Our beloved mother, Dolores Agnes Curran Doody, passed away peacefully April 19, 2020 near her home in Phoenix, Arizona. Mom was surrounded by family.
She was the oldest daughter of Robert Emmett and Anna Arcus of Chicago. Raised mostly on the South Side of Chicago, Dolores was the oldest of four girls and one boy in the Curran family. Anna Mae, Rita, Jim and Peggy. Born in 1928, Mom was a child of the Great Depression. She moved several times during her childhood and was often the new kid in class, which meant she had to make new friends wherever she moved. Mom was an excellent student. Mom was also a tom boy. She liked to stand up on the handlebars of her bike while going full speed down the middle of the street. As the new kid in school, she used humor as a way to make new friends and stand up to school bullies. When humor didn’t work with the bullies, she used her fists. She was pretty good with both. Mom and her family moved back to Chicago in time for her to start high school at Visitation High School, an all-girl Catholic high school on the South Side.
It was in high school when Mom got her first job at the age of thirteen, at a company called Albert Pick, one of many jobs to come. Mom ALWAYS used to say, “I always keep a fresh new interview suit and a new resume at the ready. You never know when you’re going to need them.” One of the jobs Mom enjoyed most was her time with the Airline Pilots Association, based out of Chicago’s Midway Airport. She was also fond of saying “I have the Gift!” while holding up her index finger.
When she was twenty-four Mom met the love of her life, John “Bud” Doody, through Bud’s sister Lois, who Mom used to work with. They were married in June 1954 at St. Nicholas Parish in the Marquette Park neighborhood of Chicago. After living on W 60th Place for a short while, Mom and Dad bought a new home in a new community outside Chicago.
Dad was a pipefitter. Mom stayed at home and raised 11 kids: Jack, Jim, Madonna, Rob, Sheila (who passed away at 15 months to pneumonia), Frank, Peggy, Patty, Maureen, Joanne and Mary Kate. Mom turned down several jobs while raising her family. These jobs included teaching and writing for a newspaper. There was no sacrifice too great for Mom when it came to raising her kids. When her kids got older Mom went back to school and earned her degree in English from the University of Illinois/Chicago Circle campus. Mom quickly got a job in downtown Chicago at a law firm.
In 1981, as Mom’s new career was taking off, the heavy industry around Chicago, which kept Dad employed with steady work for years, started closing and moving away. Dad went out every day looking for work, with little luck. When Dad was on a job up in Rockford, Illinois, a friend of Dad’s from “the fitters” called and Mom picked up the phone. Dad’s friend was living in Orange County, California, where there was plenty of work for pipefitters. He said “They’re looking for guys. Would Bud want to work out here?” “He’ll be on the next plane,” Mom replied. Mom was always helping other people get jobs too. Long story short: Dad stayed working in California while Mom and five of her daughters sold the house in Illinois, and moved out to Fountain Valley, California to join Dad in a new life in Southern California.
Over the next sixteen years, Mom worked as a legal secretary for various law firms in Orange Country, California. Mom and Dad also became grandparents several times. Their grandchildren loved visiting Grandma and Grandpa. In 1997, Mom and Dad bought a home in Oceanside, where together, they spent seven very happy years, enjoying the local beaches, restaurants, donut shops and all the other fun activities near their new home.
Then in 2004, God called our Dad back home. Mom handled Dad’s passing with strength and was a comfort to Dad and all her children and grandchildren. Mom had to put her and Dad’s house up for sale and was able to buy a beautiful home in Peoria, Arizona. Through Mom’s deft financial and legal prowess, she was able to buy her new home outright. No mortgage payments! Although Mom missed California, she spent her last sixteen years living a full life in Arizona, near a son and two daughters. Her other children who lived out of state were frequent visitors at Mom’s house for Christmas, Thanksgiving, as well as other times during the year.
Mom also belonged to the Red Hats and several writers’ groups. Mom even wrote a book, called “Se Vende: Six Degrees of Separation.” In Arizona, Mom loved her children, grandchildren and her extended family. Mom also loved her Arby’s, her Sonic, her KFC coleslaw, her bookstores, and sometimes even a donut or two. Mom would often preface a statement with “When I move on to that Big Book Store in the Sky . . .” And now she’s there, in the “Big Book Store in the Sky,” in Heaven, with Dad, our sister/baby saint Sheila, Nana and Papa, her sisters Rita, Peg and Anna Mae, her brother Jim, and the others who have gone before her.
Until then Mom, we love you and we miss you. God be with you. (Because he is!)
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society.