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Doris Marie Gubel Breazile

 

December 7, 2017

Doris Marie Gubel Breazile passed away Nov. 28, 2017 in Thompson Falls. She was 99.

Born Oct. 1, 1918 in Vallejo, Calif., Doris' almost one century of life was full and interesting. Making a big impact was living through the Great Depression.

Beginning as a child, Doris loved to dance, and she and other young dance students danced weekly for the Mickey Mouse Club. However, when the Depression came, her family could no longer afford that luxury.

Out of necessity, her father William had to work several years away from home where construction plumbing jobs could be found. Doris and her mother Etta moved in with relatives during that time. Etta, a homemaker, found work operating a steam press in a dress factory.

It was a happy day when the family was reunited, the Depression ended and they moved together to Sacramento, Calif., where plumbing for large construction jobs kept Bill busy the remainder of his career.

At age 16, Doris graduated Sacramento High School. First taking a job in an insurance agency, Doris was soon hired by the State of California, first working in the accounting department of the Department of Corrections, and then for the Department of Transportation "Cal Trans," retiring from the state in 1974.

Doris met Henry "Ned" Gubel at a USO dance. Soon afterward, Ned was drafted, and the two were apart for five years as he served our country in New Guinea in World War II. Upon his return, Doris and Ned were married in Reno, Nev.

Their son John was born in 1957. After his birth, Doris became the first State of California employee to transition to the position of permanent half-time. Ned, a lineman for Pacific Gas and Electric, passed away in 1962.

Several years later, Doris was a bit reluctant when a friend of hers set her up on a blind date with Robert "Bob" Breazile, whose wife had passed a few years beforehand. It turned out that the two weren't strangers. They lived on the same street, and both worked for the Cal Trans materials lab.

They were married Nov. 5, 1966 at St. Francis Church in Sacramento. After less than a dozen years together, Bob passed away Jan. 17, 1978.

As a teenager, Doris had joined the Young Ladies Institute (YLI), a Catholic women's service organization. She remained a faithful member at the time of her death.

Upon Bob's passing, Doris became increasingly involved in community service, both with the YLI, and as a volunteer for Mercy Hospital of Sacramento. For the hospital's guild, she held many officer positions, including president. As a "pink lady," she served dutifully on Sundays, so that other members could be with their families. She was often involved helping in the post-surgery and out-patient surgery areas, as well as the gift shop. Her favorite area of service was for the guild's "creations" committee. As part of it, Doris painstakingly made over 100 custom teddy bears that were given to young hospital patients.

Before moving to Montana in 2000 to be closer to family, Doris was honored by the Mercy Guild for over 10,000 hours of volunteer service.

Doris never met a stranger and could be the life of any gathering she was at. She said she'd feel comfortable talking to anyone – even the Pope.

Doris loved to travel, and shared many adventures, first with Bob, and then upon his death, with friends Millie and Marge. She and Marge volunteered many years for the Sacramento Jazz Festival.

After relocating to Montana, Doris volunteered at Thompson Falls Public Library. She was a proud member of Thompson Falls Senior Center, and some of her most enjoyable times were at the center and with friends in the Red Hat Ladies. For several years she was also a member of Thompson Falls Woman's Club, and for seven years, was an active member of the Trout Creek Huckleberry Festival Committee.

For the festival, Doris enjoyed being a hostess. She joked that she loved the job, because "I can tell people where to go, and they smile when I do it."

Her family was most important to her. She loved spending time with son John and his wife Sandi, and being "Nana" to her two grandsons.

In addition to many friends in California and Montana, she is survived by son John (and wife Sandi) of Trout Creek; grandsons Nathan (and wife Taylor) of Denver, Colo., and Andrew (and girlfriend Heidi) of Seattle, Wash., and Heidi's daughters, Luna and Kaiya.

Through the years, Doris created many fine works of art in stained glass. She also sewed, crocheted and knitted many beautiful creations. Until she could no longer do so, an avid reader, she read at least a novel a week.

Doris was fiercely independent. She lived on her own until just over a year ago, when health issues necessitated.

The family sincerely appreciates the many people of our community who have shared in Doris' life, as well as the caring staff of Cherry Hill Assisted Living, where she spent her final days.

Funeral Mass, conducted by Rev. Jeff Benusa, will be at noon on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 at St. William Church, Thompson Falls. Prior to the service, Rosary will be prayed at 11:15 a.m. A luncheon will follow the service.

Doris will be interred at St. Mary's Cemetery, Sacramento, California.

If you are so inclined, in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Doris' honor to a charity of your choice.

 

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