Dortha Lucille (Keen) ForceAugust 9, 1923 ~ August 18, 2017 (age 94)
“Dottie” was born to her parents, Cordia and Mattie Mae Keen in Boyd Co., Nebraska on August 9, 1923. Her father was a farmer with a natural inclination to mechanics and her mother was a skilled and hard working farm wife. ‘Dot’ had four older brothers and sisters. She would later have a younger sister as well.
It was an active bunch to be born into and she grew up much as any mid-western farm girl in the 1920’s to 1930’s and early 1940’s. Her parents rented farm-steads or “shares”, not an enviable situation with a large family and moved often seeking better land and living. Mom learned the skills of homemaking from a loving but not overly indulgent mother. She grew to know the importance of a family for mutual support, as well as how to stand up for herself with her rowdy siblings.
Mom attended school regularly and graduated from Grand Island High School in 1942. During this time she met Garold and Harold Force, “The Twins.” She and Garold dated until he and his brother joined the Army in late 1943. Dottie and Garold had a constant correspondence during the war years. Dot worked in a “varsity store” after graduation and enrolled in a course of instruction at the Grand Island School of Cosmetology. She later worked as a professional hair stylists in a salon in Grand Island, learning to get on well with the public as well as perfecting her new skills. When Garold returned from Europe they continued seeing each other and married on October 11, 1946.
Their first son, Douglas, arrived in May of 1950 and Dennis joined the team in July, 1953. Garold had attended Business College and had gone to work with International Harvester Co. In 1959 they decided to move to Oregon for the better weather and greater economic opportunities. Garold worked for Meyer & Frank Co. and later J.C. Penny as a Credit Manager. Mom took a job at Omark Industries assembling chainsaw chain and powder operated tools.
While in Nebraska they learned to Square Dance. They were avid and skilled in a square of 8 people, making life-long friends in both the mid-west and Oregon. They belonged to, and were officers in several clubs through the 1980’s. Mom would make her own dresses and then craft Dad a shirt and tie to match!
Later Dad and Mom moved to Redmond, Oregon where Dad was the Credit Manager for the Deschutes Co. Coop. Mom became an Avon Lady. She was highly successful and drove over much of her territory in a huge Buick Sedan. After retirement, they returned to Portland, became grandparents, moved to a small house and a life of gardening, camping and dancing. Dad Passed away in December of 2009.
Mom moved to the Town Center Village in 2013. She made friends in the Social Activities – “The Hand + Foot” card group, morning social coffee, various craft classes, movies and church services on Sunday. She made friends carefully and honestly and was known for her independence, quick wit and stories of her childhood.
Mom passed away at the Town Center Village on August 18, 2017, just after her 94th Birthday. She is survived by her 2 sons, 5 grandsons, 5 nieces and two nephews.