Established in 1875
Dorothy T. Replinger, 94, of Urbana, died May 3, 2018, with her family by her side. She was born to Louis Thiele and Bertha Kanies, January 30, 1924, in Chicago. Dot graduated from Glenbard High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, in 1941 and received a BA degree in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1945. She married John G. Replinger in Chicago on June 26, 1945. They lived together in Urbana from 1946 until his death in 2006. Dot continued to live in their house until May 2.
Dot taught in the public schools in Peoria and Champaign to begin her career as a teacher. She became interested in weaving in the 1950s and became a steadfast member of the Champaign-Urbana Spinners and Weavers Guild. She wove yarn to create fabrics that she used in her designs of coats, jackets, hats, scarves, pillows, throws, bedspreads, and wall hangings. She exhibited her work, always with the help of her husband, at art fairs in the Midwest, notably in Charlevoix, Chicago (57th Street Art Fair), Oakbrook, Milwaukee, and Ann Arbor. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington has in its collection one of her colorful bedspreads, and she was awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. Her commissioned work has been displayed at libraries, banks, churches, corporate locations, educational institutions, and private residences in many cities.
Meanwhile, Dot continued her work as a teacher, in after-school programs, as a substitute teacher, and as a mentor to other fabric artists, which continued into her last years. As a committed artist, she inspired many others, especially her husband, architect John Replinger. The couple maintained a wide network of friends in the design and art community of their hometown.
Mrs. Replinger enjoyed traveling, especially with her family, taking trips that always included visits to galleries, museums, gardens, and notable buildings. In her later years she traveled to India, Ecuador, and Japan, but she enjoyed her summer sojourns at Hamlin Lake most of all.
Dot was known for her love of dogs and the Cubs, her loyalty to her many friends, and her killer guacamole.
She is survived by her sons, John Replinger of Portland, Oregon; Robert Replinger of Rock Island, Illinois; and James Replinger of Bainbridge Island, Washington; and by seven grandchildren, Deirdre, Zara, and Ian Replinger of Portland; Fraya Replinger (Shawn Beckett) of Champaign; Zoe Replinger of Rock Island; Suzanne Replinger (Robert Pennington) of Seattle; and Jack Replinger of Memphis, Tennessee.
Friends and family will gather to celebrate Dot’s life on September 15 or 22 in Urbana.