Dorothy May Ager

Dorothy May Ager, age 84, of Waterville died Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the Good Samaritan Center in Waukon. Funeral services will be Friday, October 26 at 11 a.m. at Old East Paint Creek Lutheran Church, rural Waterville, with Pastor Ken Kimball officiating. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until time of services Friday at the church. Martin Funeral Home in Waukon is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to North American Lutheran Seminary or Lutheran World Relief.

May was born May 17, 1934 in Perth, Western Australia, the daughter of Cyril and Edith (Avenell) Smith. May trained as a teacher and taught in both Western Australia and Papua New Guinea where she met the love of her life, Theodore Charles Ager. May and Ted were married at Claremont Methodist Church, Western Australia June 13, 1959.

She then became a full-time and life-long partner in ministry with Ted. Their first 15 years were spent teaching in the school system of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea and then writing a Christian Education Curriculum for all the church’s primary T schools. In 1973, they moved to the U.S. and received a call to serve at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Titonka. Seven years later they accepted a call to serve at St. John Lutheran Church, Luana.

In 1994, they retired to a shed near Waterville. There May designed and helped Ted build the home in which they lived for the rest of her life. They joined both Old East and Old West Paint Creek Lutheran Churches where May was always a willing worker. She was a leader in Lutheran World Relief quilt making for many years.

May supported Ted in all she did, serving both as a volunteer and official secretary for his parishes. May loved the outdoors, camping and canoeing the BWCAW, gardening, sewing and knitting. Her faith and her family were at the core of her life.

May is survived by her husband, Ted, of Waterville; her children: Sharon  (Mark Patterson) Ager of Eau Claire, WI and Danita  (Timothy) Ballantyne of Deep River, CT; her grandchildren, Heather and David Ballantyne; her great-grandson, Alistor Schaub; her sisters, June Parotte and Val Richardson of Western Australia; a brother, Brian Smith of Western Australia; and numerous nieces and nephews. May was preceded in death by her parents, Cyril and Edith Smith; her brothers, Arthur and Ron Smith; and her infant daughter, Susan.

Casketbearers are Justin and Eric Westendorf, Derrin Boerschel, Brian Long, Carla Christensen and John Ager. Online condolences may be left at

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