Former Cresco resident Dorothy Chvatal celebrates 100th birthday


Beaverton, Ore. - They came from far and wide. They came from Florida, Texas and California. Relatives and family came from Illinois, Colorado and Wisconsin as well as Minnesota, Washington and Oregon.
On Feb. 7 Dorothy Irene Chvatal joined the ever-growing population of centenarians and celebrated her 100th birthday with approximately 100 family, relatives and friends at Maryville Nursing Home, Beaverton, Ore. To make it more convenient and more possible for everyone to attend, the party was not scheduled until Sunday, Feb. 12.
Born on Feb. 7, 1917 in Alta Vista, Iowa, Dorothy is the daughter of Emil and Anna Polashek. She had a sister Evelyn and a brother Emil (Jerome). Dorothy married John Chvatal on June 15, 1937 and had 10 children, four sons and six daughters. Donald and Janet are deceased, however all eight of Dorothy’s surviving children were there to celebrate her 100th birthday. They are Jeanne, Joyce, Jacinta, Mary Jo, Julie, Daniel, Dennis and David.
Many of her grandsons and granddaughters also made a special effort to come and celebrate her 100th birthday. In attendance were her granddaughter, Brigitte Jorgensen, her great-granddaughter Katrina Wacholtz and her great-great grandson Anders Wacholtz who made his debut into the world on June 21, 2016 thereby comprising the fifth generation.
Dorothy’s Portland daughters planned a delicious catered meal of lasagna, garlic bread and salad accompanied with white and red wine. Desert consisted of the usual birthday cake as well as cupcakes. After the meal a sing-a-long was performed by “Accordion Joe” who does a monthly gig at Maryville Nursing Home. He performed “Home on the Range” and Dorothy’s favorite “You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine” and many other old time favorites.
As a young woman Dorothy was a talented singer and was invited to sing several times on WMT a radio station in Waterloo, Iowa. When “Fran” Allison a radio comedian and singer left WMT in 1937 for Chicago to star in The Breakfast Club on WGN, Dorothy was invited to audition for the part of Aunt Fanny. However she had just been married and turned down her chance at show biz. However her talents were not wasted as she served as choir director for 30 years at St. Joseph’s in Cresco. 
Fran Allison is best known for the NBC-TV puppet show Kukla, Fran and Ollie from 1947 to 1957.
Dorothy is in excellent health except for the inherent challenges of being 100 years old. When asked what were her hobbies Dorothy smiled and said, "I didn’t have time for hobbies, my children were my hobbies". She is an excellent cook and baker and is famous for her cinnamon rolls and kolaches, a Czech recipe, stuffed with prunes or apricots. She also made her own bread. Her cooking and baking expertise has been passed on to some of her granddaughters who will continue her baking tradition.
A wonderful gift she presented to her descendents years ago was a book she wrote titled “For Everything There is a Season.” Her book is a record of her life and thoughts as well as a great genealogical record for the family. To top it off Dorothy wrote a cook book titled “Bridging Six Generations, A Recipe Legacy” that contains her recipes and others submitted by members of her family.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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