Cover photo for Dorothy Meili's Obituary
Dorothy Meili Profile Photo
1929 Dorothy 2018

Dorothy Meili

January 16, 1929 — January 1, 2018


Dorothy's life began on January 16, 1929 on her parent's farm 8 miles south of Wood Lake, MN where she was born to Julius and Augusta (Todt) Timm. She grew up there and attended school in Wood Lake, graduating in 1947. She also took piano lessons and played piano for virtually every kind of event in the community and church. Since age 14, she was a church organist in every place she lived and also taught piano and organ. Dorothy graduated from MacPhail College in Minneapolis in 1952, studying piano, organ, and violin. Her first job after college was in LaCrosse, WI teaching piano and organ at the Conservatory from 1952 to 1955. After six months in Los Angeles, CA working in a department and music store, she returned to Minnesota and taught piano and organ at Dr. Martin Luther College and High School in New Ulm, MN from 1957 to May 1964.

When a new interest emerged for her in the early sixties, she began studying music therapy and consequently, attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. She helped initiate the music therapy program at Faribault State Hospital, Faribault, MN where she worked from January 1967 to October 1974 as a Registered Music Therapist. She was then invited to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as a music therapy supervisor of students' clinical field work and internship as well as teaching a piano class.

Her role in life took on a new dimension when, at the age of 48, marriage became a reality. She moved back to Faribault and married LeRoy E. Meili on June 17, 1977 at Luther Haven Chapel in Montevideo, MN where her mother lived. After her marriage, she opened her own music studio in downtown Faribault where she taught piano and music classes. She moved her studio to her home and continued teaching. LeRoy died August 17, 1991, after a short marriage of 14 years and 2 months. Dorothy continued teaching until her retirement in March 1998 after many years of also accompanying choirs, instrumentalists, and vocalists.

In 2001, she decided to live closer to her siblings so she sold her home and bought a condo in Willmar, MN, moving in September. Her five siblings lived within an hour's drive of her. Her number one interest was always music and she was inspired by the work of music teachers and students in the Willmar school programs. Their work promoted the healthy music and art climate in the Willmar area, which she appreciated and thankfully enjoyed for many years.

Dorothy lived in five states and ten cities, from California to New Jersey. She traveled to all U.S. states except Alaska and Hawaii, and to Canada, Mexico, England, Germany Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, the Caribbean and Caracas, Venezuela. At a high school class reunion, when Dorothy shared that she had moved at least 25 times, a classmate responded saying, "Dorothy, you have to start paying your bills!"

Dorothy is survived by two step-children, Mary Ann (Dan) Noeller and her two sons, Cory and Matthew of Faribault; and Lee (Jennifer) of Lakeville; her sisters, Verona Sachariason of Montevideo and Alice Kvistad of Granite Falls, and numerous devoted nieces and nephews who cherished her. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband LeRoy, brothers Vernon, Harlan, sister Harriet Mueller, and one nephew, Jeff Timm.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Willmar. Interment will be at a later date at the Maple Lawn Cemetery in Faribault. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.

Arrangements provided by Peterson Brothers Funeral Home, Willmar. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Diabetes Research ADA, MN Medical Foundation, or Rice Health Foundation - Diabetes or Cardiovascular.

Cemetery Details

Maple Lawn Cemetery

Faribault, MN,

Celebration of Life

JAN 10. 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Unitarian Universalist Church of Willmar

500 5th Street SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Meili, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 30

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree