Mom: A Tribute to Our Mother
Dolores Juanita Timm, 80, passed away on March 4, 2022, due to neurological and other complications following a brief illness. She passed peacefully in the presence of loving family at Brewster Village, her home for the past several years. Dolores grew up and lovingly raised her family in the Oshkosh/Ripon area. An only child, she was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Willabelle (nee Hafemeister) Bostwick, and her husband, Danlee. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in law, Debra Frikart (Robert) and Brenda Timm (Doug Marsh), and lots of extended family.
There are so very many things we could share about our Mom, but these are some highlights and just a few of our fond memories…
Dolores was a loving and devoted wife to our Dad, who she fondly called Danny. On September 2, 1960, she married “the boy next door” – literally; they knew each other for over 70 years, and shared 56+ wedded years. She treasured the cards and gifts he’d given her, missed and thought of him often after he passed (2017), looked forward to when they’d be reunited, and often spoke of him in her limited lucid moments in the few days leading up to her passing.
Though not a teacher by vocation, Dolores none-the-less taught us all much – both by word and example. There were practical things, like teaching Danny and her daughters how to drive, how to wash dishes, sew, cook, etc. But even more so, she instilled in us a deep sense of morals/values, including honesty, empathy, compassion, caring for all living things/Nature, and the attitudes of appreciation and gratitude. Dolores was one of the most honest, giving and caring/loving people you could ever know. She loved being a mother more than anything in the world – and unlike many moms who can hardly wait for school vacations to be over, she treasured them and the time they afforded to spend time with us. She often shared that the years raising us were the best and most favorite years of her life. We were and are blessed to be enfolded in her unconditional and everlasting love.
Dolores’s kindness and compassion were not limited to her husband and daughters. She cared deeply for all living things, including plants and animals – which also meant that we grew up immersed in all things natural. Over the years, we happily shared our lives with a wonderful menagerie of critters – including canaries, finches, parakeets, all kinds of fish, turtles, dogs and cats – and lots of house plants, outdoor flower beds and vegetable gardens. She – and we – enjoyed hours (years!) of delight and entertainment engaging both with indoor pets, as well as watching the outdoor wildlife that visited her much-loved bird houses, bird baths and feeders.
Dolores had a great sense of humor, knew how to be silly and was just plain FUN! She had a beautiful, warm and sincere smile – and we were blessed to see it often. Some of our favorite memories are of “us three girls” sitting around talking, being silly and laughing hysterically about “nothing.” We often playfully bantered, stumbling into words or phrases that struck our funny bones – and stuck as “inside jokes” for life – such as our favorites “Esther Eyebrow” and “Cavewoman,” which still make us laugh out loud! (We know… you had to be there. LOL) She loved music – especially Elvis, rock-n-roll and anything “lively” – and she played her stereo louder than any teenager! Like, rattle-the-windows loud! She also loved chocolate-covered cherries, BBQ potato chips, ketchup, pineapple upside-down cake and Pepsi.
Our family didn’t have much in the way of financial resources or material things. But she – and therefore, we – were wealthy with love, resilience, ingenuity, and gratitude. Dolores had mastered the ability to “make due” and make the best of everything. She always clipped coupons, bought on sale, and knew ways to “stretch” our food – including being the Queen of Casseroles! (They were good, too!) She made us (and our Barbie dolls) clothing when we were kids. And she perfected a system for planning and budgeting, setting aside small, targeted amounts each paycheck so that when bills came, she always had the funds to pay them. She instilled in us the values of living within our means, saving for things versus going into debt, and paying bills on time.
Dolores’s ability to “make the best of things” and find the silver linings in life served her well, including her move into Brewster Village. Being a very private person, “institutional” life was a huge and, in many ways, very unpleasant change for her – little to no privacy, lots of noise from others’ loud TVs, etc. She could easily have been miserable. But she was determined to make the most of her new surroundings – and with the help of the noise-canceling headphones we got her, she fully embraced her new living situation and created a new, love-filled home for herself. She filled her room with animal statues large and small, her beloved bird clock (a different bird’s song played each hour), pretty doilies, lots of music CDs, and more. But the biggest things she brought to her space were the kindness and compassion she shared with her neighbors and caregivers. In spending her last week with her at Brewster, we were witness to the tremendously loving and close community she had built there with both residents and staff – who all spent time visiting and praying with her until her final hours – truly her second family.
Overall, Dolores was beautiful, loving, honest, funny, kind, generous and resilient person who loved Nature, flowers, animals, birds and most of all her family… and she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.