Doris R. Kelser

10/06/1929 — 07/17/2005

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Doris R. Kelser

Doris Reid Kelser

Doris was born in Winston-Salem, NC, on October 6, 1929, and passed away on July 17, 2005. Although a non-drinker her entire life, she passed away due to complications from cirrhosis of the liver.

Born three weeks before the start of the Great Depression, her parents were unable to raise her, so she was passed on to relatives until she found herself in the care of her aunt in Fayetteville, NC.

After graduating from high school, she met and later married Buddy Kelser, Sr., a soldier from Fort Bragg, the local army base. The following year, she gave birth to her first son, Buddy, Jr.

Life in the army found our little family stationed in Fort Lewis, WA, Anchorage, AK, and finally, Fort Ord, CA. It was at Fort Ord that she gave birth to her second child, a daughter, Cathy Ann. Two sons followed – Larry, and then David – and our family was complete.

The financial demands of raising a family gave her the idea that she needed to learn a craft. For years, she had always cut our hair after Buddy, Sr. had experimented on Buddy, Jr. and Larry several times and shown that he had no talent for it. But Mom did have the talent, so she put herself through beauty college, and eventually bought her own shop.

After many successful years of growing her business, she sold it, and took on her next challenge: the world of motel management. After several years in this field, she was able to retire.

Several years later, Buddy, Sr. retired. Just before he retired, they received the devastating news that, while crossing a street in Long Beach, CA, their only daughter had been struck and killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver.

They eventually decided to move from their California home up to Richland, WA to be near their sons. After moving to Richland, Mom and Dad were able to make many trips to Reno, Las Vegas, and Chicago. They enjoyed this time of their life very much.

The happiness was short-lived, however. On Mar. 9, 1998, her husband of almost 50 years vanished without a trace, abandoning his devastated family, and leaving behind a devoted, faithful wife.

Forced to go through a divorce to protect her assets, Mom lived out her remaining years as a divorcée, but more important, as a devoted mother to her three sons.

She recently moved to her new home, Guardian Angel Homes in Richland, where the caring staff made her comfortable, and where she met many new friends.

Doris is survived by her three sons, Buddy, Jr. of Richland, WA, Larry of Umatilla, OR, and David of Appleton, MN. She was predeceased by her parents, her only brother, Hal, and her only daughter, Cathy Ann.

Words cannot express how extremely grateful we are for the kind and caring staffs at both Guardian Angel Homes and Kadlec Medical Center, who made our mother’s last days so comfortable.

According to her wishes, no services are planned. Please send donations to the charity of your choice.

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Doris R. Kelser

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  • Doris was my aunt, and sister to my father, Harold B. Kiser. She will be greatly missed and my thoughts and prayers are with her sons, Buddy Jr., Larry and David.

    Lee Ann Reeder
    November 4, 2014
    Wake, Village, TX, US
  • Buddy & Cheryl – Please accept my deepest sympathies. I am holding you and your extended family in my prayers during this difficult time.

    Jenny Page
    November 4, 2014
    West, Richland, WA, US