Mrs. Dorothy (Sullivan) Hastings Owen, widow of Dr. William E. Owen of St. Ansgar, 88, died peacefully in her sleep on March 24, 2020, in Pacific Grove, Calif. There will be no memorial service though a Mass for Dr. and Mrs. William E. Owen will be offered as able to arrange. Dorothy will be cremated with a private family celebration of her life at a future date. Those wishing to send memorials may send Mass offerings to St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Pacific Grove, Calif..

Born Jan. 17, 1932, on a farm east of Osage, Dorothy was the third child of Harold and Marie Sullivan. She attended nursing school in Sioux City and Mason City, receiving her diploma as a registered nurse in 1965. After several years of practice in her profession, including serving as the Winneshiek County (Iowa) Public Health Nurse from 1965 to 1971, she studied at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., becoming one of the first pediatric nurse practitioners in the United States. She also was certified as a physician assistant.

Following graduation from Mayo in 1972, she joined Dr. William E. Owen in his medical practice in St. Ansgar, where they worked as a team to provide medical care to the northern Iowa, southern Minnesota community until their retirement in 1984. They married in July 1975 at Sacred Heart Church in Meyer, and were married for 27 years.

Dorothy was a long-time resident of Iowa until 2004 when she spent one year in Kentucky providing nursing care to impoverished Appalachians, then moved to Pacific Grove, Calif., where she continued to provide private nursing care for people with health limitations. Her love of public health and service to others gave her great joy. Dorothy was a tremendous mentor and role model who only aspired to the highest and most exemplary of standards. Her Catholic faith gave her enormous comfort through much adversity.

Dorothy is survived by her dear daughters, Joan M. Hastings of New York City and Dr. Marie (Robert) Tolsma of Lakewood, Colo., son-in-law William Varner of Naples, Fla., granddaughter Bridget (Lance) Varner Morel of Westport, Conn., grandson Nicholas (Juliana) Varner of Cleveland, Ohio, grandsons Dr. John (Paige Alfonzo) Tolsma of Zurich, Switzerland, Dr. Thomas (Brie Slam) Tolsma of Lakewood, Colo., Aaron S. Tolsma of Denver, Colo., and great-grandchildren William and Camila Varner, and Taylor Tolsma Greene. Also surviving are step-sons Dr. William R. (Cynthia) Owen of Wausau, Wis. and Dr. Richard (Paula) Owen of Rochester, Minn. and grandchildren Dr. Amy Owen, Sarah Owen and Ann and Susan Owen. She has one surviving sister, Mary Clausen of Des Moines, beloved sister-in-law Carol Sullivan of Osage, special goddaughter Lisa (Keith) Sullivan Cockrum of Osage and proudly mentored niece Colleen (Josh) Sullivan Byrnes of Osage, like-daughters Susan (Reynold) Jensen Sacquitne of Maple Grove, Minn. and Tricia Tolsma of Lakewood, Colo., and numerous wonderful nieces, nephews, cousins, and beloved friends including Catherine Vogel, Mary Ann Cusenza and the Cusenza family, and Darlene and Lee Hunt – all of the Pacific Grove, Calif. area, as well as Duane and Marlene Fenstermann of Decorah.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband Dr. William E. Owen in 2002, her daughter Patricia Varner in 2003, granddaughter-in-law Dana B. Greene in 2020, her parents, her beloved brother John Sullivan and dear brother and sister-in-law Mark and Helen Sullivan, and brothers Keith and Jerry, step-daughter Patty Owen, grandson Ryan Donovan, and niece Anne Sullivan Laing.