Doris Gaye (Godfrey) Giardina
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August 8, 1935 - March 15, 2014
Doris Gaye (Godfrey) Giardina, 78-years-old, died peacefully on Saturday, 15 March, 2014, at her home in Caldwell, Idaho. Her strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and many supporters carried her through her final days.
Doris was born on August 8, 1935 in Nampa, Idaho to her parents, "Jumbo" and Rene Godfrey, farmed in Nampa during her youth until they built Caldwell Recreation Center (Bowling alley and roller skating rink). She learned to bowl from her mother and father who were accomplished bowlers. She was very proud to follow her mother's accomplishment of being the Idaho state single scratch champion at age 14, and then, years later, teaching her son Greg how to bowl. Greg later became an Idaho singles scratch champion. The family later founded Godfrey's Used Cars in 1950.
Doris graduated from Caldwell High School in 1953. After graduation, she attended Monticello Girls College near Godfrey, Illinois on a scholarship resulting from her direct lineage to the founder of the school and town, Captain Benjamin Godfrey. While later attending the College of Idaho in Caldwell, she met and married Michael Edward Giardina in 1954. She was widowed in 1956 after Michael was killed in an accident in his Air Force Fighter Jet during a training mission.
Doris met her soul "mate" for life, Darwin L. Maitland Sr. in 1967. Together they raised their pre-teenage boys, Darwin Jr., Greg, and Tim. Mate was also her partner in business where they owned and operated DG Recreational Sales from 1971 to 2005 in Caldwell. In the later years of operating the business, they became partners with Darwin Jr., which gave them the freedom to travel extensively. Doris also worked for many years as an administrative assistant and secretary in the Education Department at the College of Idaho. Doris and Mate both retired in 2008.
Doris possessed a contagious smile and an entertaining sense of humor. Always an optimist, Doris maintained a friendly and down to earth demeanor that won the trust and hearts of many. With a real love for life, Doris enjoyed playing bridge, bowling, writing in her journal, preparing birthday cards and congratulatory notes, praying, playing games/cards - especially with her children and grandchildren, chatting with friends and family, teaching her children and grandchildren, and traveling the world. She especially enjoyed her many travel adventures following retirement with Mate and her sister Judy. In addition to the many friends she made and relationships she cherished over the years, she was an accomplished and passionate duplicate bridge player and bowler. She earned distinction as a Silver Life Master in Bridge and was a tournament champion at the local, regional, and national level. As a bowler, she was known across the state as a tournament champion as well as an all star in Caldwell for many years.
For all her accomplishment, Doris was most proud of her children and grandchildren. Her oldest son Greg (58) made Caldwell his life-long home and attended the College of Idaho. He has owned and operated Godfrey's Used Cars in Caldwell since 1978. Growing up in Caldwell, Greg's four adult children; Nick, Vinnie, Paul and Luke were blessed with a rich and loving relationship with their grandmother and comforted her in her final days.
Her younger son Tim (56) is a distinguished graduate of Caldwell High School and graduated in 1979 from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. A career Naval officer, he attained the rank of Vice Admiral during his 35 year career as a submarine officer. His adult children Michael and Nicole grew up in Washington and Virginia, enjoying a loving relationship with their "grandma Doris."
Doris' greatest achievements have been in the lives of her family and friends. She had a unique gift to recognize and appreciate the talents in others and to make them feel loved and lifted by her presence and encouragement. Throughout most of her life, she could be found playing games with her grandkids, watching their sporting events, or just having them over for a Thursday evening visit where they would spend the night and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Her generous heart filled her home with love, fun, family and friends, including an attitude that there was always room for one more. She leaves all her children and grandchildren with the knowledge that they were truly loved and they know that she loved the Lord.
She is survived by her loving partner "Mate" Maitland, her sister Judy Subia, her two adult children, Greg and Tim, and Mate's adult son Darwin Jr., 6 grandchildren, and 6 nieces and nephews. Doris was predeceased by her parents, Jumbo and Rene Godfrey, and her husband from 1954 to 1956, Michael E. Giardina. 1ST Lieutenant, USAF (1956).
The family would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time including the exceptional care given by Encompass Hospice of Nampa.
A public viewing will be held at Flahiff Funeral Chapel in Caldwell on Wednesday, March 19 from 7 - 9 p.m. The funeral service will be held Thursday, March 20th at Flahiff Funeral Chapel at 10:30 a.m.
Following the funeral service, please join Doris' family for a celebration of life from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Elk's Lodge in Caldwell.
Condolences for the family may be left at www.flahifffuneralchapel.com.
Flahiff Funeral Chapels - Caldwell Chapel
624 Cleveland Boulevard
Caldwell, ID 83606
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Mar. 18, 2014