Dorthy Gillen


Dorothy Jean Gillen was born July 2, 1938 in Cedar, Iowa to Charles Augustus and Lovena Christina Osterfoss Randell. She passed away at Hummingbird Retreat of AZ in Scottsdale, Arizona August 14, 2023 at the age of 85 years, 1 month and 13 days after a fall at her daughter’s home 29 days earlier.

Dorothy is survived by her sister, Harriett Lantow of Bettendorf, Iowa; two children, Lynn Dee Gillen of Phoenix, Arizona and Shawn Randell Gillen of Ottumwa; two grandchildren, Taylar Rene Gillen and Ryan Lawrence Gillen of Ottumwa; and two great-grandchildren, Ryleigh Rene Ware and Ronan Parker Gillen also of Ottumwa, as well as nieces, nephews and cousins.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Dean Randell formerly of Cedar, Iowa.

A 1956 graduate of Cedar High School, Dorothy was Valedictorian and class president. She was active in basketball, band (she played the piano and trombone), chorus and 4-H. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa in 1960 and was a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority. After graduating from college, Dorothy worked at the Ottumwa YWCA as Youth Program Director.

Dorothy married Larry Gillen in 1962 and they moved to Des Moines where she worked in accounting for the electrical utility company. She moved to Lenexa, Kansas with Larry when he moved there for a change in occupation. They eventually moved to rural Fremont, Iowa in 1965 and became engaged in farming. Dorothy assisted Larry with grain farming and raising hogs. She was also a substitute teacher for the Ottumwa, Eddyville, Hedrick and Fremont school districts and a member of the First Lutheran Church in Ottumwa. She later moved to Ottumwa in 1981.

Dorothy moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1997. She and Larry divorced in 1998. She eventually moved back to Ottumwa, Iowa in 2015 and shared a home in Arizona and Iowa with her daughter, Lynn and son, Shawn.

Dorothy enjoyed traveling, going to the movies, cooking and spending the summers with her grandchildren.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, August 25th at First Lutheran Church with Pastor Brad Miller officiating. The family will be present to greet friends 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday at the church. Burial will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery.

Reece Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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