Doris Mae Wells
Our kind and loving mother Doris Mae Wells passed away peacefully in her home on Sunday, July 12, 2015. She was a pillar of strength and inspiration with a quietly kind demeanor. Her sparkly blue eyes made everyone who knew her smile.
Doris was born on Dec. 23, 1922, in Endicott to Susie Schmick and Frank Luft. She was the youngest of their four daughters. Her parents both immigrated to the United States as children in the 1890s from the Volga German region in Russia. Their respective families settled in Whitman County in Eastern Washington near the small communities of Dusty and Endicott.
Frank and Susie raised all their daughters to be strong, independent, financially self-reliant and kind. Doris instilled these same qualities in her sons and, especially, her daughters. She came from a line of strong self-reliant women and kind, compassionate men. Her maternal grandmother purchased land in her name in 1919 and was described in legal documents as a “married woman, in her own right of separate property.” Doris’ mother bequeathed separate property to her daughters. All the children in Endicott called her father “Grandpa Frank.”
Family was always paramount for Doris and she was very proud of her heritage. Her family continues to relish German-smoked sausage made from her father’s recipe and sauerkraut made in her mother’s crock. One of Doris’ favorite trips was traveling to Yagodnaya Polyana (Berry Meadow) in Russia, where her family originated.
She attended school in Endicott and was on the high school girls’ basketball and tennis teams. She and her best high school friend, Betty Stowers, were Whitman County’s women doubles champions. She remained an avid sports fan. She continued to play tennis in her early years and golf well into her later years. She enjoyed following Washington State University football and basketball, the Seahawks, Gonzaga basketball, tennis, the Olympics, whatever the season’s sports. She could hold her own in memories, recaps and fervor talking sports with anyone.
Doris lived in many communities during her life and made lasting friendships in all of them. After leaving Endicott, she lived in the Tri-Cities, Sunnyside, Horseshoe Bay, B.C., Walla Walla, Quincy and Wenatchee.
She worked hard all her life and was always busy and productive. She loved to garden and filled her yard and home with flowers and fresh vegetables. She inspired that love in her children.
She was the core of the family. Holidays were boisterous affairs with children, food, games and laughs. We all have delightful memories of Easter egg hunts, birthday parties, Thanksgiving tables and Santa visits. She remembered each and every one of her children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s birthdays with a card.
She and her husband established Grower Sales Inc. in Quincy and developed it into a successful wholesale business.
Doris traveled all over the world, visiting 19 countries and all the earth’s continents. She was always open to new experiences and adventures, some pleasing, others humorous or unusual. All added to her appreciation of life.
Doris underwent serious heart surgery last November and experienced a slow recovery. But in her last few months, she blossomed, making new friends, developing new interests and affirming her bonds with God.
Her last months were spent at Columbia Heights in Wenatchee and last days under the care of Central Washington Hospital Hospice. The family thanks the residents and staff of both for their affection, kindness, compassion and support.
Doris will be missed but she is still here for those she left behind. We have her love in our hearts, her wisdom in our heads and we see her when we look in the faces of our brothers and sisters and all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is bright and clear.
Doris is survived by her husband, Jim Wells, and two sons and seven daughters: Gail (Don) Ellis of Ferndale, Ramon (Barbara) Huntley of Endicott, Charlene (Lyle Hubbard) Huntley of Dallas, Ore., Dale Huntley of Spokane, Mary (Dennis) Rancourt of Eastsound, Anne Wells of Mt. Vernon, Jane (Roger) Stetner of Wenatchee, Nancy Wells of Walla Walla and Karen (Keevin) Schulz of Quincy. She also had 23 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Her sons-in-law adored her and she was close to her dear nephew, Jim Feutz.
A memorial service celebrating Doris will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, at Jones & Jones-Betts Funeral Home, 302 9th St. in Wenatchee. Please express your thoughts and memories on the online guest book at jonesjonesbetts.com. A reception will follow at 1 pm at Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery, 1 Vinyard Way in Wenatchee.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in Doris’ name to Hospice Foundation of NCW, P.O. Box 3406, Wenatchee, WA, 98807-3068. Arrangements are by Jones & Jones-Betts Funeral Home.