Apr 23rd 1919 - Oct 13th 2012
Doris Shearer was above all else a wife and mother, a woman who was deeply and joyfully family-oriented. Jolly and energetic, Doris ran a household and raised eleven children with both grace and wisdom. Her kind heart, generous nature, and strong religious faith will be deeply missed by all those whose lives she touched.
Doris Eileen was born on April 23, 1919, to proud parents Wallace and Alma (Harrison) Bingham. The Bingham family lived in Portage, Michigan, where Wallace was a farmer and Alma a teacher. In his free time, Wallace was also a square dance caller, and passed on to his daughter, Doris a love of music and dancing.
After graduating from Portage High School, Doris went on to take some classes at Michigan State College. In her single years, she earned a living as a caregiver. One fateful evening, however, Doris’ sister Shirley set her up on a date with a young man named Lynn Shearer. Doris and Lynn hit it off right away, and started dating regularly. The happy couple was married on March 11, 1939, at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Doris and Lynn both wanted a large family, and in the years to come they were blessed with eleven children: Butch, Paul, Charlie, Ray, Margie, Andy, Joe, Kathy, Dorothy, Denise, and Mary. In fact, Doris and Lynn often said they would have liked to have twelve kids! For a time, with four children and a fifth on the way, Doris was left at home alone since Lynn was drafted into the armed services. He served honorably in World War II, and returned home safely a few years later.
The Shearer family lived in a five-bedroom home, so Doris never had the space (or the time) to collect things – if it wasn’t being used, it didn’t last long! If anything, one could say that Doris collected children. Her front door was always open, and it wasn’t unusual for neighbor kids and friends to join in the fun. Doris was also a talented cook, and the whole family looked forward to her homemade bread and cinnamon rolls.
The Shearer family belonged to St. Mary’s Catholic Church until 1957, when they moved to Vicksburg, Michigan. They then attended services at St. Edward Church of Vicksburg, later to be renamed as St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, where Doris has been a faithful member to this day. Doris was devoted to her Catholic faith, and loved the Blessed Mother. She prayed the rosary regularly, and she and Lynn made a habit of attending daily Mass.
Doris was always hard at work. During a time of no washing machines, she found herself scrubbing laundry on scrub boards late at night while her children were sleeping. She was an excellent seamstress, and worked hard to find time to make beautiful afghans and bed dolls. She crocheted doilies and even made her children's diapers! She also had a green thumb, and enjoyed working in her garden. To relax, Doris loved listening to music, especially her favorite, Eddy Arnold. She was also an avid card player, and despite her normally jolly disposition was something of a cut-throat (although always a gracious winner)!
After Lynn’s retirement, he and Doris took advantage of their golden years to do some traveling. They visited many locations, and loved exploring local churches wherever they went. They also enjoyed Florida, which became their favorite vacation destination. At home, Doris loved spending time with her children and grandchildren, and looked forward to family gatherings. She was always the host for family get-togethers – on one memorable occasion, almost 70 people were squeezed into her basement!
Cheerful, hard-working, and kind-hearted, Doris was a devoted wife, a loving mother and grandmother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed by her many friends and beloved family.
Doris Eileen Shearer died on October 13, 2012, at the age of 93. Her family includes her children, Lynn “Butch” (Carol) Shearer of Venice, FL, Charles (Mary) Shearer of Vicksburg, Raymond (Barbara) Shearer of Portage, Kathy Weinberg of Three Rivers, Dorothy (Mark) Buckmaster of Comstock, Denise Shearer of Vicksburg, and Mary (Nghiem) Nguyen of Vicksburg; her daughters-in-law, Kay Shearer of Portage, and Jayne and Robin Shearer, both of Grand Rapids; 19 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandchildren, and their spouses; her sister, Shirley Shearer of Schoolcraft; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lynn; her sons, Paul, Andrew, and Joseph; her daughter, Margaret Shearer; and her grandson, Owen Shearer.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). There will be a rosary on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Doris will be buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Those who wish may make donations to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church. Please visit Doris’ personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.