Doris Katz was a beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother and a cherished friend. Doris has fought for a long time and the last five weeks were just terrible. Doris was a certain kind of person who didn’t want to draw attention to herself and didn’t want to complain. It was her last act of kindness and love: She didn’t want her loved ones to be more upset than they already were and so she didn’t show how much pain she was in. Every person has the right to be herself. I think of this as a person’s integrity as a person. If I can find any comfort in these last weeks, it is that Doris was herself right to the end.
She was born on November 23, 1927 in New Haven, the daughter of Jennie and Louis Arotsky. Doris was raised with her siblings Sylvia, Lester and Beatrice whom we remember today with respect and affection and with Paul, to whom we wish the best. Doris graduated Hillhouse High School in 1945 and attended Nursing School at Grace New Haven Hospital. In her work life, she worked at Eli Moore Clothes in the Hamden Plaza and at the Burger Brothers Company as a contomator operator.
She knew Sonny from when they were kids, from Woodmont and traveling in the same circles. They got married on November 28, 1948. It has been a long and wonderful marriage for almost 60 years. Doris raised her children Mark and Ellen with love and caring and attention. She was fiercely loyal. She would defend her children like a lion, even if they were wrong. They’ve lived since 1958 in their house at 106 Fallon Drive in Hamden. Their house was the house for their friends, the rec room was the scene for friends and parties. There were shopping trips for “school clothes” and “we didn’t spend a dime” was her favorite line because she charged it all. She was proud of Mark and Ellen and then of their marriages to Mary and George. She was very, very proud of her family. Her attitude is “We’re all one family.” For Doris, family was family and she didn’t make any distinctions between a child and an in-law or a grandchild or one of their spouses. Monday night dinner was with May and Mark and the kids. She was the proud grandmother of Jason and Karen, Michelle, Mark and Nicole and Jamie. She was so proud of the kids; she was always proud of her kid’s accomplishments. She did whatever she could for her grandchildren. She went to see hockey or figure-skating. She would travel to see them even when she didn’t feel well.
And she was a proud great-grandmother to Daniel S. Murray and Ryan J. Katz.
In one sentence, she had a strong sense of family always there for all family members. She was known as Aunt Dory. She could always be depended on by her many cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends.
She was a long time active member of our shul, Temple Beth Sholom. She was even chosen Woman of the Year by the Sisterhood. She was the member of many committees and active in preparing the Oneg Shabbat, the reception after services on Friday nights
Doris and Sonny enjoyed life. They were dancing partners; she loved to dance. Doris played bridge, mahjong and slapjack. Sonny and Doris enjoyed Long Wharf with close friends.
They traveled a lot. There were trips to Vermont and Florida, California and Cape Cod. They traveled to Italy, China, Thailand, Germany, Israel, France, England, Austria, Hawaii and the Bahamas.
There are so many beautiful memories. Passover in the living room on Fallon Drive, picnics in the yard or at the relatives or at Paradise Park Swim Club. Sunday was family day with Uncle Lester or Aunt Bea.
There were arguments over whose matzah balls were best, Doris’ or Aunt Shirley’s, or about whose Thanksgiving stuffing was best, Doris’ or Aunt Bea’s.
She had a great sense of humor. Doris could do crazy, goofy things, like putting a stuffed turkey on a spit at Vera and Bud’s.
We’d like to thank the magnificent and caring people from Home Hospice. They made an impossible time less difficult and allowed the family to let Doris die in her own home, which I think was a great and beautiful thing, a tremendous effort and sacrifice by the family who loved her so much.
So who was Doris Katz? She was an open, wonderful family person. Life will be strange without her. But this is a good and a close family and they will be there for each other. To Sonny and Mark and Ellen and the whole family, we have one simple statement: She loved each of you very much and you loved her very much. There are no apologies and no regrets. Everybody did everything right and left nothing unsaid. We’re sorry that she’s gone but we’re happy and thankful to G-d that she lived. She was a righteous woman. May she rest in peace. Let us say Amen.