Dorothy Ann (Maynard) Hallstrom
April 15, 1929 – March 30, 2023
Dorothy Ann (Maynard) Hallstrom, age 93, of Omaha, NE, passed away on March 30, 2023. She was born in Wahoo, NE, on April 15, 1929, to the late Idell & Cecile Maynard.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 73 years, Thomas L. Hallstrom; stepfather Ernest Gustav Forsberg; brothers and sisters-in-law, Duane and Darlene Maynard and Donald and Lois Maynard; granddaughter Nichelle Evanich; and many other dearly beloved relatives, friends, and some students
Dorothy is survived by her children Thomas (Cecilia) Hallstrom, Jr. of Council Bluffs, IA, and Susan Jo (Rodney) Evanich of Omaha, NE.; granddaughter Michaela Evanich Tigani; grandson Jerod (Amy) Evanich; great-granddaughters Abigail, Kiley & Bailey Tigani, Nora & Lydia Evanich; and many other dearly beloved family, friends, and students.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the University of Nebraska Foundation (2285 South 67th St, #200, Omaha, NE 68106) for the perpetual televising of the Girls and Boys State Basketball Championships through the Dr. Tom and Dorothy Hallstrom Athletic Fund, broadcasted by Nebraska Educational Public Television.
A celebration of Dorothy’s life will begin with a visitation on Saturday, April 15th, 9:30AM at First Central Congregational Church 421 South 36th Street, Omaha NE; funeral service to follow at 10:30AM. Luncheon will immediately follow the service at the church. Private interment later.
Dorothy Ann (Maynard) Hallstrom, was a strong Christian who, through determination, lived a life of faith. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and teacher.
Dorothy Ann was born on April 15, 1929, in Wahoo, Nebraska, to Idell and Cecile Maynard. She lived on a small farm near Wahoo with her parents and older brothers Duane and Donald until her father passed away suddenly when she was just 7 years old. Then, after a short while of living in the country, they moved to Wahoo so her mother could take a full-time job at the now legendary Wigwam Café. Life in town meant a much bigger school which brought many more opportunities to learn and make more friends, along with many others. Duane, Don, and Dorothy no longer had to take buckets to the creek for water so their mother could boil it to drink and wash. Now, there was also indoor plumbing. But life suddenly changed again. Brother Don came home from World War II after having his leg blown off in Burma. Just a very young teenager still in school, Dorothy stayed up nights comforting Donny during his “night terrors” and regularly changed his bandages and dressing.
Dorothy really enjoyed and thrived in her new school setting. She was a member of the Honor Roll and participated in several activities, such as cheerleading and band. She graduated from Wahoo High School in 1947. Then, to officially begin to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a teacher, she enrolled at Peru State Teachers College. At Peru, Dorothy was the band majorette when she met her future husband, Tom, who was a Bobcat basketball player.
After graduating from Peru, Dorothy married the one and only love of her life on June 12, 1949, at the First Congregational Church in Wahoo, Nebraska. There, they began their loving marriage. It was a journey that would last over 73 years. To this union, two children were born, Thomas Lynn Jr and Susan Jo.
In 1949, Tom and Dorothy Hallstrom moved to Omaha, where Tom began his lifelong career with Omaha Public Schools. During those early years of married life, Dorothy was a loving housewife and mother to Tom, Jr. and Susan Jo. She was an active parent in the PTA, Cub Scouts, and Brownies, as well as being involved at her family’s church, First Central Congressional Church. At First Central, she sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, and became the Sunday School Superintendent (K-6). She launched her teaching career with OPS in 1961 at Bancroft Elementary School. In the Fall of 1963, Mrs. Hallstrom moved to Oak Valley Elementary School, where she taught until her retirement in 1988. For over a quarter of a century, she taught grades K-9 either during the regular school year or summer school sessions. While teaching, Dorothy continued her own education and, in 1973, received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Towards the end of her career, Mrs. Hallstrom was selected to be in the very first class of Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award winners for excellence in teaching. (Dorothy was the first, and maybe the only ABOTA winner to have a student also win the Award.)
Mrs. Hallstrom strived to make each and every child she taught feel special. With her characteristic agape love, she looked inside each pupil and did what she could to bring out and enhance the potential that she saw. Quite simply, she wanted them to be what they could be.
Upon their retirement from OPS, Dorothy and Tom continued enjoying more time camping, fishing, and golfing, particularly with their grandchildren Michaela and Jerod. They also did a great deal of traveling to and sightseeing in every one of our United States as well as visiting forty-three foreign countries.
Over the years, Dorothy was blessed with boundless joy. However, when one lives the span of 93 years, the body falters and fails. Such was the case in her final years, days, and hours. The lesson she’d want to share from this is that through Jesus Christ, she did endure. She did overcome, so you can too. “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”
While most of the above is related to Dorothy’s public life and the people she touched, there is so much more that she did with family and friends personally. This was truly a person who “Let Her Light So Shine.” Dorothy Ann Hallstrom was who she could be.