Cover photo for Dorothy Helena Fennewald's Obituary
Dorothy Helena Fennewald Profile Photo
1937 Dorothy 2022

Dorothy Helena Fennewald

February 10, 1937 — October 9, 2022


Dorothy Helena (Schmedding) Fennewald, 85, of Westphalia, Missouri passed away peacefully in her sleep early Sunday morning, October 9, 2022.

Dorothy was born February 10, 1937 at home, in Henry County, Missouri to Frank and Genevieve (Goth) Schmedding. She was baptized at St. Ludger Catholic Church in Germantown, MO; attended elementary schools in Montrose and Germantown; high school at St. Francis Academy, Nevada, MO; and college at Mount St. Scholastica College (now Benedictine College) in Atchison, KS.

After graduation in 1958, Dorothy moved to Westphalia to teach math at Fatima High School. She married Jim Fennewald on June 14, 1960, at St. Ludger Catholic Church in Germantown with a reception on the Schmedding family farm. He resides at their home in Westphalia.

Dorothy was a dedicated teacher who taught at Fatima from 1958 – 1962. She had a love for math and passed that love on to her students and her children.  After raising eight children, she returned to substitute teaching at Argyle and Rich Fountain. She taught full time at Fatima and St. Joseph from 1985 – 1994.

After teaching, Dorothy worked at the Westphalia Retirement Center for 13 years as an aide and then certified medical technician.

She was an active member of the Friendship Club, St. Anne Sodality, St. Anne Sewing Circle and Senior Citizen Club. Dorothy enjoyed quilting, sewing, baking, gardening, and canning – as well as teaching her children and grandchildren these life skills. She also enjoyed traveling and learning about other places.

She created many happy memories for her family. On every “snow day” she made dozens of homemade yeast donuts. She loved to make homemade pies, cookies, and cakes and knew the favorite of each family member.  If Dorothy knew you were coming, she would have a homemade pie waiting for you; if not, you could always have a root beer float.

Throughout Dorothy's life she loved to sew.  She sewed western shirts with snaps for the boys and matching dresses for the girls.  She also patched many pairs of jeans for the boys, even when they became men.

Dorothy loved to piece quilts, as well as, doing the quilting.  As a lifelong teacher, she thought more people would enjoy the art of quilting and began a Monday evening class for beginners.  She enjoyed the friendships she made throughout those years.

She is survived by her husband, Jim; eight children; 26 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren. Her children are Duane (Darlene) Fennewald, Westphalia; Linda (Ken) Coffey, Prairie Grove, AR; Brian Fennewald, Koeltztown; Kevin (Katie) Fennewald, Scott City, MO; Karen (Kurt) Gentges, Westphalia; Dennis Fennewald, Cookeville, TN; Terri (Kevin) Muenks, Loose Creek; and David (fiancée Kally Kuehler) Fennewald, Auxvasse.

Her grandchildren are Chris (Amber) Fennewald, Aaron (Laura) Fennewald, Jennifer (Andy) Brendel, Nicole (Jacob) Linhardt; Jim Coffey, Kerri (Josh) Prczeczewski, Hannah (Cassidy) Fail, John (Mallory) Coffey, Cameron Coffey, Kayliee Coffey; Pam (Bruce) Werner, Amy (Mark) Sankey, Val (Shawn) Kesel; John Fennewald, Clare (fiancé Andrew West), Elizabeth Fennewald; Logan (Alora) Gentges, Brent (Meghan) Gentges, Tanner Gentges; Allison Fennewald, Samantha Fennewald; Austin (Erica) Muenks, Tyler (fiancée Raegan Streeter), Carly Muenks; Garrett Fennewald and Natasha Fennewald.

In addition, she is survived by her brother, Jerry (Juanita) Schmedding, Montrose; sisters-in-law Sr. Janice Fennewald SSND, Sr. Jeannette Fennewald SSND, Joyce (Bob) Springer; brother-in-law Gene Forsyth, as well as nieces and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Merle Schmedding and sister-in-law Joan Forsyth, and niece Elizabeth Forsyth, nephews Dean Schmedding, Fred Forsyth, and Matt Forsyth.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, October 13, 2022, at Trimble Funeral Homes – Westphalia with a prayer service at 3:30 p.m.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday, October 14, 2022, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Westphalia with the Rev. Dylan Schrader officiating.

Burial will follow at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Westphalia.

Memorials are suggested to St. Joseph Catholic School.

Services entrusted to Trimble Funeral Homes – Westphalia.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Helena Fennewald, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, October 13, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Trimble Funeral Homes - Westphalia

1941 US Hwy 63, Westphalia, MO 65085

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Friday, October 14, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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