BREVARD, N.C. - Doris Hartley Davidowski Hulse was born on March 16, 1916 in a logging camp in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain in Avery County, North Carolina. She was the second eldest of twelve children of Molly and Ira Hartley. In her school years at Newland High School, she excelled at Latin and English. She was in school plays and was a stellar basketball player. Helping to care for her younger siblings as she grew up led her to enroll in Grace Hospital School of Nursing at Lees-McRae College in nearby Banner Elk. She graduated in 1939, became a nursing supervisor there, then a Public Health Nurse in the county. Her adventurous spirit took her to a nursing position in New York City at Belview Hospital. While living in New York, she married Stephen Davidowski from Franklin, New Jersey. They had a son, Stephen Ira and a daughter, Jane. In 1953, the family moved to Augusta, Georgia where Doris and Steve worked as registered nurses for the Veterans' Hospitals. Enthusiasts of the arts, they encouraged their children to pursue music and dance. They lived there until 1977. Doris and Steve had one year of retirement in Florida before he died in 1979 after 37 years of marriage. Doris continued to live and work as a nurse in Cape Coral, Florida. She spent summers in her beloved mountains of North Carolina gardening, playing with her grandchildren, and spending time with family. At a Lees-McRae College reunion, she became reacquainted with Fred E. Hulse and they married in 1991 in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. They lived in Florida and Doris continued her support for the arts, working for the South Florida Symphony and the Lee County Library. She loved the water, fishing, and gardening. In 1997 they moved to Brevard, North Carolina to be closer to her daughter and son. Regrettably, Fred died in 1999. In her last 19 years, Doris has brought joy to many lives in Brevard. She was well known for her love of dancing, her quick wit, her determination, and her generous spirit inspiring all to be young at heart. She leaves two siblings, Sid Hartley (wife Carolyn) and Vivian (husband Carl) Erickson. With loving memories, her son Steve (wife Betty) and his children, Alex, Mara, Riva, and Stephanie and her daughter, Jane (husband Ted) and her son Christopher (wife Lissa) and Ari, Doris's great-grandchild, will carry forth her legacy and spirit. The last six years of her life were made more joyful and complete by the devoted and selfless care given by Heylin Hidalgo, who loved Doris as her own mother, holding her hand at the end. With her family near, Doris died peacefully at her home on February 24, 2016, three weeks before her 100th birthday. Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Doris's life on Sunday, March 20 from 1pm to 5pm at her home in Brevard.
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Published in The Augusta Chronicle on Mar. 27, 2016