Doris A. (Speers) Smith
Doris A. Smith, 103, Rugby, died Sunday, November 20, 2011, at the Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, N.D.
Doris Antoinette Speers was born November 17, 1908, to Charles Curtis “Curt” Speers and Mary Ellen Alexson Speers at the family home 9 1/2 miles northeast of Drake, N.D. She graduated from Drake High School and had an elementary certificate from Minot Normal (currently Minot State University) to teach school. She went on to business college in Bismarck, N.D. and worked for Minneapolis Moline Power and Implement Company until her mother died in October of 1929. Doris then moved home to raise her younger siblings and to help her dad on the farm.
On July 23, 1931, Doris and Norman Smith were married by Rev. Lewis in Minot, N.D. They lived in Minot for awhile, then moved near Drake, N.D., where their five children were born. In 1943, they moved to Berwick, N.D., where Norman was manager of Farmers Elevator. The following year they purchased a farm on the north side of Berwick, and lived there until Norman suffered a stroke in September of 1992.
Doris worked part-time at the Berwick Post Office for 17 years, the last two years as postmaster. She was a member of the Berwick Lutheran Church and the Berwick ELCW, she taught Sunday School, was a member of the Berwick PTA, and was a member of the Dewey Homemakers in Pierce County. Doris and Norman spent 30 winters in Apache Junction, Ariz., where they enjoyed bicycling, hiking Superstition Mountain, playing pinochle, swimming, aerobic exercises, and spending time with family and friends.
Doris lived in Rugby, N.D., the three years that Norman was hospitalized following his stroke. He died June 11, 1995. She moved to Towner after his death. While living in Towner, Doris was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Zion ZLCW, Klever Klippers Homemakers Club, Hobby Club, and Zion Quilters. She enjoyed sewing, and made more than 30 quilts for family members after moving to Towner. Doris also enjoyed gardening and raising flowers. She lived alone in Towner until age 99, then moved to the Haaland Estates in Rugby, N.D.
Doris was known for her work ethic, whether it was harnessing her family’s Percheron horses to plow the fields at a young age in Schiller Township, McHenry County, or making two quilt tops a week for the church when she was in her late 80’s and 90’s. She was also known for her cooking, her witty sayings, her independence, her strength, her faith, and her ever present smile.
Doris is survived by: daughters, Mary Lou Odden, Monna May Dokken, Marjorie Forrest, all of Towner, N.D., and Colleen Harvey of Mesa, Ariz.; son, Murdick “Bud” (Lynda) Smith of Towner, N.D.; 14 grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; 11 step-great-grandchildren; 18 great-great-grandchildren; and two step-great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, November 25, 2011, at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner, N.D.
Burial was in Union Cemetery of Towner, N.D.
Arrangements by Niewoehner Funeral Home, Rugby, N.D.
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