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“A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.”
This kind, gentle and loving woman was called back home in the evening of May 11, 2023, at the age of 96, from dementia. To those who knew and loved her, her passing was somewhat foreseen after her husband and soulmate Vic preceded her in death in February. Mom just didn’t want to live without her man. They would have been married 75 years this July.
Doris was born in a boxcar in Huntley, Montana, on April 21, 1927, to her loving parents Adam and Amelia (Weigand) Schleining, in the middle of a brutal Montana Spring blizzard. Her parents had walked several blocks in the snow to her future Aunt Elizabeth’s home (boxcar). But by the time they arrived, her mother was going into labor and gave birth. This humble beginning would help define Mom for the rest of her life. She was the older of two daughters. Her sister Darlyne came a few years later in 1933.
Mom didn’t have a career outside of her home; her home and her family WAS her career! Her family was her life’s work! Mom committed her life; her blood, sweat and tears; her energies; her passion; and her love to her family. How can we, her family, even begin to find the right words to express our great love, admiration and respect for this wonderful and devoted Mother? How can we adequately thank her for not only giving us life, but a moral compass; for always being there; for always being our cheering squad; and for always exemplifying unconditional love?
Mom would have answered that question by saying, “do the same for your families.”
Doris was a wonderful daughter and sister, an amazing wife, and the most loving, supportive and devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother any child could have ever had. She was not only an excellent wife, mother and homemaker, but was also a consummate cook and party planner. Mom’s parties, whether they were a birthday or a celebration of Spring’s arrival, were a thing of art with no detail being overlooked. Mom loved to entertain her friends and family, and it showed because everyone always left her gatherings with a smile on their face, a twinkle in their eye, and a full stomach. Her children remember with great fondness how our house or trailering campsite was always the center of the festivities. That was Mom.
Every holiday was another cause for a get-together, and she always had the house decorated accordingly and to perfection. She had decorations for just about every occasion, many of which she made herself. But her favorite holiday was Christmas. It could take days to get the house looking just right for friends, family and entertaining. She used to make many Christmas decorations for her friends and family, many of which we still display.
Mom became a superb cook over her lifetime, and even published a cookbook of her favorite recipes, which she handed out to her friends and family. Mom started a family tradition of having her grandkids and great-grandkids over for cookie-making just before Christmas, which usually involved five or six different kinds of cookies, a lot of fun, and flour all over the place by the time it was over. Mom even got Dad into cooking in his later years and she taught him well.
Mom was also an accomplished artist who loved working with her hands. She had a workbench setup downstairs and she would literally spend hour after hour making crafts, or sewing, or making greeting cards, many of which she sold at Christmas bazaars. And Mom compiled dozens of journals of her children and grandchildren, and their family vacations, each of which was a work of art. Her love of her family shone through in everything that Mom ever did. These are things her family will treasure forever along with the “Life Story” manuscripts they each wrote and gave to each of us.
Mom was first and foremost a lady who always carried herself with dignity and poise. She was very stylish and always had her hair done and her makeup on to perfection. She was an incredibly beautiful woman in every way it is possible for a woman to be beautiful, inside and out. But Mom was also a bit of an adventurist. She was still enjoying 4-wheeling and camping into her 90s.
There aren’t enough words to fully describe all of the reasons why we love this lady so very much. She was the nucleus of our extended family and always our greatest cheerleader. Her passing will leave an enormous void in our family’s lives, but we are glad that Mom is no longer suffering.
Mom is survived by her daughter, Sandi (Bob); and her three sons, Steve, Jeff (Eric), Doug; and six grandchildren, Kim (Amber), Mike (Abby), Robin (Nick), Jill (Mystica), Jen; and her “adopted” granddaughter Emily, and four great-grandchildren, (Ali, Connor, Zoie and Kellan). She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Vic; her parents, Adam and Amelia; her sister, Darlyne; and her infant son, Johnny.
The funeral for Mom will be held at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary at 1001 Alderson Ave., Billings, Montana on the 25th of May at 11:00 in the morning.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Mom or Dad’s name may do so to the Alzheimer’s Association, or Lutheran Social Services.