Doris 'Dor' Ann Salonen
February 24, 2021
The Lord called Doris "Dor" Ann Salonen home on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021.
Born in Iron River, Michigan, on Aug. 23, 1936, to Lewis and Minnie Olson (nee Orchard), Doris attended and played clarinet at Iron River High School which was recognized as one of the best bands in the region! She was also voted prettiest female in her senior class, a title which her husband Knox agreed with throughout their 59 incredible years of marriage. After graduating high school, Doris continued her education by attending Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. She graduated on Sept. 12, 1957, from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in Marquette.
Doris had big dreams of working on the coast of California and thus applied for a nursing position at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was offered the position and embarked on quite the journey for a small-town girl just out of college. Doris moved to Beverly Hills, passed her California Board of Nursing exams on Jan. 22, 1959, and started her career shortly after. She spent three years working hard and enjoying life in California before coming back home briefly with plans to move to Denver.
However, after reconnecting with the love of her life, Knox Salonen, plans changed and she took a job at the hospital in White Pine, Michigan. They were married shortly after and moved to Waukesha, Wisconsin, where they worked hard and raised their three daughters. While in Wisconsin, Doris was a nurse for many different facilities, but the one that gave her the most joy was working with adolescents at a Milwaukee Mental Health facility. This was a perfect fit for a woman who brought so much joy and understanding to people's lives. She loved her job and it rewarded both her and her patients every day.
Doris and Knox eventually retired back to their forever home on Lake Gogebic in 1996.
Doris was the foundation of her family and raised them with a strong faith in the Lord. What made her such an incredible nurse were the same traits that made her an amazing mother and grandmother - compassion, empathy, patience, humor and understanding. No situation was ever so dire that Doris could not get you to see the positives. Her glass was always half full and by the end of your conversation with her, yours was as well. There was never a sliver of hate in her heart; just forgiveness and understanding.
Doris loved to go on long walks through both nature and the white sands of Panama City Beach, Florida. She loved to crochet and knit. She loved having a good laugh around the card table at night. She was an incredible baker, especially apple pie! She loved to play piano and made sure her grandchildren got a proper piano "Happy Birthday" over the phone year after year. She brought such joy and wisdom to anyone who spent time with her.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Minnie Olson; brother, James Olson and most recently, her beloved husband, Knox Salonen. She will be dearly missed by her loving children, Ruth Gomez, Lynn (Juergen) Salonen and Pamela (John) Arcuri; her grandchildren, Joshua Knox (Danielle), Samantha Lynn (Paul), Madalyn Rose, Carly Rene (Nick), Emily Ann and Olivia Grace; her sister, Ruth Pellizzer, and brother, Ronald (Mildred) Olson; and her great-grandchildren, Lucy Lynn, Ashton Jeremy and William Bradley.
There will be a gathering at the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., in Brookfield, Wisconsin, on Friday, Feb. 26, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. A celebration of her life will be at 4 p.m. It will be available via livestream for those who are unable to attend physically. Please go to beckerritter.com. Out of respect for the family, we ask that everyone please wear a mask and practice social distancing.