Doris Newell, 91, long time resident of Anita, Iowa, died at the Senior Suites Residential Care Facility in Urbandale, Iowa, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Doris was born to Ruth Carlson Anderson and Vernon Anderson in her parents’ farmhouse in Boone County on Monday, April 25, 1927. She was the second child in the family joining her older sister Darlene. Her family moved to Bayard from the farm during the depression. While living in Bayard, the family added her sister Beverly, brother Richard, and sister Janet becoming a family of seven.
Doris attended the Bayard schools. Her mother let her start school at age 4 when she cried because she wanted to go to school with her older sister, Darlene. She credited her high school government teacher with instilling in her the importance of being involved in political activities.
Doris said she and her siblings had many good times during the summers because they would get to spend a couple of weeks with their grandparents on the farm. They would ride horses with their cousins, help with the chores and always enjoyed going to the church activities. Their grandmother Anderson had been a school teacher before she married so she was always teaching them how to do things for themselves and other family members.
Doris met her future husband, Joe Newell, while serving as a school dance chaperone in early 1943. After dating for several months, she married Joe on Wednesday, October 20, 1943.
Following marriage, they lived for less than a year with Joe’s parents. Within about a year of being married, Doris and Joe moved to an 80 acres farm near Old Carrollton. Doris indicated that the house was more of a cabin than house, consisting of a kitchen and bedroom. About a year later, Doris and Joe rented a farm south of Coon Rapids, IA. Joe stated that part of the farm was flat while part was so steep that it had to be farmed with horses. Their hard work resulted in providing the owner with his share of the profit that was greater than the total profit of any previous renter. The farm owner gave them an offer to buy that farm or a farm northeast of Anita. Joe decided to purchase the farm near Anita. They moved to that farm in early 1947. Doris remembered thinking they’d be in debt for the rest of their lives. Joe often told how Doris would rise at 2:00 AM, fix breakfast, and fill the tractor with gas, while he would get up at 2:30 AM and work in the field until around 10:00 PM to get the crops planted and harvested. Doris would do the chores, milking cows, etc. Doris also raised chickens, and at one time raised and butchered 400 chickens.
When they started raising, showing and selling horses, Doris was the primary one to wash and braid their manes and tails. She also enjoyed riding horses with Joe in parades, etc.
In addition to assisting with the farming, Doris held several jobs to help with the family income. She worked for Bill and Bob Hagen grading eggs with Imogene Barber. She later worked at the Inhofe tavern for Lawrence Inhofe as a bartender. One of her final outside jobs was selling Sarah Coventry jewelry when it was being sold through home parties.
Doris enjoyed being involved with community activities. She was active with the Pythian Sisters and later the American Legion Auxiliary. She provided desserts well into her eighties. She was active in her children’s 4-H activities. She also really enjoyed meeting with the Friendly Circle Club consisting of several neighbor ladies.
She took the political interests instilled in her by her government teacher to heart and worked very hard for the Democratic Party. Her efforts for Senator Harkin and President Carter resulted in her being invited to attend President Carter’s inauguration in 1976. She worked very hard in support of the party through the 2008 election, picking up the ballot boxes and then returning them following the closing of the polls.
Doris was a fantastic caretaker. She cared for Joe’s parents when they were unable to live on their own. She later moved her mother to her home during the final years of her life. She also demonstrated a love for children by taking care of relatives’ children. She was a primary babysitter for many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her house was popular with children because of her care, good cooking and horses to ride. Doris and Joe fostered children during the 80’s until about 1991.
Doris was known for her outstanding cooking ability, especially fried chicken, mashed potatoes and noodles as well as pies. They were always hits with family and other occasions. She also had a unique capability of quickly preparing a satisfying meal for six or seven when she thought there would be four eating.
Doris and Joe had three children, sons: Darrell (1944), Dennis (1945) and daughter, Jody (1959).
Doris is survived by her son, Darrell and his wife Linda of Argyle, TX; her son, Dennis of Anita; and her daughter, Jody of Des Moines, IA. She is also survived by grandchildren, Dan Newell with his wife Tori of Anita, IA; Julie Giuliani of Middleburg, VA; Steven Newell of Argyle, TX; Melissa Shakuro with her husband, Jack of Naples, FL; and Scott’s wife, Jessica Newell. Her surviving great-grandchildren include, Dylan Newell of Wiota, IA; Brooke, Baylee, and Drey Newell of Anita, IA; Ellia Giuliani of Middleburg, VA; Race and Ryder Newell of Vancouver, WA; and Aleksander Shakuro of Naples, FL. She is survived by her sisters Beverly Porter of Ankeny, IA and Janet Glessner of Mesa, AZ, and brother Richard Anderson of West Des Moines, IA along with several nieces, nephews, and members of her extended family.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Vernon and Ruth Anderson; her husband, Joe Newell; sister, Darlene Leonard; her grandson, Scott Newell; and her granddaughter’s husband, David Giuliani.
Visitation with family will be from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Monday, May 14, 2018, at Hockenberry Family Care in Anita.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Hockenberry Family Care in Anita, Iowa, with burial in Evergreen Cemetery in Anita, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorials to the Anita American Legion Post #210.