Her life bookended by pandemics, Doris Gertrude Adams was born January 1, 1918 in Deer Lodge, Montana to Walter and Julia Adams. Doris joined older brothers Stanley, Walter, and Bruce. Her father was an engineer on steam and later electric engines for the Milwaukee Railroad.
Doris was still a baby when the family moved to Seattle where her father worked in the shipyards as a machinist during the First World War. Her brother Mason was born a couple of years later.
Julia passed away of tuberculosis when Doris was ten years old. Later Walter married Gladys who brought John and Phyllis into the family. The blended family was completed with the birth of Carl.
Doris graduated from Broadway High School which is now part of the campus of Central Seattle College. Out of high school she worked in the small Seattle warehouse office of Hershey Chocolate. In her early 20’s Doris met Charles Wakelee in the choir of Plymouth Congregational Church in downtown Seattle. They were married in June of 1941. Charles and Doris moved to West Seattle in 1945 where both Charles and Doris held many volunteer positions over the years at West Seattle Christian Church.
Their daughter Doris Margaret was born in 1948.
Doris made a career out of volunteering at the church and Puget Sound College of the Bible.
When Margaret was small, Doris prepared mimeograph stencils for the church weekly letter at home. She taught Sunday School, was a leader in Women’s work and sang in the choir. At the college she taught office procedures, prepared the PSCB monthly newsletter layout, running it on an offset press, and maintained the mailing list, addressing and supervising sorting by zip code and final mailing. She was also famous for taking attendance at Chapel.
Doris was an insatiable reader and read many books to Margaret. Even when Margaret was in Junior High, Doris read all of the Louisa Mae Alcott books out loud.
Doris had a wonderful sense of humor, passing on her love of playing with words to Margaret.
Charles passed away at the time of their 50th Anniversary in 1991. Doris continued helping with mailings, singing in the choir at church, and she led a women’s Bible Study into her late 80s or early 90s. She also read the Daily Bread devotions onto tape for what’s now known as Audiobook Ministries Northwest.
With Margaret and additional part time caregiver help Doris was in her own home until she was 100. That year, after a trip to the hospital, she was released to Park West Care Center where she was cared for from April 2018 until her passing December 9, 2020.
The best memorial to Doris would be to pass along the things she has taught and the example she has set but if you want to do something more tangible, please direct gifts to West Seattle Christian Church or Boise Bible College
The Link for Doris' zoom memorial service is here: https://westseattlechristian.church/online-memorial-for-doris-wakelee/
- Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle -