Cover photo for Dolores McDonald Kaemerle's Obituary
Dolores McDonald Kaemerle Profile Photo
1932 Dolores 2024

Dolores McDonald Kaemerle

September 28, 1932 — February 10, 2024

Born on September 28, 1932 in Chicago Ill. to Michael and Margaret McDonald.

Dolores was the third of five daughters. Elizabeth, Mary, Lorraine, and Margaret

The McDonalds lived in a one-bedroom apartment on South Flournoy St. and all five sisters slept in one bed until Margaret passed away at 2 years old on Christmas day. 

Times were tough in the 1930’s, so to help their parents out with costs, four McDonald sisters obtained a newspaper paper delivery route and this was unusual for the times because boys typically delivered newspapers on bicycles or sold newspapers on street corners. The McDonald girls delivered their newspapers in baby buggies and neighborhood boys were constantly trying to steal their newspapers until one day a large boy grabbed a hand full of newspapers from one of the baby buggies and the McDonald girls tackled him and made him give the newspapers back. From that day forward, no one bothered the McDonald girls again. 

Dolores Mc Donald met Carl Kaemerle in the spring of 1952. Dolores was dancing with her date at a local church dance when this guy she had never met before asked to cut in.  Dolores thought that this guy was full of himself for interrupting her and her date but Dolores ended up dancing with Carl for the next two hours.  

Carl was from a German Lutheran family while Dolores was from an Irish Catholic family. Carl converted to Catholicism because he loved Dolores. 

Carl and Dolores were married two years later on October 9, 1954. In September 1960 they purchased a house in Elmhurst Ill. Ten months later their first son Carl Jr. was born and two years later in 1963 their second son Kurt was born.

The winter of 1967 was the worst winter on record in Chicago to date, Dolores and Carl decided that they had enough of the weather, sold their house, packed up their bags and moved to Torrance Ca.

They purchased a residential lot from the Boise Cascade Development in West Torrance, picked the style of house they wanted, and patiently waited and watched their house being built. Over the next year on every Sunday after church Dolores and Carl would take their boys to the construction site and take photos of the progress. 

Carl was offered a job at Xerox in El Segundo as a Supervisor, Dolores stayed home and took care of the boys and volunteered at Towers Elementary and the P.T.A. at Bert M. Lynn Middle School, Dolores also volunteered at Tordondo Little League, A.Y.S.O. and Little Company of Mary hospital.

Everything was going great until Dolores read in the newspaper that the state of California was preparing to build a freeway that went from Palos Verdes to Los Angeles.

It turned out that the freeway if built would take Towers Elementary School, the Kaemerle house and many other homes in Torrance. Dolores and her friends Joan Hunt, and Mary Curtain decided that they would fight the proposed freeway and they spent countless days and hours circulating petitions by going door to door and getting signatures. 

The ladies met with Councilmembers from the cities of Torrance and Redondo Beach and with California State Assembly members.

On April 19,1972, the ladies of “The Sensible Freeways Committee” presented State Assemblyman Robert G. Beverly, R-46th petitions of signatures to delete the Torrance Freeway from the State of California Master plan. 

Thankfully, the proposed Torrance Freeway died in Committee in Sacramento. 

The ladies of “The Sensible Freeways Committee” were credited with alerting residents in the South Bay and putting the pressure on Public Officials in not approving the proposed “Torrance Freeway”. 

Soon after, Dolores applied and accepted a full-time job with the Torrance Unified School District at Hamilton Adult School as a Secretary.

Life was good, Dolores’s children were now in college, she had a job that she really enjoyed and she was happily married.

In the Spring of 1986, her husband was not feeling well, Doctors diagnosed Carl Sr. with lung Cancer. After a year-long battle, her husband of thirty-three years, the love of Dolores’s life passed away on April 17, 1987. Dolores was devastated. 

To keep busy, Dolores applied for a job at the Katy Geisert Library as a part-time Library Page and enrolled at El Camino College where Dolores earned her Associate Arts Degree. 

Dolores applied for a job with the City of Torrance and ran the Dial-A-Lift Identification card program for the Torrance Transit Department until her retirement.

With the arrival of her four grandchildren starting in 1995, Dolores retired and became a full-time babysitter while the grand-children’s parents worked full-time, she would read books to them daily, show them math flashcards, make them lunch, drove them to the Torrance Libraries and walked them to and from school every day.

Dolores loved going to exercise classes at the Y.M.C.A., loved working on daily crossword puzzles, loved writing letters to the editor, but most of all she loved her family.

Dolores was a devout Roman Catholic, a staunch Constitutional Conservative Republican, and was well versed in both.

Dolores was proceeded by her sisters Margaret, Mary and Lorraine. She is survived by her sister Elizabeth (Betty) Musselman of Concord Ca., her sons Carl Kaemerle Jr., (Dyna), and Kurt Kaemerle (Kathy), her Grandchildren 

Carl III, Kalyn, Holly Honma (Dylan), and Adam.


In lieu of flowers please make donations in Dolores’s name to the South Bay Republican Women, P.O. Box 83, Hermosa Beach CA 90254. These donations will go to their scholarship fund.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dolores McDonald Kaemerle, please visit our flower store.


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