Doris Elaine Gathman was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on April 2, 1933, to Walter S. and Mildred L. (Stelck) Stoneking. She spent her early years in Wayne, Nebraska, moving with her family to Paullina, Iowa when she was 10 years old. She continued her education here, graduating from Paullina High School.
On November 14, 1950, Doris was united in marriage to Eldon Robert “Bob” Gathman in Worthington, Minesota. Following Bob’s honorable discharge from military service, they began farming south of Hartley, Iowa. Five children would complete their family: Derrita, Belinda, Mary, Steven, and Teresa.
Not one to sit idle, Doris found great satisfaction in contributing where she could. For several years she volunteered at the local library bringing Hartley’s history up to date. She loved being around people - visiting with them and helping out as needed. Doris was also blessed with a “green thumb”; she had always enjoyed gardening and taking care of plants.
First and foremost to Doris were her children and grandchildren; she loved each of them dearly and was proud of their accomplishments. She looked forward to visits from them and hearing all about what they’d been up to. Being an avid Cribbage player, Doris passed her love for the game down to her kids and grandkids as well. For many years, she had been part of a group who met at the Hartley Library once a week to visit and play Cribbage.
With all her children by her side, Doris passed away at Community Memorial Health Center in Hartley on Friday, October 20, 2023; she was 90 years of age.
Left to cherish her memory are her children; Derrita and Mike Mielke of Everly, Iowa, Belinda Rowe of Landrum, South Carolina, Mary and Art Vander Naald of Burnside, Kentucky, Steven and Rene Gathman of Pierce, Nebraska and Teresa and Lon Wacker of Hartley, Iowa; 12 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; other family and friends.
Doris was preceded in death by her husband, Bob Gathman; daughter-in-law, Cindy Gathman; her parents, Walter and Mildred Stoneking; and her brother, Thomas Stoneking.