Doris Eleanor Nelson: 1919-2017

Mar 08, 2017

Doris Eleanor Nelson, beloved, devoted and outstanding mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away Feb. 20, 201, in Edmonds at age 97. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Norman, in 2004. She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Holger Johnson and Eric Johnson, and two sisters, Margaret Medley and Ruth Kinnisten. She is survived by son James (Beverly) Nelson of Yelm and daughter Sharon (Carl) Larsen of Mukilteo, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Doris was born June 18, 1919, the oldest of five children to Swedish immigrant parents Carl and Gerda (Strom) Johnson in Scott, Saskatchewan. The family moved to Washington later in 1919, and she spent most of her childhood years in the Marysville/Arlington/Stanwood area. She started school speaking only Swedish, and graduated as co-valedictorian of her 1936 Stanwood class.

She later became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1948. After high school, she worked as a live-in housekeeper/babysitter while attending secretarial school in Seattle. While attending a dance in Seattle, she met Norman, “a wonderful man,” and they married in 1938. Their first home was a rental in Meadowdale. In 1940, they bought property in Meadowdale and built two homes there.

After marrying, Doris worked intermittently over the years as a secretary, waitress at Haines Wharf, was one of the first group of meter maids in Seattle, and finished as a secretary at the Swedish Club. She loved life and participated fully making friends with all she met. She was actively involved in her community, serving as a Sunday School teacher, Brownie leader, Cub Scout den mother, PTA president and blood bank volunteer. She also held many offices in the Meadowdale Community Club and the Meadowdale Garden Club.

However, her main vocation was always as a homemaker. She loved her family, home, gardening, entertaining and playing bridge. She and Norm also traveled much of the world, starting out tent camping in early years and then by train, plane, river and ocean cruises, and by motorhome. But their favorite place of all was home in Meadowdale.

People often remarked on Doris’ happy attitude and big smile. The following anonymous ode was a favorite of Doris’ and is a great reminder of her:

“A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature’s best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.”

At Doris’ request, no services will be held. The family suggests any remembrances be made to Lynnwood-Alderwood Manor Heritage Association (LAMHA), P.O. Box 2206, Lynnwood, or Edmonds Food Bank, 828 Caspers St., Edmonds 98020.

The family gratefully thanks all the staff at Sunrise of Lynnwood Senior Living and Evergreen Hospice for their friendly and compassionate care.





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