Doris LaRae Bourn, 95, of Auburn passed away peacefully Friday, December 10, 2021 at the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Auburn Nebraska where she had resided for almost a decade. She entered this world in her parents’ home in Minden, Nebraska; Oscar William and Clare Tombrink Olson were quite surprised by her appearance as Clare had just given birth to Mom’s sister Phyllis a couple minutes earlier. Twins had not been expected. From that moment on, “The Twins” were a force to be reckoned with. Doris received her primary education from the Progress School District West #12 near Overton and graduated from Overton High School with the class of 1944. She explored higher education briefly but filed her secretarial pursuit for marriage and a family.
Doris married Calvin Edmisten July 10, 1946 in a small ceremony at her parent’s home. They resided on a farmstead in rural Lexington, Nebraska raising livestock and farming. Two children were born to this union, Cherri Clare and Douglas Lynn. Doris was widowed when her husband, Calvin, died in a tragic car accident October 1, 1949.
Doris and children moved to a charming little house on 6th street in Lexington and found employment at the local grain elevator where she did secretarial work. On a cool spring day in 1953 while Doris was hanging laundry on the clothesline, her beau, Keith Bourn, arrived unexpectedly and pulled a ring from his suit pocket, proposing with stars in his eyes. Keith and Doris were united in marriage, May 04, 1953 and resided in Lexington, Nebraska where Keith was employed at the 1st National Bank. Five more children joined their big sis Cherri and big brother Doug and so “The Bourn Bunch” evolved. The family moved several times while Keith pursued his banking career with Doris packing, moving, painting, wallpapering, unpacking with an unflagging dedication to her family. Doris called many places her home during her marriage to Keith, including Lexington NE, Walden CO, Tilden NE, Cody WY, Glenrock WY, Lander WY, Lincoln NE, and finally Auburn NE for the past 41 years.
Doris was a product of the “Greatest Generation”, the “Dust Bowl” and of two parents who separately began their own homesteads. As a child, she played on the banks of the Platte River with her twin and older sister Eleanor with the sand cranes looking on. Hard work and hard times were a theme growing up; her family lost everything in 1929 due to the banks collapsing. Doris became very skillful at making the most of what was available and what could be afforded. She spoke fondly of the orange crate furniture with flour sack curtain years, of her favorite Christmas where she received only an orange and a little pencil sharpener. She is from a generation lost; self-sufficiency wasn’t a pastime, it was survival. Doris was a master gardener and canned everything the garden produced. She did not just sew; she was a gifted tailor; she crafted not only her children’s clothes and coats but whatever was needed. She was a wonderful cook and baker; comfort foods were her specialty but loved to experiment with new recipes with sublime success, except the borscht soup. Coming home from school was forever welcoming with the smell of freshly made bread, rolls, pies, cookies, bars permeating the air.
Doris volunteered her time with abundance when her children were young; whether it was Brownies, Girl Scouts, Jobs Daughter’s, 4-H, Demolay, The Methodist Church, Newcomers, Cow Bells, you name it, she was there to lead, follow or get out of the way. She was a longtime member and past Worthy Matron of Eastern Star having had membership in both Lander, Wyoming and Brownville, Nebraska.
Doris was an avid bridge player, golfed while she could, played the jumble in the World Herald religiously, loved to travel, going so far as Saudi Arabi, she mastered in sarcastic remarks, wasn’t afraid to swear when appropriate, enjoyed her church, delighted in using big fancy words and conversing with strangers, but more than anything, she loved a good bourbon and water, well not more than her kids. Doris was an enigma in so many ways, but hands down she was the best mom ever and will be remembered of fondly for being “Doris” who loved to laugh and had a great sense of humor, which probably contributed to her 95 years, as a “light heart lives long.”
Doris is survived by her six children: Doug (Diane) Bourn of Richland, NC; Keith (Susan) Bourn Jr., Steamboat Springs, CO; Michelle Johnson of The Woodlands, TX; Rene Bourn (Larry Joens) of Eagle Butte, SD; John (LaRonda) Bourn of New Ulm, MN; Andrea (Ron) Phillips of Nebo, KY; 11 grandchildren, 9½ greatgrandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild, numerous nieces and nephews, and beloved brother-in-law, Larry Bourn of Boulder CO. She is preceded in death by her parents, Clare and Oscar, sisters Eleanor and twin Phyllis, her husband’s Calvin Edmisten and Keith Bourn Sr. and oldest daughter, Cherri McAulay.
A Celebration of Doris’s Life will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 20, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church in Auburn, Nebraska with Pastor So Yeong Son officiating. A live stream broadcast of the service is available on our Hall Funeral Chapel Facebook page as well as the bottom of Doris' webpage.
Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 19, 2021, at the Hall Funeral Chapel, 707 15th Street in Auburn.
A Graveside Interment will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.
Memorials may be directed to the Methodist Church of Auburn or the Auburn Memorial Library.
Condolences can be shared online at www.hallfuneral.net
Services entrusted to Hall Funeral Chapel-707 15th Street-Auburn, Nebraska 68305 (402) 274-3131
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