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DOROTHY OLIVIA LAESSIG
Born in St Louis, Mo on June 26, 1944, Dot was raised in a family that valued trust, education and most important – family. She was truly a people person in that she felt so strongly about the people she came in contact with. Race, sexual orientation, gender … it just didn’t matter to her. Dot was able to accept and completely overlook all the negative labels that are often associated with others who were “different” from her – she really did not see any differences. Without a mean bone in her body, Dot embraced just about everyone she came into contact with.
From a very young age, she could make people laugh. Dot was one who was able to entertain those around her … with a joke, funny observation or just a look. As time progressed, she could elicit snickers and good feelings from people in a checkout line, from strangers, from old friends and even from family. Throughout her life, she always seemed to be able to find humor all around her … and if she didn’t find it, she created it.
Growing up in the wilds of St Louis County, she had the best of both worlds with lakes, creeks and woods all around her while being able to enjoy the things a big city has to offer. Dot was always ready to get out and experience nature. When she was younger, she and her brothers and sisters had many wonderful times at her grandfather’s lakes and with friends in the neighborhood. Later, she got to experience the camping life and shared some wonderful times with her family.
Dot enjoyed art and had a chance to work as a commercial artist at different times in her life. She used those talents to draw covers for various magazines, programs and personal projects. What was amazing was her transformation from artist to photographer. With her artistic senses of composition and framing, she was able to capture some really beautiful and impressive images over the years.
She always enjoyed what she saw and experienced, but always wanted to see “just a little bit more”. Dot was usually content to let someone else plan trips and outings, but loved getting out and seeing new places. Later in life, she was able to experience some real traveling and loved it all. This year, she even got to experience a fantastic trip to Europe, where she loved the time spent in Switzerland, the cruise up the Rhine, the week in Amsterdam and the beauty of Bruges.
She was a loving wife and mother who encouraged the best from every family member. Dot was a multi-talented woman who was responsible for instilling a sense of trust and honesty in those around her. As time has progressed, she experienced a multitude of problems, ranging from taste and smell, to bad knees, to fibromyalgia, to dementia and arthritis. While they slowed her down they never stopped her from doing what she loved doing … traveling and taking pictures.
What did slow her down was a lung disease that was previously undetected, but never-the-less, incurable. Her body became incapable of maintaining sufficient blood oxygen levels. She departed shortly before midnight on November 17, 2016.
At the end, she was alert and happy and even enjoyed the hospital experience – especially interacting with doctors, nurses, and other patients. Dot was able to make a fun filled departure from this world doing the thing she loved doing more than anything … talking to family and friends.
She was so happy to be able to talk with so many people who have been such important pieces in her life. She was, in reality, given the chance to actively participate in her own “Celebration of Life”. Over the space of two days, she was able to talk with most of her family and friends. She even told her sister “Seriously Jo…it is like I’m at the best Christmas party ever”! Before she went to her final sleep, she was being given head rubs, foot rubs, hand rubs and was very happy.
She leaves behind her husband – Gene Laessig; her daughter, Vicki Laessig; her son, Craig Laessig; her grandson, Christian Laessig; brothers, Bob Taylor and Leonard Taylor; sisters Joann Loeffelman and Patsy Taylor. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Agnes Taylor and her brother Roger Taylor.
She is missed by all.