Doris Helle was born in Wildrose, North Dakota on April 3, 1916. She was the youngest of 11 siblings who grew up on a small homestead wheat farm during the Great Depression. Faced with difficult economic times, Doris and her older sister Hazel moved out west to Seattle after high school in 1935 where she married Clarion (Cary), her high-school sweetheart just before World War II.
Seattle became their new life-long home and raised three children – Sharon (deceased), Doug and Tom. Doris loved raising her family and worked many years as a receptionist for our family doctor and a local dentist. She is always busy – an excellent crafts person in her younger years who enjoyed sewing, knitting, gardening, camping and socializing with her many friends at University Lutheran Church. Today, you’ll find her busy and challenged with a jigsaw puzzle.”
Doris’s Christian faith and conservative values were shaped by the very difficult times she encountered during and after the Great Depression. Life was tough and she would never allow anything to go to waste. Her faith in God has given her strength throughout her life. At the age of 105, Doris struggles with hearing loss but otherwise maintains good health and a great sense of humor. She has taught her family how to grow old gracefully and compete every single day! Her family is so thankful to the outstanding staff and support at The Kenney – her home for the last 18 years.
Above text written by Doris’ son, Tom Helle
To add to my brother Tom’s comments, growing up with mom and dad were something I will always cherish and look back on regularly. First and foremost, is that the entire family were good Lutherans at University Lutheran Church. Each of the children were confirmed there and Tom and I became acolytes which we know made our parents so very proud. Mom and Dad were very active in the church including becoming deacons. Mom enjoyed her small group of women who quilted blankets for the less fortunate and later knitted and donated hats well into her late nineties. Mom was always someone you could talk to about anything. Her compassion, caring and understanding were cornerstones of her beliefs.
Mom enjoyed canning fruits during the summer months and the bounty was enjoyed throughout the winter. Also, fresh cinnamon rolls or cookies were always available on the counter on Thursday afternoons, which happened to be her day off from working for our family doctor. Everything mom did was in support of her family and being a good Christian.
I think I can say for all of us that we have the best mom ever. We are very lucky to have and love this woman we call mom.
Above text from Doug Helle, Doris’s oldest son