Obituaries: Sept. 15

A list of recent deaths.

Marie E. Dorris

Marie E. Dorris of Marco Island and Washington Township, Mich., died peacefully on Sept. 3, 2006, after a long illness. She was 80.

Marie, known commonly to her friends and family as Mary, was the beloved wife of Raymond B. for 63 years and the dearest mother of James (Geraldine), Katherine, Richard (Dollye), Raymond Jr. (Susan), Ellen, Anthony (Teresa), Jeffrey, Kris (Kristina) and the late Patrick.

She was the proud grandmother of 22 and great-grandmother of six. She was the dear sister of James Peppey and Margaret Burke and the sister-in-law of Sheilah Firestine.

Mary was born in 1926 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lived there until her family moved to Detroit, where her father got a job at U.S. Rubber, in 1934.

“Mary had a million friends and she loved the Motor City. The Lower East Side was their playground and Belle Isle was their Riveria. You should have seen her speed skate in the winter on the canals. She could fly,” said Junie Moran, a childhood friend for 66 years. She got a job at Maloofs soda fountain at age 14 and worked as a file clerk for a downtown insurance company while going to high school at St. Charles of Bormeo. She was a proud member of the Class of ’44.

With bombs dropping all over the world, their class song was “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” a fitting anthem for the times.

She married Raymond, her first sweetheart, in 1945. While raising nine children, they lived all over Detroit. Like most of his friends, Ray joined the Detroit Police Department and was an officer for 17 years before leaving to start a machine shop with Mary at his side.

The company grew from a small building on Groesbeck Highway to a large automotive supplier, eventually employing most of the family and many workers.

Marie made sure the family got away together, with many happy times at Michigan’s state parks, especially Otsego Lake, where they camped for weeks. After discovering the Island of Aruba, they returned every winter for 25 years, often taking family and friends. They bought a home there and were even named as “Unofficial Ambassadors” with a Mariachi Band leading the parade of neighbors down the middle of street, all carrying trays of food.

In 1998, Marie and Ray retired to Marco Island. She loved the tropical setting, watching the manatees play in the canal while Ray and the kids fished aboard the good ship MARY D, with another steady stream of family and friends.

Last year, they built a summer home in Washington, Mich. For 80 years she lived life to it’s fullest. Services were held in Shelby Township in Michigan on Sept. 7.

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