​Harju Center for Equity in Education - About Dorothea Harju

Dorothea Harju 
Dorothea HarjuDorothea W. Harju (nee Berndt), age 98 of Oshkosh, formerly of rural Redgranite and Wisconsin Rapids passed away July 1, 2017 at Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh, where she had been residing.

Dorothea was born July 15, 1918, in Ripon, the daughter of Dr. William and Ida Marie (Hanke) Berndt. Both her parents preceded her in death at an early age.

Dorothea attended the public schools in Fond du Lac, and graduated from Goodrich Senior High School.

By profession she was an educator. After earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and a Master of Science Degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, she was employed as a teacher in various schools in Wisconsin. She also held a Reading Specialist License from the State of Wisconsin. She retired after 31 years in education, a majority at the Port Edwards School District. A Service Award Certificate was received in recognition of her dedication.

Her hobbies included reading, golf and travel. She visited many states, and went to many countries on four continents. She visited the islands of Hawaii and New Zealand. The history and culture of each place was fascinating.

In 1943 Dorothea went to live in Washington, D.C. to work for the FBI in the Records Department. There, she also did some “sight-seeing” of many historic places in the area. New York City was visited many times. During World War II this was an exciting time and place to go. After the war, Onni R. Harju returned from Europe, where he was serving in the U.S. Army. They were united in marriage and lived in the Fox River Valley and Milwaukee before moving to Wisconsin Rapids. In the early 1960s they enrolled in the flight program at Alexander Field and learned to fly small aircraft. They both held pilot licenses.

The Harjus lived and worked in Wisconsin Rapids for 25 years. When they retired, they moved to their home in the Town of Warren, Waushara County, near Redgranite. They joined Mascoutin Golf Club of Berlin, and Dorothea joined the Ladies Auxiliary. She served as secretary, treasurer and president during her years of membership. She also joined the Friends in Council Book Club in Berlin, and gave many book reviews. In 2005 she sold the Redgranite property and moved to Oshkosh.
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