Doris (Dori) Bernice Stoner passed away peacefully at the age of 87 on February 28th at Fischer Cottage almost 3 years after suffering a major stroke.
Dori (Mom) was born on April 4, 1932 in Outlook, Montana to Lydia and Morten Norager—one of seven siblings. She attended school in Outlook and transferred to Oak Grove High School in Fargo, North Dakota graduating in 1950. That year, she married her high school sweetheart Gaylen Stoner. A marriage that lasted until his death 46 years later.
During the first seven years of their marriage, Mom was very supportive of Dad’s medical training that took them to Chicago, St. Paul and Columbus, Montana before they returned to Plentywood to establish their home and Dad’s medical practice.
Mom was a homemaker on steroids!! She managed the home front skillfully and gracefully—she was actively involved in her childrens’ lives and activities as they were growing up—an excellent role model encouraging us to strive and do our best at anything we did, but we had to “work, work, work!” Being a child of the depression era farm, she knew how to stretch a penny.
We remember fondly the wonderful things she would bake—cinnamon rolls, pies, lefse, krumkake. She sewed many of our clothes; volunteered as cub scout, bluebird and campfire girls leader. She accomplished exquisite needlework –finishing many beautiful pieces of Hardanger which she gave as gifts to family and friends. She also enjoyed needlepoint, knitting and other crafts. She had her own greenhouse and raised beautiful geraniums. She was an active member of Plentywood Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday school and participated in other activities including Circle and WELCA. She was active in Village Hostesses. She helped establish the medical auxiliary at Sheridan Memorial Hospital and the gift shop. She loved playing bridge both in Plentywood and Billings. She co-chaired committees that created 2 great cookbooks from Plentywood –the Colorful Cuisine and Turn of the Century.
Widowed in 1996, Mom moved to Billings in 2001 where she was again active in church and community. She volunteered at her granddaughter’s grade school and at Alberta Bair Theatre logging in over 500 hrs. She was a member of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, PEO and began playing duplicate bridge earning the Life Masters award. She traveled with Global Grannies and was in a line dancing group. Wherever Mom was, she established a community around her. Even the last 2 ½ years in the nursing home totally dependent for self -care, she was able to develop a community of staff and residents who loved her and always commented on her wonderful smile.
We will miss our wonderful mother and grandmother –full of elegance and grace. We will cherish her final note to her children where she said “see you in heaven.”
Mom is preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Gaylen Stoner (1996); her infant granddaughter Catherine (1978); grandson Geir Stoner (2019); her parents and all of her siblings.
She is survived by her four children, Dr. Kirk Stoner and his wife Mari of Plentywood and their children Chelsea (Garth) and Chase (Kayla) and grandchildren Signe, Anderson and Callen; Dr. Lynda Stoner and her husband Gary in Billings and her children Rebecca (Dave) , Jennifer and Stephanie; Cynthia Woods and her husband John in Billings and their children Dayton (Carolina) and Morgan; and Jon Stoner and his wife Claire and their children Jon Reece and Rainey. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Family would also like to recognize her special friend Dick Nevin.
(POSTPONED) A funeral service is planned for March 21 at 1 pm at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Billings and a memorial service will be held on April 4th at the Plentywood Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 1 pm with interment to follow. Our family would like to express sincere appreciation for the wonderful care Mom received while at Fischer Cottage at St. John’s United. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John’s Foundation, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Billings, Plentywood Lutheran Church in Plentywood, or the Pioneer Manor in Plentywood or charity of your choice.