Everyone’s grandma

In one word, “grandma” best describes Doris Welle. The name stuck when her grandchildren went through the school lunch line and her kind smile and sparkling blue eyes made it easy for other students to echo the name.

In one word, “grandma” best describes Doris Welle. The name stuck when her grandchildren went through the school lunch line and her kind smile and sparkling blue eyes made it easy for other students to echo the name. Jake and Abbey’s daughters Sarah Rose and Trysta Rae also enjoy time with Grandma.
MEEKER I The top five characteristics of a great volunteer are initiative, determination, flexibility, kindness and communication. These do not just define a great volunteer but an outstanding person. Doris Welle could not be better described by any other words save one, “grandma.”
She has done so much in her nearly 85 years that words cannot fully capture her work, her devotion to faith and family, and her unmatched heart in giving. Her initiative to find out what needs to be done and simply do it makes her an invaluable member of many volunteer programs. She is extremely active in the United Methodist Church, helps with luncheons for funerals and sends greeting cards to everyone on the church list for her designated month. She has delivered meals on wheels for approximately 15 years and continues to do so today. She has been a volunteer for the local school program Save Our Students (S.O.S).
The story of one child she worked with for three years is truly heartwarming. The little girl was so excited one summer day because she was getting ready to go to lunch with “Grandma Doris.” Clearly Welle’s S.O.S. partners were not her grandchildren but they felt like they were, just as so many students did. Welle worked in the school lunch program for several years beginning in the early 1980s. Her own grandchildren would go through the lunch line and say, “Hi, Grandma.” As time went on, many of the students going through the line echoed the words as though Grandma Doris was everyone’s grandma.
She has tremendous determination. In 1946 she moved to Meeker from Englewood. Her husband had a heart attack at a very young age and the doctors decided it was from the stress of running his own plumbing business. The two moved to Meeker and bought a guest ranch on the White River that is now owned by the Duceys. They ran the business and lived there until he passed away in 1979. She sold the property in 1980 and moved to a home on “the Baseline,” but after taking a job with the school lunch program, she didn’t want to fight the heavy snow drifts and bad roads. She moved to town to ease the travel.
Doris is pictured with great-granddaughter Sarah Rose on her lap, son Bill, his wife Ruth and grandson Ray, son Tom and his wife Shona, and son Dick and his wife Cindy, grandson Jake and his wife Abby.
Welle has three sons: Bill and his wife Ruth, Dick and his wife Cindy, and Tom and his wife Shona. She had five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
She is extremely flexible in her schedule, making herself available for many funeral services over the years, and countless volunteer projects. She loves to embroider, and loves to fish even more. She and her dear friend Nettie Faye Modlin enjoy a drive up to South Fork every fall to hear the elk bugle. They fish together, yard sale, attend church, and simply enjoy each other’s friendship. They have been friends for more than 30 years.
She welcomes guests in her home frequently. This year three of her cousins are coming to visit, as they have for at least five years, during the sheepdog trials. She plans to attend the event with them, and then return home and prepare dinner for them, a pretty remarkable feat at the young age of 84.
Communication is something that seems to come naturally for Welle. This is one of the key reasons she is an exceptional volunteer with the S.O.S. program, as well as others. She interacts effectively with children and adults. Her kindness is evident in talking with her. It radiates from her and fills the room. It was truly inspiring to hear her speak so positively about kids she worked with.
“I enjoyed the kids the most,” she said, adding, “I enjoy visiting with the people I deliver (meals) to but I can’t talk too long or the lunches will get cold.” In every thought and action she thinks of someone else. Perhaps the truest proof of her kindness is the way kids and adults in the community speak so fondly of her. A coordinator of the S.O.S. program said, “Grandma Doris is the best.” A community member whose mother she had delivered meals to said, “Doris has always been one of my favorite ladies.” Kids all know her and love her radiant smile. She had a manila envelope filled with cards and crafts made by her S.O.S. partners, cards of appreciation and of friendship, priceless keepsakes of the impact she has had on the lives of others.
Rather then try to analyze what has made Welle such a remarkable volunteer, it is easier to simply appreciate it, learn from it, and do our very best to copy it. She has changed lives with her service and has done so in the most modest manner. For all her time and effort, it is an understatement to say “thank you, grandma Doris.”

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