith in God, and a significant amount of her time, energy, and emotion went into doing her best to live a righteous, faith-based life. She was a role model for Christian living. Dolores and Larry started the Madison location of the Anderson, Indiana-based Church of God in their home in June of 1963. The church soon outgrew their home, and a facility was constructed on the west side of Madison on Yorkshire Road, where it still resides. Dolores was very active in the church, serving at both the local and state level. She served as the State President of the women’s organization for four years in the 1980s. She attended and taught children’s classes at the Church of God summer Family Camp at the Church of God Campground in Rock Springs, Wisconsin, for over sixty years.
Dolores was an excellent cook and baker and enjoyed sewing, working in the yard, creating photo albums and scrapbooks, entertaining, and reading. For forty years, Dolores had an immense flower and vegetable garden, from which she harvested, canned, and froze considerable produce. In the 1970s, when her children were in the local 4-H Club, Dolores served as the records keeper and enjoyed helping the kids with the many projects they worked on – especially the various things they showed and won ribbons for at the Dane County Fair.
In 1980, Dolores and Larry purchased the historic Magnus Swenson home on the far west side of Madison and spent a year completely restoring the interior and exterior. Dolores went there nearly every day to work on projects as well as act as project manager – some days coordinating as many as eleven sub-contractors.
Dolores was always supportive of her husband Larry in his various careers and numerous hobbies. For nearly forty years, Dolores and Larry hosted an annual Christmas party at their home for family, friends, and clients/business associates. Dolores spent two weeks preparing for the party each year, which included a lavish buffet of her appetizers and desserts. This was one of the myriad areas where her masterful organizational skills shone. She was an extremely thoughtful person and never missed a chance to send a lengthy thank you note. Dolores consistently celebrated others and their accomplishments.
During the 1980s, Dolores and her family enjoyed seven cruises, which took them to Mexico, Central and South America, the Baja California Peninsula, through the Panama Canal, and to many islands in the Caribbean. She also loved attending musicals, concerts, and shows.
Dolores was a very curious person, always learning and soaking in new information. She was a voracious reader of medical texts and often arrived at appointments having diagnosed herself, despite not having access to the internet – she loved libraries! Dolores was a fount of knowledge, and her command of trivia and history was astounding.
From the 1970s through the 1990s, the family spent many summer holidays with friends and family at their lake cottage in Lake Delton, Wisconsin, with Dolores never failing to provide wonderful meals. In 1998, Dolores and Larry purchased a lake property in Land O Lakes, Wisconsin, and with the family spent the past 24 years enjoying summer holidays, and even one Easter and one Christmas, at their northern retreat.
Granddaughter Anna Crow was born in 1996 and granddaughter Olivia Crow in 1999. Anna and Olivia were the light of Dolores’s life. She so loved spending time with her granddaughters, going to the zoo, baking with them, and caring for them. She felt especially privileged to care for her granddaughters one day a week until they went to school full-time. Dolores was extremely proud of her granddaughters and never missed an event. She was always so excited about the various things in which they were involved.
Dolores had a great love for and special bond with animals. She and Larry had several dogs over the years, and Dolores later loved spending time with numerous granddogs.
Dolores was very loving; generous with her time, money, and talents; and never said an unkind word about anyone. She was an amazing and wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law, and friend. Dolores always assumed the best in everyone, and dozens of people over the years told her family members that she was the sweetest and most selfless person they knew. She brought joy to so many people and never knew the extent to which she impacted and improved peoples’ lives. Her passing will leave voids that will never be filled.
Dolores is survived by her husband of sixty years, Larry Lichte; daughter, Marsha (Dan) Crow; son, Paul (Michelle) Lichte; granddaughters, Anna Crow and Olivia Crow; granddogs, GG, Caymus, and Grindel; brother, Don Grosklaus; sister, Diane (Michael) Whitty; brother-in-law, Joe (Lou) Moll; sister-in-law, Kay (Don) Lichte; brother-in-law, Robert (Virginia) Mattner; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Dolores was preceded in death by her parents, Rose and Harold Grosklaus; sister, Peggy (Joe) Moll; sister-in-law, Joanne (Don) Grosklaus; brother-in-law, Don (Kay) Lichte; sister-in-law, Virginia (Robert) Mattner; granddog, Murphy; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 27, 2022, at the Cress Funeral and Cremation Service Cress Center, 6021 University Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin. A visitation (11:30 a.m.) and funeral service (12:30 p.m.) will be held at the Reedsburg Church of God, 1225 N. Dewey Avenue, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, followed by a graveside service at Greenwood Cemetery, 1000 Myrtle Street, Reedsburg, Wisconsin, and social time (2:30 p.m.) at the Reedsburg Church of God.
Dolores’s family would like to express their appreciation to the healthcare professionals at the UW Health University Hospital and Clinics for their kindness and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Dolores’s name to the Dane County Humane Society (http://giveshelter.org) or the Wisconsin Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association (http://alz.org).