Doris Guzley

July 1921 – October 2017

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

at peace purchased

Remembering Doris

Doris was born July 21, 1921, in Union Star, Missouri, to John and Wilma Miller. Her loving sister, Dorothy Simerly, was born 10 years after Doris and still resides in Union Star. Doris often talked about how happy she was as a child in Union Star. While living there Doris was a member of the United Methodist Church and of the White Chapter #84 of the Order of Eastern Star.

After graduating from high school in Union Star, Doris briefly attended Park College in Parkville, Missouri. She left Parkville in her early 20s to move to Kansas City, Missouri. Her first job there was with Trans World Airlines after which she moved on to work for City Bond & Mortgage in the mortgage loan department. Kansas City is also where Doris met her husband, John Guzley, who was then enrolled in the military. They were married in 1946 and spent the rest of their life together in the Kansas City area.

Doris devoted her life to her husband and two children, Ruth and Bob. She chose to be a homemaker throughout her children’s grade school, middle school and high school years and put literally thousands of miles on the family car taking them from one activity to another. When her children had graduated from high school and moved away, she began to work for a temporary agency and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and being employed again. She and John made plans to move to the Phoenix, Arizona, area where both of their children had settled. Unfortunately, John passed away unexpectedly in November 1987 before the move became a reality.

In 1988 Doris moved to Tempe, Arizona. From the moment she arrived in Tempe, she was happy. Within weeks she became friends with a group of other women who also were widows and who were very active. In their company Doris traveled both nationally and internationally but most of all enjoyed the weekly card games she shared with the group. Later in life Doris would often recall her years in Tempe as being some of her best memories.

In 2000 Doris moved to Chico, California, where her daughter, Ruth, lived, and which was also close to her son, Bob, who lived in Santa Cruz. As Doris approached her 80th birthday in 2001, her children asked if she would like to take a trip to celebrate. She quickly responded positively and when asked where she would like to go, she said “Germany, Austria, and Switzerland!” Doris was amazing on the three-week trip, getting on an off trains with ease, and walking the long distances necessary to see a variety of sites. Perhaps the most significant event in Doris’ life when she moved to Chico, however, was finding her cat, Midnight, who became her friend, treasured companion, and the joy of her life.

By 2002 Doris was showing signs of memory loss and in 2006 she lost all but about one minute of short-term memory as she lapsed into Alzheimer’s disease. As if that were not enough of a challenge for her, she developed breast cancer three times (in addition to an initial battle with the disease in her mid 60s), experienced congestive heart failure, became an insulin dependent diabetic, had surgery for skin cancer, and experienced severe osteoarthritis in her knees which made it extremely difficult for her to walk even with a walker. Her last 11 years were very difficult and she courageously coped with her conditions. Doris passed away at her home on October 12 at 1:45AM.

Our mother was an incredibly strong woman who had a kind heart, a beautiful smile, and a great sense of humor. We are grateful for her presence in our lives. She was so loved, and is so missed.

Friends & Family

Ruth Guzley, Daughter
Bob Guzley, Son
Midnight, Friend & Companion