Doris P. Buell, 95
Worcester - Doris Perry Buell was born October 23, 1921 in Syracuse, NY to George Irving Perry and Mildred Sandwick Perry. She grew up there and graduated from Central High School in 1939 as valedictorian of her class. She then attended Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences, in the class of 1943, graduating summa cum laude with a major in psychology. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi (the psychology honor society), Theta Chi Beta (the Bible honor society) and Eta Pi Upsilon (the senior women's honor society). She also served as president of the Women's Chapel Association and was a member of Delta Delta Delta social sorority.
On June 12, 1943 Doris married Elliott Lyndon Buell at the Hendricks Chapel of Syracuse University. They lived in Evanston, Illinois from 1943 to 1957, where Elliott taught mathematics at Northwestern University. Doris received an MA degree from Northwestern University in 1946 with a major in religious studies. Doris and Elliott were members of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Evanston and Doris worked for 3 years as Director of the Church School there before their children, Carolyn and Paul, were born.
In 1957 the family moved to Worcester, MA when Elliott accepted an appointment as professor of math at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Doris became a member of the Worcester chapter of the League of Women Voters and served on its board as membership chair. Doris and Elliott also became members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester; both were active there in volunteer capacities and for 9 years, from 1963 to 1972, Doris also worked as Director of the All Saints Church School.
Then, beginning in 1972, after completing the course work for Mass. teacher certification at Assumption College Graduate School, Doris worked for 8 years as a special education teacher in the Worcester Public Schools, teaching elementary age children with learning disabilities in a self-contained resource room setting.
In 1980 Doris retired from public school teaching but volunteered for service to All Saints Church and its ministries in many, many roles for the next 36 years. In the 1980's, in her 60's, she served as Directress of the Altar Guild and chaired the church's Spiritual Life Commission. An accomplished seamstress, in 1985 she contributed to the celebration of the church's 150th anniversary by helping to stitch several large banners as a member of the Liturgical Arts Workshop.
In the 1990's, in her 70's, Doris served a term on the church's vestry and was a member of the search committee which called a new rector. She also served as a Lay Pastor and Co-trainer of Lay Pastors. In 1993 she began coordinating the church's biannual tea for homebound parishioners, a role she continued to fulfill for the next 22 years-until she was 93.
In 2006, at age 85, she researched the history and content of the church's stained glass windows, wrote up her research findings as a script and narrated her "guided tour" of the windows on a DVD.
Throughout their lives Doris and Elliott spent summer vacations in central New York State where they owned a cottage on Tuscarora Lake. In retirement they also enjoyed traveling and Doris found time, in addition to her volunteer church activities, to pursue her interests in gardening, bird watching, quilting and knitting.
In 1997 Elliott suffered a heart attack and Doris became his devoted caregiver for the next 18 years as his health slowly declined. In June 2013 they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows at All Saints Church. They had been married 72 years when Elliott died on February 12, 2016 at age 99.
After Elliott's death Doris continued to live in her own home and to attend church at All Saints twice a week until February 22, 2017, when she died peacefully after a brief illness at age 95. She is survived by her daughter, Carolyn Buell Kidder and her husband, Clifford Martell of Norwood, MA and her son Paul Buell and his wife Carol Dick Buell of Reisterstown, Maryland; two granddaughters: Susanna Henkel and her husband Rick of La Vista, Nebraska and Emily Noreiga and her husband Johaness of Ellicott City, Maryland; and two great-grandchildren: Micah and Rebekah Noreiga.
Doris's funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 11th at 11:00 a.m. at All Saints Church, 10 Irving St., Worcester. Burial will take place later in a family plot in New York State. Calling hours are on Friday, March 10th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the All Saints Church Memorial Fund.
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Feb. 23 to Feb. 28, 2017.