Dec. 21, 1924 – June 3, 2008
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"Our lives are shaped as much by those who leave us as they are by those that stay." - Hope Edelman
Doris Schledorn lived as a "shaper of lives." She excelled in her life's work as a wife, homemaker and mother. With an open heart she welcomed her large extended family, diverse friends, and a variety of community members into her home and into her life. She loved her church and its members; she reveled in the relationships she made there (and seemingly everywhere). Doris gave endlessly, but was empowered rather than diminished by her giving. She raised a uniquely functional family of loving individuals who are now, in turn, shaping the lives they touch by passing on her strongest attributes - her ability to love unconditionally and give endlessly.
The diminutive "Big D's" down-to-earth intelligence, wit and insight into the core of any issue enabled her to give sound advice, but she never did so without giving thought to how her view would be heard. She was keenly skillful at keeping her words gentle and kind (or not) to suit each individual's capacity to listen and learn.
Doris had an impish smile that lit up any gathering. She was a master knitter, an avid watcher of neighborhood birds and bunnies, a dispenser of simple wisdom: "Always let the boy win. … Don't shave your legs above the knee. … If you weren't so messy you would get married." … and she managed to amass an enviable faux turtle collection. Dorie happily sang camp songs in the car en route to Sunday square dances in Big Timber, made a few too many angel food cakes with coffee frosting, served as a buffer zone to the tender-hearted, and a reality check to the deluded. She shaped the character of many - the influence of her spirit is woven into the fabric of the Bozeman community.
Doris is survived by Frank, her husband of almost 65 years; her son, Rick Schledorn (Betty); daughters, Patti Marshall (Terry), Lynn Speakman (Fred), and Laurie Lint; grandchildren, Mike Marshall (Sabrina), Tom Marshall (Michelle), Krista Pasini (Mike), Jennifer Toney, Beth Hicks (Allan), and Mack Schledorn; great-grandchildren, Alys, Cayley, Meagan, Stefan, Casey, Kariann, and Bailey. She also leaves behind her sisters, Marian Ruppert (Russ), Peggy Hanzlik (Tony), Betty Moratz (Dan), and Vivian Opsal; along with many beloved nieces, nephews and friends.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore and Edythe Mollerud; brothers, Donald, Earl, Emory and Marvin; and sister Thelma.
Death ends a life, not a relationship:
After you left me last night I wanted you to remember our life together has come round and the circle is now complete. Remember Staten Island, N.Y., when I was going overseas and we had agreed that we would meet each night to say "goodnight" and "goodbye"? We had four of those nights and on the fifth night when we were going to celebrate our first wedding anniversary I didn't show up and you knew I was on the way to Europe. Now almost 64 years later the roles were reversed. We again had the chance to say "goodnight" and "goodbye" for those special nights before you left. God bless you until we meet again.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Doris Schledorn will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, 2118 S. Third Ave., Bozeman.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Pilgrim Church for the Memorial Garden and Founders Circle project, or to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice Program.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from June 6 to June 7, 2008