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Doris Turk, 1913-2006

My dad called Saturday to let me know my grandmother had died. She fell on Wednesday and hit her head on a dresser. She ended up with a one-inch gash on her head, three broken ribs and a broken pelvis. They thought she was going to be ok, but Saturday afternoon she told my Uncle James she was tired and wanted to lay down.

When my Aunt Marlene came by to see her, they found her. She was 92 and went peacefully in her sleep. We should all be so lucky.

My grandparents were great people and died in the wool Republicans. They came from tough stock, and had lived through a lot. My great-grandmother Anne Dawson (Doris’ mom) passed away at 103 years old. My whole life she told me (and anyone else who would listen) she wanted to live to be a hundred. On her 90th birthday, a reporter for the newspaper in Casper, Wyoming asked why. Her response was simple, “I hear when you turn a hundred the President will send you a letter. That’s the only thing I have ever wanted from the Federal Government, and I’m going to get it.”

Reagan was in office at the time, and someone passed on the article. He took the time to send her a handwritten note. We still have it.

That spirit was passed through to my grandmother. The last thing Doris Turk said to my uncle before announcing her intention to nap was, “Your father and I worked too hard in our lives to want to give all of our money to the government or a nursing home.” (We think she believed the injuries would be severe enough to confine her to a home, which she would have hated.)

The one regret I now have in life is that she was never able to meet her great-grandson. Mrs. Quip and I had planned to go to Wyoming this fall to make the introduction.

I know that she and my granddad are now back together, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be missed. I love you, Grams.

Written by Michael Turk