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All who knew Dolores Winters would agree that she was one of the sweetest people around.
She was a loving wife and mother who was fully devoted to making her home a place where all who entered felt loved, accepted, and welcomed.
Dolores was a prim and proper woman who always liked to look her best, and as far as she was concerned the more frills and lace an outfit had the better.
She was a deep and reflective thinker who was never one to complain, even when the storms of life came her way. Faith was a guiding light in her life, and her quiet strength was an inspiration to all who knew her.
Although she will be deeply missed, her timeless legacy will continue on through those who follow her.
As the page turned on the decade of the 1930s, Americans braced themselves for what became some of the most trying days we have ever faced.
The Great Depression blanketed the entire nation throughout the decade leaving cities, communities, and families to come together to do whatever they could to weather the storm. Despite the trying times around them, a young mother from Chulafinnee, Ala., was able to shift her focus to an exciting time in her own life as she was blessed with the birth of a baby girl on Feb. 22, 1930.
Dolores Carolyn was welcomed into the world, and she was raised on her grandparentsâ€™ cotton and pecan farm. She and her family lived off their farm, and her single mother worked tirelessly to raise her daughter in a loving and nurturing home.
Dolores always cherished her annual return to her roots, deep in Alabama, where she reunited with friends and family, always keeping them in her heart and mind.
Dolores experienced numerous things throughout her formative years that greatly impacted her. She was very close with her cousin, Mary, and the two were raised more as sisters than they were as cousins.
They were like two peas in a pod who were only three years apart in age, and at times the girls were scolded by Doloresâ€™ mother when they stayed up giggling the night away in her bedroom when her mother needed to be up for work in the morning.
Dolores remained close to Mary, who later became affectionately known as â€śCrazy Mary,â€ť throughout her entire life. She also learned to play rummy as a young girl, and over the years she was always on the lookout to play with anyone she could talk into a game.
Life was forever changed for Dolores when she met the young man with whom she would write a love story that would span more than 66 years.
His name was William â€śBillâ€ť Thomas Winters, and he was serving in the military in Alabama at the time. His friend had told him of a cute redhead who was working at the Pickwick Restaurant in Anniston, so he snuck off base the following weekend and hopped on a bus in search of this beauty.
He walked the streets of Anniston wearing his military uniform, which was the only clothes he owned, and found the Pickwick Restaurant. He walked in the restaurant and found three waitresses, Mary, Ruby, and the cute redhead. It was Mary who came to his table, but he mustered up enough courage to ask if the redhead named Dolores could be his waitress.
After ordering a piece of pie and coffee, Bill knew he had to ask to walk her home from work, and Dolores was more than happy to accept his invitation. By the time they arrived at her home that night Bill was so smitten with her that he asked if he could make the trip back on Sunday to take her to a movie.
Dolores agreed, and for several weekends thereafter Bill went AWOL to go see his cute redhead at the Pickwick. On Doloresâ€™ 17 birthday, Bill asked her to marry him. Although he was thinking they would wait a year or two, Dolores wanted to marry him immediately.
They exchanged their vows on Aug. 23, 1947, at Tri Lakes in a double ceremony with her mother and step father, Glen and Veora Quinn.
The couple settled right into married life. Together they were filled with unspeakable joy to become parents to three amazing children, David, Sharon and Tami.
Dolores loved being at home and treasured her role as a mother. She was in her late thirties by the time her husband taught her to drive as she never saw the need prior to that.
Dolores did enjoy driving but usually found putting gas in the car to be a minor detail that she rarely paid much attention to. Bill always said it was because she just wanted him to pay for her gas.
Although he wasnâ€™t really thrilled by it, Dolores had fallen in love with a green mustang in the seventies. As someone who adored his wife, Bill bought her the car. Billâ€™s career took them to Scotland in 1974, and then again a few years later for another three months.
During one of those overseas experiences Dolores and Bill also spent some time in London. Although she loved caring for her family first and foremost, Dolores also enjoyed keeping busy with other things.
She spent some time working at Blue Bell, and she later worked as an ambulance dispatcher for Whitley County Memorial Hospital. However, Dolores was best known as a successful Avon representative in Whitley County for 40 years.
Her success didnâ€™t go unnoticed either as she was honored into the Avon Presidentâ€™s Club for many consecutive years.
The highlight of Doloresâ€™ week was getting her hair done at the local beauty shop as looking her best was very important to her.
Dolores loved to shop, too, and was known to buy items without trying them on just to have an excuse to return them, and of course go shopping again while she was there.
Clothes were her favorite thing to buy, and after taking one look in her closet it would be easy to see that her favorite color was teal in any shade she could find. Anything lacy and frilly was also among her favorites. Throughout much of her life Dolores was a faithful member of First Church of God.
Seven years ago, Dolores was diagnosed with a form of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. She was so blessed that her beloved Bill was able to care for her in their home.
Which his daily prayer was answered this past Thursday morning that he would be able to always keep her with him in their home until her passing.
And one of their daily rituals was getting her into their car and taking an afternoon ride with no destination in mind, listening to the â€śoldiesâ€ť on the radio and reliving many lifetime memories as a happy couple.
A gracious, kind, and loving woman, Dolores Winters was beautiful on the inside and out.
She loved others deeply and without condition while expecting nothing in return. Dolores will never be forgotten.
Dolores Carolyn Winters, of Columbia City, died at 6:20 a.m. Thursday, March 27, 2014.
Surviving relatives includes her husband, William T. Winters of Columbia City; two daughters, Sharon (Tom) Brockhaus and Tami (Brent) Drew both of Columbia City; one son, David (Nancy) Winters of Fort Wayne; six grandchildren, Dede (Darin) Dankelson, Dane Drew, Gia (Brandon) Parker, Janice (Warren) Harker, Mark (Coleen) Winters, and Craig Winters; and eight great-grandchildren, Haley Hostetler, Peter and Jacob Dankelson, Coban Parker, Zach and Alexis Harker, and Elle and Kate Winters.
Dolores was preceded in death by her father, Earl Currie; mother, Veora Quinn; stepfather, Glen Quinn; and grandsons, Brant Winters and Justin D. Hostetler.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, from 2 to 6 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes, a life story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, at the funeral home with Pastor Johnnie McCallister officiating.
Burial will follow at Greenhill, Columbia City. Memorial bequests may be given in Dolores name to Alzheimer Association or CCA (Childrenâ€™s Craniolfacial Association).
Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences or sign the guest register book and to view her life story.