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Kazel Dorothy

Dorothy Kazel
Serial Number:
Date of Death:
All Souls Cemetery, Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio
Section 15
Lot 1740

Dorothy Kazel was born Dorthea Lu Kazel to Lithuanian American parents, Joseph and Malvina Kazel, in Cleveland, Ohio. When she joined the Ursulines, a Roman Catholic religious institute in 1960, she took the name Sister Laurentine, in honor of an Ursuline nun martyred during the French Revolution.

As the Catholic Church modernized during the 1960s, she became known as Sister Dorothy. In the Central American community where she died, she was known as Madre Dorthea (Dorothy).

Kazel completed her bachelor's degree and novitiate between 1960 and 1965. Beginning in 1965, she taught for seven years in Cleveland and did missionary work among the Papago Tribe of Arizona.

After finishing a master's degree in counseling in 1974, Kazel decided to partake in the challenge of joining the Diocese of Cleveland's mission team working in El Salvador. Once there, Kazel worked in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in La Libertad, training catechists, carrying out sacramental preparation programs, and overseeing the distribution of Catholic Relief Services aid and food supplies. She was also engaged in working with refugees from the Salvadoran Civil War, obtaining food, shelter, and medical supplies, and transporting the sick and injured to medical facilities.

On the evening of December 2, 1980, while returning home from the airport in El Salvador to pick up the Maryknoll Sisters returning from their regional assembly in Managua, Sister Dorothy, and Cleveland lay missionary, Jean Donovan and Maryknoll Sisters, Ita Ford and Maura Clarke were abducted, beaten, raped, and murdered by Salvadoran army soldiers. Their bodies were discovered in a ditch by the side of the road and buried by peasants in a common grave marked by a cross made of twigs.

Sister Dorothy Kazel is now buried in the All Souls Cemetery, Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio, USA.

Source of information:,