Sunset Funeral Home & Sunset Cemetery

2250 St Anthony Boulevard Ne, Minneapolis, MN



March 2, 1935November 20, 2019

After a two-year battle with cancer, on November 20, 2019 Dorothy “Dotty” Gooding passed on at her home on Love Lake in Danbury, WI with family surrounding her.

Our beloved Dotty, age 84, was born to Otto and Bertha Staiger in Chicago, IL. Together with her older brother, Howard, Dotty’s early years were centered on Chicago’s Southside Midway neighborhood with its WWII victory gardens and lively German-speaking community. In 1947 they moved their family to Aurora, IL where Dotty attended Junior High and High School.

Dotty attended Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, from which she graduated in 1956. At Lawrence Dotty quietly accumulated awards for her studies of English literature and her wonderful talents in writing and began her courtship with “bad boy” Buck Gooding.

On August 4, 1956 Dotty married Ralph Urban Gooding Jr. “Buck” in Aurora, IL, and they began their life as soulmates driving west across the country to Jordan Valley, OR, a largely Basque ranching community, where for two years they were half of the faculty, and where in two years, Dotty started and took a Jordan Valley High School Debate Team to the Oregon State finals.

In 1958, as the first of Dotty and Buck’s three children was born, they returned to Neenah, WI and later moved to Roseville, MN to raise their children Susan, Carol, and David. Throughout their childhoods’, Dotty was completely dedicated to her children, exposing them to literature and the arts, running them to dance or music lessons, and immersing herself in their sports activities. Her score keeping, generosity and humor is legendary among a generation of Roseville Little Leaguers.

In 1970, Dotty restarted her career at Edgerton Elementary School, where she went from classroom aide to permanent library staff, and was instrumental in computerizing the school’s library.

In 1993, after her two decades with the Roseville School District, Dotty and Buck retired and moved permanently to their cabin on Love Lake that they’d been lovingly and creatively renovating for years. By then Love Lake had been a destination for visitors that spanned Dotty and Buck’s lives, and now became a summer destination for their grandchildren, Drew and Claire, and a haven where family and friends were welcome. She relished watching a generation of her children’s friends “grow up” at the cabin and eventually bring their own families to enjoy its treasures.

Dotty wasn’t retired long. She and Buck had many adventures traveling near and far with friends and family. They were passionate about Forts Folle Avoine, an educational Historical Park in Burnett County, WI, and Dotty served on the board for 17 years, many of these as Treasurer. She was key in developing the educational materials in the Karlsborg School, and successfully wrote a tourism grant for $100,000 that was approved by Governor Thompson. She also developed and maintained the Annual Giving Fund that has brought over $100,000 to the Fort, and was especially committed to developing its membership program and the Fort’s historical exhibits and school/tourist educational programs. To her last days Dotty treasured her two Webster book clubs, including the Seekers group of which she was a founding member. Dotty’s wishes were for no formal services at this time, but instead a Celebration of Life will follow late Spring or early Summer 2020 at Forts Folle Avoine. More information will be forthcoming via email.

Dotty is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Buck; children, Susan Gooding, Carol (Doug) Gooding Colwell, and David (Mary) Gooding; grandchildren, Andrew and Claire Colwell; brother, Howard (Marilyn) Staiger; nieces, Debbie, Melinda, Lisa, Paula, and Jeanie; and their children.

Dotty was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Bertha; sister-in-law, Ann Pomrenke; and Buck’s parents, Ralph and Thelma.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Forts Folle Avoine, 8500 County Rd U, Danbury, WI 54830, or by visiting the website: theforts.org.

In all her endeavors, Dotty favored conversation and action around the right questions, rather than “right” answers.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.



have a memory or condolence to add?

Larry O'Hearon

December 10, 2019

What an accomplished and amazing woman. I remember attending school with her daughter Susan, of which she was also very talented. May your wonderful memories give you comfort in your time of grief God bless and shine his everlasting light on this wonderful family.

Paula Swenson

December 5, 2019

Sue and I will surely miss Dotty, she was a kind and wonderful lady. Our hearts go out to Buck and his family they will miss her alot!!! Sue has many good memories of her. RIP Dotty😥😭😥

Cary & George Pratt

November 27, 2019

We began a lasting friendship with Dotty and Buck when they returned from Jordan Valley. The fun and experiences we had with the entire family are numerous, we could ramble for a long time. Our kids and theirs played, swam, skied, snowmobiled and grew up into the adults they are today. Dotty was always doing stuff from mixing drinks, to food prep, to guiding us on trips, to speaking Spanish?? in Mexico, Costa Rico. She tried to play cribbage and her calm demeanor frustrated Buck, but she never lost her composure. We will miss a dear and best friend and her perennial gracious spirit. 60 years of calling her friend, we weep with Buck and her children. God Bless

Melinda Creech

November 26, 2019

There are so many memories I have of my Aunt Dottie. From Christmas at grandma and grandpa's house to visits to Wisconsin as we all grew up, our families were intertwined. I will always remember moving David's duck for her! And I remember some darling dogs through the years. Visiting the lake and watching her enjoy the birds and wildlife and driving around on the pontoon boat looking for loons also comes to mind. And watching Packers games with her and Uncle Buck was always an experience! I wish I could have seen her one more time. I love this saying and want to share it : Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day. And she really does. Love you Aunt Dottie.