Doris Lorraine Brent

doris brent

 Doris Lorraine Brent

January 30, 1921 – August 7, 2011
Visitation will be held at Bullock Colonial Chapel on Sunday, August 14, 2011 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  A celebration of our mother’s life will be held 10:00 am, Monday August 15, 2011, at Bullock Colonial Chapel with interment to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Doris Lorraine Brent was born January 30, 1921, in Sioux City, Iowa to Clarence and Elizabeth Groff.  She died peacefully at home in Colton, OR, August 7th of natural causes at the age of 90.  Mom possessed an irrepressible charm and was loved by her family and friends for her loving heart, generosity and sense of humor. 
Following the death of her husband, our grandma moved Doris and her big brother, Clare to Denver, Colorado to be near family.  Mom always considered Denver her home.  She attended Denver Public Schools and had some great tales about the fun times and escapades she had with her favorite cousins. During her senior year at East High School, she was introduced to our dad, the dashing red-head Herb Brent.   The entire Brent family fell in love with Doris.  Her sister-in-law Evelyn Barr has told many stories about Doris visiting them at their farm. The first time dad brought her home to meet the family they treated her like a movie star.  She taught the girls about fashion and makeup. Mom loved to give hugs and before long so did the reserved Brent family.  Doris and Herb married June 8, 1940.  They gave life to four children, John, Elisabeth, Roseann and Mary.   
A real Martha Stewart of her time, Doris was an extraordinary homemaker.  She had a flair for decorating and fashion and always prepared wonderful meals for her family.  Although seemingly modern for its time, homemaking in the fifties was not as glamorous as the ads you may see. We remember how she was hard at work using a wringer washer and hanging clothes on the line outside.  There was no automatic dishwasher, everything had to be ironed and she still had energy to take care of four youngsters.  She took pride in her sparkling home and was a great entertainer.  The kids in the neighborhood loved her and looked forward to Halloween for her famous popcorn balls and special treats.  At Christmas our house looked like a department store display and our annual Christmas Eve dinner was scrumptious.  Our friends loved to come to our house to spend time with our “cool” mother.
Mom was active in PTA, Job’s Daughters and Eastern Star.  She was baptized at Chaffee Park American Baptist Church. Doris was a regular at the corner drug store soda fountain where she would meet with friends to catch up on the neighborhood news and gossip before starting her daily housework routine. 
When we were little she and dad went out with friends on Saturday nights.  Her favorite date was ballroom dancing.  They were always dressed to the nines and she was so beautiful in those flowing skirts and platform shoes.  Dad, while very handsome and coordinated, did not enjoy dancing as much as mom, so he would mostly watch proudly as his lovely lady partnered with more experienced dancers. Her favorite dance was the quickstep.  The family also took our annual pilgrimage to Sioux City to see the Iowa relatives, and spend time at Lake Okoboji. Mom would make a delicious picnic to enjoy on the way and all seven of us, including our Grandma Groff, piled into the 53 Dodge to begin our long, hot adventure across Kansas and Nebraska. 
Doris loved music, television and movies.  She always made a big deal out of Oscar night, Miss America and the MDA telethon. Mom was a Big Band and Rat Pack fan and more recently she enjoyed listening to Gospel Quartets and other gospel music.  She was an avid crossword puzzle enthusiast and loved to draw. 
Mom’s generosity was probably what most people will remember.  She was intuitive about people and their needs.  Her tithe was met in helping others. She sponsored many foreign children, supported single moms, widows and people from the community or families struggling to make ends meet. 
Her very favorite activity was spending time with her grandchildren and great great-grandchildren.  She always made everything so special for them.  Mom bought their new school clothes and provided fabulous Christmas presents.  Mostly she let them know they were loved and cherished by an incredibly wonderful woman.  Mom not only loved her own grandchildren but she had step grandkids as well as children she met in the community who called her grandma.
When mom was about fifty, she contracted spinal meningitis.   In a coma for three weeks, we thought we would surely lose her, but God had other plans and gave us another forty years with her. What a blessing.
In the fall of 2004, our dad and sister, Lis, both died of cancer.  Roseann had been their primary caretaker leaving Oregon and moving to Denver for 18 months to help mom.  Roseann and her husband Robert asked mom to move to Oregon to live with them and she did for the past seven years.   She enjoyed meeting new friends and visiting with many of her relations who had moved to the Pacific Northwest.  She was able to return to Denver for several visits during that time and even took a trip to Las Vegas. Her last birthday was spent with her children, grand and great-grandchildren at the beach.  The family has decided that this would become an annual tradition to honor her.
Roseann and mom had a relationship that was very precious. They had coffee every morning planning their day. They enjoyed outings with friends and family and traveling to the beach.  Mom loved to watch the ocean but managed to take time to play the slots at the casino. Whenever she won she would give her winnings to the church or to someone who was in need.
When mom broke her hip three years ago she became more dependent and the past six months she was in total care at home.  Roseann was a remarkable daughter.  We owe here a debt of gratitude for her unconditional love, her commitment to being an excellent caregiver and for promising mom that she would never have to be alone.  She kept that promise.  Mom peacefully took her last breath at home with her daughters by her side.  It was a privilege to be her daughter and to witness her last dance as she passed from this world into heaven.
Doris was survived by her son, John Brent, Denver, CO and daughters Roseann (Robert) Higginbotham, Colton, OR and Mary (Dan) Eastman, Tigard, OR.  She was the grandmother of Susan Brent, John Michael Brent, Lori Fink, Angie Johnston, Joe Johnson, Chris Patterson and Erin Schlimgen.  Her great grandchildren were Justin Brent, Brett Fink, Jillian Espinosa, Mitch Fink and Madison Rose Schlimgen.  Doris was preceded in death by her husband, Herb, her daughters Elisabeth and Mary Dawn, and her precious grandson Jimmy.  
She will be interred in Denver, Co.  Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.  

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