“Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples.”
I Chronicles 16: 8


Sister Dorothy Marie Rilinger, 91, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL) for 69 years, died on July 13, 2023, at Ross Hall, Leavenworth, Kansas. She entered religious life on Aug. 19, 1954.

Sister Dorothy Marie, born Mary Ann on March 19, 1932, was the first daughter after six sons born to George and Mary (née Fangman) Rilinger.  Two more sons and two more daughters followed her. She grew up in Seneca, Kansas, and was taught by the Benedictine Sisters in Atchison. She attended Benedictine College for a year before going to work for an insurance company in Topeka. During that time, she became familiar with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. She entered the SCL community, and upon receiving her habit, took the name Sister Dorothy Marie. She studied at Saint Mary College in Leavenworth and earned a degree in business.

During the first 10 years of religious life, Sister Dorothy Marie alternated between teaching and hospital office work. In her autobiography, she said she was fortunate to have worked in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and California.

Sister Dorothy Marie said that although she enjoyed teaching very much, God had different plans. In 1966, she was asked to return to the Mother House to assist Sister Mary Anselm in the Community Treasurer’s Office. She worked there until she retired in 2007.  She was grateful to return to the Mother House, as her youngest sister, Sister Jean Marian, had entered the Novitiate.

Preceding Sister Dorothy Marie in death were her parents and brothers Albert, Aloysius, Melvin, Raymond, George, Edgar, Paul, and Emmett. Survivors include her sisters Ann (Jerry) Ruefer of Davenport, Iowa and Sister Jean Marian Rilinger of Leavenworth, Kansas; Sisters in-laws Kay Rilinger, Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina; Karen Rilinger, Seneca, Kansas; and Marian Rilinger, Colorado Springs, Colorado; 29 nieces and nephews and their families; and the SCL Community.

There will be a vigil service at 7 p.m., Tuesday, August 1, in Ross Chapel, SCL Mother House, Leavenworth. Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated in Ross Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 2. Interment will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Mother House grounds.  Memorial contributions can be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, 4200 S. 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048.