Doris Mesle

Doris Mesle

1917 - 2024

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Doris Reeder Mesle


Doris Reeder Mesle, 106, went to her eternal Home with the Lord on Thursday afternoon, May 23, 2024, while surrounded by friends and family at Sweet Home of Roseville, CA.  She was born August 17, 1917, to John Elmer & Mary Jane (Smith) Reeder, in Rome, NY.  Doris attended Rome schools, graduating from Rome Free Academy in 1935.  She was also a graduate of Excelsior School of Business in Utica, NY.

When Doris was preschool age, she contracted polio and was unable to walk.  Her mother rubbed her legs with warm olive oil and prayed while she massaged the oil into her legs.  They kept the room dark.  Doris also had a high temperature.  As she was recovering, her mom enrolled her in gymnastics classes, toe dancing, and swimming at a club pool.

When growing up, Doris remembers memory games with playing cards, riding her tricycle, and traveling to Pennsylvania in a Model T Ford to see relatives.  At 25 mph, it took 12 hours to go 240 miles each way.  They would chug up hills.  Sometimes they would have to stop and give the engine a rest.  And, they stopped at a spring to eat lunch.  While they only rented the house in which they lived, they bought a car because trips to see family were most important.  She remembers when radios came into being.  People could listen to a station as far as Chicago, so it was kind of a challenge to see who listened from the farthest away.  They also had a Victrola that they wound up in order to play 78 rpm records.  One of the biggest surprises for Doris was television. 

Sunday school attendance was of utmost importance.  Doris had perfect attendance every year for 13 years, at which time she began working and had to work one Sunday each month.  When they traveled, she would get a note saying she had attended Sunday school where they visited.

Doris shared a couple of stories from her younger days.  One was about being at her Aunt Anna’s farm.  She and her cousins would take corn silk and roll it up and pretend to smoke it.  Another was during high school and her family still had the Model T Ford.  She was embarrassed to be seen in it, so she would duck down if she saw anyone she knew.  

She and 4 girlfriends formed the T.I.E. Club.  Members were sworn to secrecy as to what T.I.E. stood for.  Her sister was in a similar club, named S.S.S. Club.  At their meetings, whomever was hostess for that meeting provided snacks, such as brownies or Jello.  They played cards and visited.  Each girl paid dues of 5 or 10 cents per week.  In the summer, the dues were used to rent a cabin for $15 for a week at a lake.  One day during the week, their parents were invited to join them.  And, the parents brought the meal for that day.  Since Doris was the last member, we can now reveal that T.I.E. stood for Take It Easy. 

Doris married Douglas Mesle on November 15, 1941, just 3 weeks before Pearl Harbor.  Then, the following May, he was sent off to Camp Croft, South Carolina, for basic training before going to war in the Pacific Theater.  She saw him twice while he was at Camp Croft, but not again until he returned home 3 years later.  In the meantime, she moved home with her parents.  Her dad died December 1, 1945, the day before Doug came home.  Such a bittersweet time for her.  After World War II, she and Doug settled in Sherrill, NY, for 17 years.  It was there that their family grew with son, Richard, in 1947, and daughter, Sue, in 1948. 

Doris was employed at Rome State School for 10 years.  Then, at Oneida Limited, in Sherrill, NY, for 3 years.  Finally, for 27 plus years, Doris was an Item Manager for the Air Force starting July 21, 1952, at Rome Air Material Area (ROAMA) at Griffiss Air Force Base.  She and her family followed the mission to Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and then to McClellan Air Force Base in California.

After settling in Rocklin, California in 1974, she faithfully attended Community Covenant Church in Rocklin from the late 1970’s.  She became a member on April 5, 1981.  She taught preschool Sunday school classes for many years, as well as helped with Vacation Bible School in the summers.  Many of her students are now in their 30s and 40s with children of their own.

She became a member of the Christian Women’s Connection (now called Roseville Women’s Connection) in 1982.  She began holding offices in 1985, first by calling to invite ladies to the luncheons; then in 1986, she was in charge of name tags.  Lastly, she served as Financial Coordinator till 2000.

She also served for many years with her dear friend, Ceil Rutz, to organize ROAMA reunions in the area.

Doris joined her husband in the sport of golf in New York, Oklahoma, and California.  When they moved to Rocklin, they lived near the Sunset Whitney Golf Course.

Following retirement, Doris and Doug traveled to New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Florida to visit family and friends.  And, she very much enjoyed their trip to Branson, Missouri.

Doris liked the finer things of life.  She had great fashion sense.  She always bought nice things and took care of them so they would last a lifetime.  She loved to entertain and prepare a beautifully decorated table, not to mention a wonderful menu.  Before making a purchase, she researched to be sure she was making wise choices.  She made sure the lawn and outside of her home were pleasing to the neighbors.  She helped others when she knew there was a need. 

In 1988, while attending a cousin’s 60th wedding anniversary in Pennsylvania, Doris met a granddaughter of her cousin who lives only 1 ½ hours away from her in California.  She was delighted to have family so close by.  She began inviting the cousin’s granddaughter, Sue Fujita, and her family to Thanksgiving every year.  So, Sue, Harry, and their daughters, Sumiko and Kimiko (Mikko and Kiki to Doris) would spend Thanksgiving Day in Rocklin from 1990 through 2006.  Starting Thanksgiving 2008, Doris provided brunch for the Fujita family.  Then, Doris would travel with them to Lincoln to spend Thanksgiving Day with Harry’s cousin, Hank Fujita, and his family until the year that Covid hit (2020).  On Thanksgiving 2015, Doris hosted brunch for Sue and Harry’s family that now included two sons-in-law and 7 grandchildren.  Doris patiently helped each of the kids make a Christmas ornament.

Doris was delighted when her nieces started researching the family history in 1996. They shared many research trips to the Williamsport, PA, area and met dozens of “new relatives” and rekindled relationships with many others.  Among Doris’s ancestors was John Reeder, who came from England to Massachusetts in 1630.  Doris thoroughly enjoyed attending the Reeder Family reunions held in Montoursville, PA.  Doris is grateful to Debbie Gervasio and niece Janet Nelson for all the ancestry work they have done.  Janet continued to keep family members abreast of what was going on with other family members, as well as updating the Reeder family records until her passing last October. 

Doris appreciated niece Joan Haury’s time, energy, and dedication as Joan assisted Doris with financial matters for many years.  A couple of trips to California were made by Joan and Don. Also, endless phone calls and emails were exchanged between Doris and Joan.  It was a blessing that Joan and Don could be with Doris for her 90th birthday. 

Doris has been forever grateful to her dear friends Sandi and Lee Bolger and their family for including her in their holiday celebrations after Doug passed away.  It meant so much to Doris.  They graciously hosted her 90th birthday party.  Doris and Sandi are now having a wonderful reunion in Heaven.

In August 2017, niece Marilyn Bisgrove and Doris’s sister, Althea, flew out from New York and threw Doris a wonderful 100-year birthday party.  Marilyn spent hours shopping, cooking, and baking for the milestone occasion of her precious Auntie Do.  At age 101, Doris had a 101 Dalmatians birthday celebration with family and friends.  At 103, there was a drive-by birthday celebration (because of Covid) that included three Roseville police cruisers playing Happy Birthday over their PA system, as well as many friends from her church.  Her 104th birthday party was on the patio at Sweet Home.  Then, the 105th was across the street at the park with 40 plus in attendance, including family, friends, and many from her church.  Her 106th was enjoyed with lunch on the patio at Sweet Home and a number of friends and family.  

At the ripe age of 100 1/2, Doris was hospitalized for a kidney infection.  Upon discharge, the doctors felt she was a fall risk and that it was not safe for her to live on her own anymore, so she moved to Sweet Home of Rocklin in 2018.  But she continued to own and maintain her home in Rocklin just 10 minutes away.  And, her 1992 Camry continued to be her source of transportation for friends and family to take her out and about.  In 2019, Doris moved to Sweet Home of Roseville, along with all the other residents of Sweet Home of Rocklin.  She had the best room in the home as it was at the front of the house, with lots of windows overlooking the park across the street, and lots of sunshine to brighten her room.  She could keep an eye on people coming and going.  She definitely earned the “Mrs. Kravitz award.”    (A side note: the actress who played Mrs. Kravitz was only 2 months younger than Doris.)

Doris greatly enjoyed Team Doris, which consisted of friends and family who visited on a regular basis, took her to church, out to lunch and appointments, prayed with her, read to her, sang with her, shopped for her, took her for walks in the park, brought her special treats, and made sure Doris’s every need was attended to.  In appreciation, every December, Doris gifted many of her Team by treating them to the Placer Pops Christmas Concert.  She very much looked forward to their performance every year.  Thank you to Ceil Rutz, Bob and John Reinhard, Sharon Rodda, Paula Bruton, Sigrid and Steve Eslick, Marilyn Larsen, Deanna Worthington, Linnea and Brandon Renwick, Kristi Sunde, and Sue and Harry Fujita.  Thank you to Paul and Donna Maier for their faithfulness in dropping off notes and gifts to Doris the past several years.  Thank you to Cristina and all the caregivers at Sweet Home for taking such good care of Doris the past 6 years.  Finally, thank you to Sutter Hospice for the special attention the last 3 months.

Doris left us with many fond memories and smiles to go around.  In her 90s, she would put her hands on her hips and crossly comment, “This getting old is cramping my style, and I don’t like it one bit.!”  We loved her laugh, so everyone would try to say something to make her laugh.  She loved chocolate – chocolate milkshakes, hot chocolate, chocolate candy.  The last several years, she ate a Lindt chocolate truffle ball each day to “sweeten up.”  Doris could be feisty.  At times of hospitalization, we were delighted if she was feisty, as this meant she was feeling better.  Doris has always been involved in politics.  Based on things she wrote to local, state, and federal representatives, she could have been President.  She had a good sense about what was going on and what was needed.  Doris was always sharp of mind.  She kept abreast of her bank account and investments to the very end.  Into her 100s, she continued a monthly deposit into her car fund.  Doris would come out with the funniest lines when we least expected them.  Also, she would break out in songs from the past when something would remind her of one, such as “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” “Sixteen Tons,” Minnie the Moocher,” “All of Me,” etc.  She loved big band music as it reminded her of the days when she and Doug danced to many of the bands playing nearby the area in which they lived.

When asked how she wants people to remember her, Doris replied, “As a responsible, hard-working person who tried to help others along the way.”

1 Corinthians 15:3b – “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  Acts16:31 – “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”  Because Doris believed, she desired that you do, too, so she will see you in Heaven.

Doris is survived by her son, Richard John Mesle of Rocklin, 2 nieces: Marilyn (Bart) Bisgrove of Niskayuna, NY, and Joan (Don) Haury of West Monroe, NY, grand nieces and nephews, and many cousins.

She was predeceased by her husband who died April 12, 1994, after 52 years of marriage; her daughter, Sue Mesle Hester, who died June 10, 2019, her sister, Althea Nelson, who passed away September 23, 2022, at the age of 101, her niece Janet Nelson of Canton, CT, and all of her aunts, uncles, and first cousins.

A Celebration of Doris’s Life will be held at Community Covenant Church, 5140 Topaz Avenue, Rocklin, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2024.

Burial will be at Rome Cemetery, Rome, New York.

The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to your favorite charity or to Community Covenant Church, 5140 Topaz Avenue, Rocklin, CA  95677. Arrangements are by Lambert Funeral Home, Roseville, CA, and Strong–Burns & Sprock Funeral Home, Rome, NY.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Doris
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Strong-Burns & Sprock Funeral Home
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Doris Mesle

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Doris Mesle

1917 - 2024

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