Doris Mendel, 96

Published 1:09 am Sunday, February 21, 2016

Doris Mendel, 96, of Austin, Minnesota, died Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, at Our House Senior Living in Austin.

Doris Mendel

Doris Mendel

Doris was born in Red Wing, Minnesota, on Aug. 19, 1919, to Henry and Cecelia (Knebel) Wold. She had a twin, Dorothy. They had another sister, Laurane, but they secretly wanted a brother. The three girls grew up on a farm on top of a hill that was their grandpa’s. They worked hard on that farm, especially during hay thrashing time. Doris graduated from Red Wing High School in 1937. She and her twin, Dorothy, worked at the University Book Store in Minneapolis after graduation. Doris loved to ski and go up north to her uncle’s cabin and ride a surfboard.

Doris met her husband at a dance in Red Wing. Doris married Eldon Dankers on June 24, 1939. They lived in Brownsdale and he worked for the George A. Hormel Company. After about a year, they moved to Austin because of gas rationing. They had two daughters, Phyllis and Candice. After 25 years of marriage, Eldon died from a brain tumor. Doris decided to work as a secretary for the President of Riverland College. She met Lou Mendel, her current husband at the college where he taught business. Doris and Lou were married Aug. 2, 1976. Doris continued to work at the college for 22 years. She was president of the union and even traveled to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congressional Committees regarding women’s rights.

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Doris always told the story about when she was flying in a plane and suddenly they were seconds away from being hit by another plane. Passengers and items were being thrown all around the plane. Doris loved cooking and baking pies. She enjoyed painting, dancing and listening to music. She loved pies and the colors blue and red.

Doris is survived by her husband Lou of Austin; daughters: Phyllis Yes of Portland, Oregon, Candice Klein of Ft. Meyers, Florida, Linda (Glen) Johnson of Mesa, Arizona, Cathy (Bill) Hicks of Marco Island, Florida; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren.

Doris is preceded in death by her parents; first husband Eldon; two sisters: Dorothy and Laurane.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church with Rev. Gerry Giese officiating. Visitation will be at 12 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be private. Mayer Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements for Doris.