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Know your neighbor: Doris Adolph

On December 16, Farmington Presbyterian Manor welcomed Doris Adolph into its assisted living community. Doris was primarily motivated to make the move in order to alleviate some of the concerns her children had about her living alone.

“The steps that went from the kitchen to downstairs were really steep and narrow and my kids worried about me falling down,” said Doris.

Beyond those safety concerns, Doris said she really didn’t have a problem being home alone—even during COVID.

“I adjusted to being home alone and working my puzzle books, reading and talking by phone. It hasn’t been the fun way to go but it’s been ok,” said Doris. “I’ve never sat around depressed; I just tend to look on the bright side of things—and I have my church family that means everything to me.”

Doris was born into a large family in Cape Girardeau County, Mo., who she learned to lean on during difficult times in her life.

“There were nine of us and I’m the youngest,” said Doris. “My dad died when I was 15 months old from typhoid fever, so I never got to know my dad, but my brothers were so good to me. They told me about my dad and helped me.”

As an adult, Doris moved to Festus, Mo. where she would meet Byron who would become her husband for 56 years.

“My sister lived in Festus and said she knew where I could get a job. So, I interviewed at the bank and got the job right away. I lived with her, which was next door to where Byron lived with his parents,” said Doris.

Together, Doris and Byron had two sons, two grandsons and seven great-grandchildren before Byron passed away 13 years ago.

Doris recently had another health scare in her family when her son, Gary, developed a benign brain tumor. While the surgery to remove the tumor was successful, Gary developed blood clots in his legs and lungs and ended up being unconscious for three months.

“We came so close to losing him, but the good Lord took care of that,” said Doris. “He still has some trouble walking, but he gets out, and he was just here recently and doing great.”

In fact, Doris was one of the first people to see Gary when he finally immerged from his coma.

“When he was in the hospital, we took turns talking to him—even though he didn’t respond in any way. I was in there when his oldest son came in to say hi, and Gary actually looked his way and smiled. I ran out and got his wife, Cindy, so she could see him.”

In her 89 years, Doris has done a lot and shared a lot of love, but she says it hasn’t been anything special—and that’s perfectly fine with her.

“I don’t have an exciting, interesting life but it’s been good,” said Doris.

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