Emily E. Kotecki died Monday, Nov. 11, 2020, of natural causes at her home in West Bend, Wis. at the age of 36.
She was born October 24, 1984, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Port Washington to Susan Dobberpuhl. As a child, she lived in Saukville and was an active member at Living Hope Lutheran Church. She also participated in Girl Scouts for multiple years.
Emily’s family later moved to Port Washington where she attended Thomas Jefferson Middle School. She was an active student that participated in wrestling and band. She went on to graduate from Port Washington High School in 2003.
She attended St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. and received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, Sociology, and Religious Studies in 2007. During her Junior year, she spent a semester studying abroad in Australia and made several life-long friendships with people from around the world.
Following graduation, Emily spent a month working at an orphanage in Kenya. “She just could not tolerate bad things happening to kids,” said her mother, Susan. “She loved children and that is where she wanted to be. She wanted them to have fulfilled lives, to be successful and happy.”
Emily’s love for working with children grew in-part from her own life experience as a child in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Ozaukee County. Years later, she served as a Big Sister to a BBBS child during her time in college.
In 2012, Emily received her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Mt. Mary College, in Milwaukee, Wis. She spent her career striving to help children in need, starting as a youth counselor and then a case manager for the Washington County Youth Treatment Center.
Emily went on to work as a Psychiatric Therapist for the Dodge County Human Services & Health Department. She also served as a Psychotherapist for Acacia Mental health, before recently starting a Psychotherapist position at Cedar Lake Counseling in Mequon, Wis.
Knowing she had the rare blood type of A negative, Emily felt a deep responsibility to donate blood on a regular basis and reached many blood donor gallon milestones over the years for her continuous contributions to blood banks.
Emily took part in many friend’s weddings throughout her life and even became an ordained chaplain so she could officiate a ceremony. “She was always kind to everyone and she was always concerned about people’s needs over her own,” her mother said.
When she was not working, she was an avid reader and loved dogs. She had a special love for her grandmother Edna and would make regular visits to her nursing home in Cedarburg.
Emily also enjoyed cheering for the Milwaukee Brewers and was a huge Green Bay Packers Fan. She attended several football games and especially enjoyed taking her niece to her very first game.
Emily had a special bond with her niece Ashaya and enjoyed doing countless activities with her. Whether it was a walk on South Beach in Port Washington to search for sea glass, camping trips to Antigo, helping with homework or a scrapbooking project, she always had a smile on her face while spending time with her Shay Beans.
Most of all, she had a deep love of elephants and would travel to the Milwaukee County Zoo quite often to spend time with the animals, which she saw as symbols of nurturing kindness, love and peace.
“She was a very smart, strong, intelligent woman that was always just a phone call away and willing to help everyone,” said her Step-Father Roger Thein.
She is survived by her mother Susan Dobberpuhl (Roger) of Port Washington, Wis., her niece Ashaya Platek of Port Washington, Wis. and her Grandmother Edna Dobberpuhl of Cedarburg, Wis. She is further survived by her sister Samantha Hughes and her niece Keshawna Sipp of Saukville, Wis.
Emily was preceded in death by her grandmothers Rita and Donna, her Uncle Robert, Aunt June and her grandfather Ardell.
A visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, at Mueller Funeral Home in Grafton, Wis. Attendees are requested to wear face masks.
A memorial service will be held virtually at 1 p.m. at Living Hope Lutheran Church on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. A YouTube link to view the service will be available for extended family and friends. A public burial service will then be held at 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, at Zur Ruhe Cemetery in Cedarburg.
Mueller funeral home is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers people are asked to donate blood, make a donation to the Ozaukee County BBBS or to Thilandelephant.org.
October 24, 1984 - November 11, 202010/24/198411/11/2020
Emily Elizabeth Kotecki
4 Trees have been planted in memory of Emily Kotecki.