DORIS BOGGS: Serving up more than just cookies

Doris Boggs had to wait awhile for her interview. Illness, a crazy start to the New Year, and a death in my family kept postponing our time together.In typical Doris fashion, when I called to reschedule…again…she said, “I was just praying and thinking about your family and the funeral ALL DAY during that awful weather.” It felt wonderful to know Doris had been praying…but I was not surprised. Doris was gracious, as usual, as she ushered me past her husband, Bob, and into the dining room area of her home. Bob and Doris have hung around together for a long time—65 years to be exact. I asked, “Doris, in a world where marriages break apart all the time, how have you and Bob stayed married?” She turned to Bob in the living room and asked, “What’s our answer, Robert?” We laughed. After a few moments Doris responded, “We didn’t know any different. That was the way it was gonna be. I prayed constantly that I’d be the best wife and mother.” Looking quite stylish in her hoop earrings and coiffed hair, Doris shared a few photos. She showed me the children, who of course, are all grown: Barbara, Gary, Rhonda, and Marcia. There was a photo of Doris, the young girl, born at her home in Etna Township. She was one of six children. She told of starting school at Troy Center and even after all these years spoke with pride of her first and second grade teacher, Miriam Groves Glassett. Doris explained, “Our teacher said we were such a good class that she moved up and taught us in 3rd and 4th grade too.” She paused. “She made such a big impact. A teacher makes a big impact.” I couldn’t agree more. Doris credits Mrs. Glassett for teaching her strong phonetic and spelling skills. She chuckled as she told of a recent phone call. “My granddaughter is in high school and was working on a paper. She needed to know how to spell a word. Her mother said, ‘We’ll call Grandma. She’ll know.’ My granddaughter has the internet and everything in front of her but she still called Grandma.” Dear Reader, who wouldn’t be proud to call Doris their Grandma? Doris epitomizes an older person who is determined to stay in touch with younger generations. I asked her specifically about that topic. “Older people need to stay active and be interested in other people—keep trying new things,” she replied.