Genevieve A. Doolittle, longtime Ellsworth resident and former co-owner of the Pierce County Herald, died Thursday, March 26, 2015, at Comforts of Home in Hudson. She was 95.
She was born Sept. 25, 1919, to Bertha and Joseph Lauer in St. Cloud, Minn., one of eight children. She grew up and was educated at schools in St. Cloud and later attended business school, learning secretarial skills.
She met her future husband, Stanley, in 1938 while both were employed with Minneapolis Milling Co. The couple married in 1940.
They moved to Ellsworth in 1948, while Stan, an Army veteran, was working as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Following the untimely death of his brother, Stan took leave from the Bureau to assist is father Harold — second-generation owner of the PCH — in operating the newspaper. Stan was soon named publisher and operated the newspaper until its sale in 1978.
Along with assisting at the newspaper, Genevieve worked as a secretary to former county agents H.G. Seyforth and Bernard Drewiske. The Doolittles also owned and operated Lord Abstract for a time.
Gen was a Renaissance woman. She was a member of the Ellsworth 946 Club that was founded right after WW II to promote sociability and help families acclimate to their community.
She studied watercolor and oil painting. She pursued Ukrainian egg decorating and rosemaling. Gen could tap dance, play piano, did Air Force fitness exercises, studied public speaking, French and German. She was a master gardener and an exceptional seamstress. She quilted, knitted, and crocheted.
Gen was also an avid golfer. Her trophies and those of her husband filled a wall. Genevieve always dressed up each day with her hair and makeup in place. She loved to cook and bake. She enjoyed entertaining her family and friends and threw wonderful parties.
She epitomized the meaning of life — seize the moment and make it count.
Gen followed her dreams and lived life to the fullest. She poured her heart and soul into each day’s work. She had a strong work ethic, deep values and beliefs, and a love of sports. She found the beauty in nature and family. Her memory will always live in those who knew and loved her.
She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Marilyn and Joe Musgrave, of Leesberg, Fla.; Renee and John Kouris, of Munster, Ind.; Brian and Diane Doolittle, of River Falls; and Yvonne and Robert Mayer, of Germantown, Tenn.; and one sister, Lorraine Soldo of Minneapolis. Also seven grandchildren and their spouses: Noelle and Chris Barg; Eric and Sharalee Flesche; John B. Kouris and friend Delaney Nichols; Ryan and Sharon Kouris; Jim Doolittle; Austin and Lindsey Mayer; and Lindsay Mayer; and four great-grandchildren: Lucius and Lola Kouris and Lily and Jack Barg.
She was preceded in death by her husband Stanley Doolittle, former editor of the Pierce County Herald; four brothers, Willard, Arthur, Valentine and Clarence; and two sisters, Josephine and Viola.
“When God lets my body be/from each brave eye shall sprout a tree/fruit that dangles therefrom/the purpled world will dance upon/between my lips which did sing/a rose shall beget the spring” E. E. Cummings
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, April 24, 2015 at 11:30 am at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth, WI. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery. Cremation services provided by Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.