Dorothy Anne (Baures) Will, 92, of Black River Falls, WI, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2023 surrounded by loved ones.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2023, Guardian Angels Parish at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 505 Main St., Black River Falls, WI, Father Arivu Mariappan officiating. Visitation at the Church at 9:30 a.m. Funeral service at 10:30 a.m. followed by burial in Riverside Cemetery, Black River Falls, and luncheon at the Church.

She lived life boldly with love, humor, and a drive to care for others. She enjoyed celebrating big and small events, chasing nephews and nieces down for goodbye kisses, cried and laughed with ease, and fought passionately for fairness and equity.

Dorothy grew up in Fairchild, WI, the eldest of seven children born to Ethel (Reineke) and Arthur Baures. Having more energy than is reasonable for a human being, she tirelessly managed family, friends, career, and volunteer roles. Nothing is done on one’s own of course, and her greatest support came from her devoted husband, Denver Charles Will. They met in 1951 and began a loving relationship that included 66 years of marriage and the raising of six very lucky children.

With the 1960 birth of their son Ron, who had Down syndrome, she began a life-long advocacy for people with developmental disabilities. Her aim was always to focus on what they can do, not what they can’t. With the help of many gracious and dedicated people who worked alongside her, she developed programs in self-care skills, academic and job training, language development, behavioral training, and help for parents. She gained local and state recognition with a Humanitarian Award, a Distinguished Achievement Award, a Rotary Club Service Above Self Award, and a Women in History Award.

She is preceded in death by husband Denver, son Ronald, brother Ben, sisters Ardis and Pauline, and great grandson Connor. She is survived by daughters Debra, Tamara, Patricia, sons Jeffrey and Jon, sisters Evelyn and Goldine, brother Henry, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandsons, as well as numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider carrying on her kindness by donating to a charity of your choice.

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