Doris Helle, a resident at The Kenney, a Heritage senior living community in West Seattle, Washington, recently celebrated a very special milestone, her 104th birthday. A resident of The Kenney for the past seventeen years, Doris spent her day celebrating life in a rather untraditional, but still enjoyable way. Her family delivered cake and presents to the community before visiting through the window to observe current precautions in place for the COVD-19 pandemic. Despite this unusual arrangement, she enjoyed the day greatly!
Doris’ son, Tom, also shared details about his mother’s life: “Doris 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.”
He added, “Doris’ 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 104, 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 17 years.”
John Cruz, The Kenney Executive Director, recognized the joy of the staff for being able to celebrate such an important event with Doris, “Our caring team at The Kenney is thrilled to join Doris in celebrating this milestone birthday, and to have had the privilege of serving her at The Kenney these past 17 years.”