Doris V. Day, 95, of Mesa died Monday, March 15, at The Center at Val Vista in Gilbert after suffering complications from a broken hip and a lengthy battle with dementia. Under the care of Seasons Hospice, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.
She is survived by her loving husband of 73 years, John; son, Walter, and his wife, Lydia; daughter, Erin, and her husband, Albert; her grandchildren, Siena (Cory), John (Camille), Allison (Son), Kristen, and Patrick (Vivian); and great-grandchildren, Hudson, Cael, and Olive. She was preceded in death by her mother, Hannah; her brother, Walter; her daughter, Diane; and her son, John.
Doris and her brother were raised in Los Angeles. She graduated from Dorsey High School and eventually secured a secretarial position at UCLA. It was during this period that she met the love of her life, John, at a gas station on the corner of Pico and Fairfax in West LA. He was immediately smitten, but did not get her phone number. Ever resourceful, he remembered her mentioning the name of the street she lived on, and armed with that information and steely determination, he eventually tracked her down—and thus began a beautiful love story.
They were wed in January 1948; their marriage was full of love, laughter, positivity and mutual respect—both knew the importance of treating each other with kindness and honesty, and they were true partners in everything. Their children cannot recall ever seeing them argue, and their marriage set the standard to which their children aspire in their own relationships.
Doris had a passion for tennis, and enjoyed bridge and mahjong. She had a large circle of friends who loved her, both in Pacific Palisades, where she lived until 1985, and in Mesa, Arizona, where she resided from 1985 until she passed. She was a voracious reader—especially mysteries—and found great satisfaction in completing the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzles.
She was extremely smart, had a quick wit and loved her family fiercely—and they loved her right back. Stunningly beautiful inside and out, Doris was a gifted conversationalist who could put anyone at ease. She loved talking to people and really getting to know them by asking thoughtful questions and truly listening to their answers.
When her kids were younger, Doris was the “neighborhood mom” that all the children flocked to. As her children left the nest, they remained close to her, often speaking with her multiple times each day to fill her in on everything going on in their lives. She kept up on even the most minute details of their jobs, their relationships, their struggles and their successes; she was always there to celebrate their triumphs and comfort them during moments of despair. She was a wonderful mother—the very best anyone could hope for. She shined so brightly, with so much warmth, and she will forever be with us in our hearts.
In the coming months when the pandemic is no longer an issue, a memorial service will be held; details are to be determined. The family wishes to express its sincere gratitude to Johnnie Robinson-Shell, whose loving care allowed Doris to remain at home for the last few years, and to the staff of The Center at Val Vista and Seasons Hospice for the care and comfort they provided during the final weeks of Doris’ life.
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