60 Years: Dorothy Klingele, SP (deceased)

60 Years: Dorothy Klingele, SP

Sister Mary Borgia

Sister Dorothy Klingele always has loved science and research, but she has been equally enamored with talking with people. She thrilled at writing and speaking on genetics and biochemistry, but it was the one on one interactions with doctors, nurses, administrators, staff, patients and their families that made her an icon at Providence Everett Medical Center.

Retired since 2008, Sister Dorothy is celebrating 60 years as a Sister of Providence alongside fellow Jubilarian Sister Naomi Hurd.v“I’ve known Naomi since we were little kids, growing up in Yakima,” Sister Dorothy recalled. They entered the community together in 1951. “Sixty years … I can hardly believe it. There has been a lot of happiness, adventure and a lot of question marks, unanswered. I will celebrate as I can with the people left.”

Earned Ph.D. in developmental biology

A native of Yakima, Wash., she graduated from St. Joseph Academy and received a scholarship to study medical technology at the College of Great Falls (Mont.) She transferred to Seattle College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1947. She interned at the former Providence Hospital in Seattle, and then worked for two years as the only medical technologist in a small Yakima clinic before entering the religious community.

One of her first ministries, as well as her last and favorite, was in Everett, Wash. Sister Dorothy was a lab supervisor at Providence Hospital in Everett before returning to college. She earned a master’s degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. in developmental biology at the University of Notre Dame. The teaching assignment she was prepping for never came to pass. By the time she finished her studies, the College of Sister Formation at Providence Heights in Issaquah, Wash., was phasing out. “I never got a chance to teach there; I helped pack it up,” she recalled.

Taught genetics and biochemistry

She continued with post-doctoral work in human genetics at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Wash., and at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. She also worked at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center in Portland, Ore., with Down’s Syndrome children, and taught genetics and biochemistry at Fort Wright College in Spokane until it closed.

Sister Dorothy has fond memories of serving as sister representative at Providence Everett Medical Center. The love was mutual. There were long lines in 2005 when she signed copies of the book on its centennial. She still loves to return to see what’s new on the two campuses.

“I really love people. The people in Everett helped make my life what it is,” she said.