Doris Weddell

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Doris Weddell Obituary
Doris Weddell 1933 - 2011 Doris Weddell was born in Paso Robles in 1933, growing up in Santa Margarita and Hughson, California. She attended Modesto Junior College, receiving her AA in Literature, before she married Bill Weddell in 1952. She cherished their four daughters every day of her life. They moved to Bakersfield in 1969, and in 1978, Bill and Doris divorced. It was only then that Mom truly discovered herself. She worked first at Brock's department Store in the Valley Plaza Mall, and then she became a Librarian in Lamont. Thousands of people will remember her as their story time leader, and their book report assistant. If you used the Lamont Library during her tenure, she treasured you. Most importantly, she began to collect local stories from the Dustbowl migrants who lived in the area, and that history became her true passion. First she had a file cabinet, then a small closet, than a whole room full of resources, documents and books. She helped create what is now the annual Dustbowl festival, held at Sunset School each October, and was world renowned as a scholar regarding the Migrants who landed in and around Kern County. She was always tickled when some prestigious somebody came calling, and she would call and laugh, "Guess who's coming to see the collection?" And it would be Norwegian Television, or Peter Jennings, or Ken Burns. She would be equally delighted to announce that school kids were coming to work on History Day Projects. Still, perhaps her favorite Dustbowl activity was speaking to schools and civic groups about the Dustbowl history of our area. She wanted people to know that our hometowns are rich with traditions and history. If someone asked a question and she somehow did not know the answer, she would spend days or weeks finding it. If you ever heard her speak, she treasured you. During the 1980s, she developed a love for country line dancing with her women's group, and she danced the "Tulsa Time" every time she heard it on the radio ever after that. If you danced with her, she treasured you. She also had a lifelong love for antiques, and for many years kept a space at the Antique Mall in the old Woolworth's building. She enjoyed spending hours designing her space, making sure that it looked classy and stylish, and she traveled the state to find new and unique items to place for sale. If you talked antiques with her, she treasured you, too. Mom had a remarkable knack for making people comfortable, almost instantly; it was part of her classy nature. She could as easily walk among conservative Republicans as she could the gay community, where she was a surrogate mother to many whose own families were distant. She wasn't one to look for confrontation, but she was a tireless defender of what she believed was right. She never missed an election, she always paid her taxes on time, and she wrote letters to the editor. She would never mix stripes with polka dots, nor politics with religion, and she wondered who decided lately that a bra strap was suddenly a fashion accessory. She ironed her sheets and towels, and there was always a clean room ready for unexpected guests. Her house was immaculate, and her sense of style often caused home repairmen to ask if they could take photos home to their wives. She bristled at new technology, and at anyone who put their elbows on the table at dinner. She loved British sitcoms and theater. One of the great joys of her life came just a few years ago when she traveled to London with her girls, and saw not one but TWO shows on the London stage. Doris is survived by her brother Greg and his family, wife Karen, Julie, Chris and Kaylie ; Her daughter Wendy and her family, husband David, Greg, Christine, Julia and Jeff; her daughter Tracy and her family, wife Sylvia, Jamie and Jessica; her daughter Charlotte and her son Jason; her daughter Whitney and her wife Lori. She also had a huge extended family of friends whom she cherished: Deanna, Teresa, Shelby, Donna & Scott, Aileen and the Library Group, the folks at the Antique Mall, the entire LGBTQ community, the Lamont Women's Club, The Lamont Chamber of Commerce, and the Dustbowl Committees. And because someday, they'll grow up to read this, for Jessica and Julia, her first two great granddaughters: she was overjoyed at your births, and to be part of your lives, even if you won't remember very much. She loved every minute she spent with you both. She wanted you to grow up to be strong, empowered women, and her legacy to you is your parents and your grandparents, who are now the closest thing you have to keep you on that path. You are in good hands, because your great grandmother raised four exceptional daughters, who have in turn, given you your amazing parents. If you listen carefully throughout your lives, you'll hear your great-grandma Tootsie guiding you every day. She would want you to know that she's there. In lieu of flowers, she would appreciate if you would make donations to the Dust Bowl Historical Foundation, Inc. c/o Lamont Chamber/ Dustbowl, P. O. Box 593, Lamont, CA 93241 or to the Bakersfield AIDS Project, 910 Grace Street, Bakersfield, CA 93305. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Apr. 27, 2011
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