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MOUNT HOREB / MADISON—Last year on Nov. 2, 2017, Dorothy (Mickelson) Meythaler Kraege, age 92, peacefully passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital from complications of Alzheimer’s, after spending a month in a local nursing home. Just previous to that she’d lived several years at her childhood home in Mount Horeb, being cared for by her two children.

Dorothy’s first job was as a pin setter for the Mount Horeb bowling alley. After graduating from high school, she moved to Madison and worked as a bookkeeper for the Truax Base Exchange. There she met, and in 1945 married, Lester Meythaler, head of the UW Office of Student Veterans Affairs. Together they raised two children

While taking care of her family was the center of Dorothy’s life, she also enjoyed antiquing, reupholstering, crafting, and playing club and tournament bridge. Four years after Lester’s untimely death in 1964, she moved to Alaska and would later reminisce about salmon fishing and other adventures there.

She returned to Madison two years later and worked on and off as a bookkeeper for Ray-O-Vac. During this time she travelled extensively with her son, Bill. She also travelled with her girlfriends to various hot springs in Arkansas.

Eventually she met and in 1976 married, F. Halsey Kraege, a semi-retired estate attorney who served as mayor of Madison from 1943 to 1946. The Kraege’s enjoyed dining out and staying at B&B’s during short road trips throughout Wisconsin. After Halsey’s death in 1983, Dorothy resumed her travels with Bill, including trips to Japan, Puerto Rico, the EU, and Aruba. She and her grandson once sailed the S.S.Norway to the Bahamas.

In Madison, Dorothy enjoyed chatting and reading the newspaper over her morning coffee at the Shorewood McDonald’s. Smart and funny, her gift for repartee stayed with her through much of her life, and she could make almost anyone laugh.

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She is survived by her daughter, Jo Ann Berg of Mount Horeb, formerly of Ann Arbor, Mich.; her grandson, Hans Berg of Empire, Colo.; and nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Olaus and Jeannette (Fosshage) Mickelson of Mount Horeb; her sister, Ruth Mickelson Fill; her brother, Gaylord Mickelson; and by only three weeks, her beloved son, William Meythaler; his obituary is on this page.

A joint memorial for Dorothy and Bill is pending. Please share your memories at

the life of: Kraege, Dorothy (Mickelson) Meythaler
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