This is my mom Dorothy Lee Braasch Wiesner’s story, and I’m sticking to it. Orphaned at 11, her babies, their babies and their babies’ babies were everything to her. Each one of us was the best, and singing this song means everything to me. “Look out boys. Look out girls. Here she comes, the Orphan Girl. She’s gonna find a good life on her own.”
from The Kinfolk Chronicles -NEW TOMMY WIGGINS ALBUM
released December 1, 2022
Dorothy Lee Braasch Wiesner was born in the family log cabin outside Jansen, Nebraska on January 2, 1926. Her mother Cornelia had been a widow with three children…Gladys, Bud and Hazel, when she married Carl Braasch Sr.
Cornelia and Carl had five children: Max, Dorothy, Carl Jr., Malvery and Mary Lou.
Cornelia died during pregnancy when Dorothy was seven, and her father Carl died when she was 13.
After her father died, Dorothy and the younger children individually went to live with relatives around the country. Dorothy took the train to Warroad, Minnesota to live with Uncle Dick and Aunt Edith Willems. She graduated from Warroad High School in 1943 and moved to St. Paul. She loved to travel, venturing and living for short times in Boston, Washington DC and Chicago with several young women with whom she stayed lifelong friends.
Dorothy met Tom Wiesner in 1946 and they married in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1948. Dorothy and Tom had four children, Thomas Jr., Patricia Rose, who died shortly after birth, Stephen and William. The family settled in St. Paul. Tom worked in the medical supply field, a trade that he learned in the service during World War II. Dorothy was a homemaker, raised her boys and occasionally worked preparing taxes and as a hospital receptionist.
Having lost her own family at an early age, Dorothy’s growing family meant everything to her. Son Tom Jr. and daughter-in-law Georgia have two children, Matt and Sarah. Steve has son Stephen D. Lemire, daughter Stephanie, and with daughter-in-law Cassie has young sons Drake and Scout. William (she called him Bill the Elder) has William (Bill the Younger) and Jeffrey.
As for Great-Grandchildren, Stephen D. has Lily, Lucy and Sammy, Stephanie has Mia and Jackson and Sarah and husband Michael Walker have Owen.
In 2001 Dorothy moved to Bethany Community in Alexandria, MN to be near Steve, Stephanie, Bill and the growing number of grand- and great-grandchildren. Dorothy made many friends during her nine years at Bethany Community and felt fortunate to live in such a caring place with so many friendly people.
Those of us who knew Dorothy have been touched by her positive spirit, ready laugh and ability to always see the bright side. She loved her Lord, made each person in her family feel special, worried about everyone but herself, didn’t complain and truly felt that she was lucky in this life.
We will always remember and love our Dorothy Lee, who always cared for and loved us.