PEORIA - Doris (Dori) Reuling, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away peacefully at Bickford Cottage in Peoria, Ill., on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the age of 91 with her daughter Lisa and Andy, Lisa's fiance, at her side.
The daughter of Harold and Leontine Salzenstein, Dori was born in Peoria.
She spent her childhood attending Peoria schools and graduated near the top of her class from Peoria (Central) High.
She later attended Smith College in Northampton, Mass., and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., graduating with a degree in Interior Architecture and Design.
In 1944, Dori married Frederick (Fritz) Reuling of Morton.
They spent their first three years together in New London, Conn., where Fritz served in the Navy at the submarine base during World War II.
Following the war, they returned to Morton, where they raised three children, Michael, Tim and Lisa.
At an early age, Dori exhibited an affinity for art and style. While in high school, she was a model for the Princess Peggy Company, a Peoria-based dress manufacturer owned by her uncle.
Her fashion sense evolved into interior design; over the years, Dori was active in design projects including the Peoria Symphony Home Showcase, the Morton Public Library and the First National Bank of Morton.
She expanded her artistic horizons in her travels both domestic and abroad by acquiring interesting and unique art.
In addition to design, Dori was an accomplished artist, painting with oils and watercolors. Her aesthetic sense was evident in her fashionable appearance, a hallmark she carried throughout her life.
For countless years, Dori committed herself to volunteering in Morton and Peoria. She was a leader, motivator and organizer who devoted countless hours as the president of the PTA and Morton's Women's Club and as group leader for the Cub Scouts and Brownies. Of special interest to Dori was American Field Service (AFS).
The Reulings hosted Ross Sutton, an AFS exchange student from New Zealand, and Dori wholeheartedly gave her support to that organization as a regional representative for many years.
In addition, she gave many hours to other organizations, including the Crisis Line, Cancer Fund, United Way, the Central Illinois Valley Alcohol Council (CIVAC) and the Youth Farm.
Dori was a patron of the Morton Art Guild, the Methodist Hospital League, Junior League of Peoria and the Peoria Symphony Guild.
Strong believers in the importance of education and the arts, Dori and Fritz expressed their philanthropy by making significant contributions to the Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center in Morton, Bradley University, the Community Foundation of Central Illinois and Lakeview Museum, where Dori also served as a docent for a number of years.
Dori loved to swim and play tennis. She was curious by nature, reading widely and eagerly engaging new and old acquaintances alike in conversation.
Those who knew Dori considered her a creative, energetic and generous person who sought to be involved and help others.
Her sharp and witty sense of humor always entertained, and she never shied away from sharing her true opinions.
She loved her family, and she and Fritz delighted in spending time with their grandchildren.
Dori is survived by her brother, Stanley Salzenstein; her daughter, Lisa Lensmeyer (Andy Cervantes); sons, Mike (Marianne) and Tim (Jackie) Reuling; as well as grandchildren, Jeremy (Marni), Jessica, Joshua (Marika) and Whitney Reuling; and great-grandchildren, Brett and Alexandra Reuling.
She was predeceased by her husband, Fritz.
The family wishes to express a heartfelt thank-you to her loving caregivers, Elizabeth, Heidi, Marlene, Angelita and Gwen.
A celebration of life for Dori Reuling will occur in the coming months.
In her memory, donations may be made to the Fritz and Doris Reuling Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation of Central Illinois or to the
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.thewiltonmortuary.com.