Our beloved Dolores “Dee” Richey, age 89, passed peacefully Nov. 20 at the Long-Term Care unit inside Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson due to natural causes.
Dee was born October of 1931 in Winterset, and moved to California in the ’60s with her former husband, James Richey, and their three children.
She returned by herself to Jefferson in 1992, where she took care of her mother until her passing.
Dee loved spending her days tending to the many flowering shrubs, annuals and tomato plants in her yard. She enjoyed sitting in the window keeping a lookout for the very first cardinal to visit every winter. She watched the birds as they came to feed on the many feeders hanging in her yard and the corn chair where the squirrels would perch while they ate the corn cobs she left for them.
She spent a good portion of her budget on buying bird seed, corn cobs and cat food for Buddy, Miss Kitty and the stray cats in the neighborhood that would come to visit. To say she had a love for nature and animals would be an understatement.
On quiet nights, Dee enjoyed watching “Dancing with the Stars” and “Friday Night Lights.” In her wild moments, she enjoyed playing the slot machines, whether it be the penny slots at Prairie Meadows in Altoona or the quarter slots in Reno.
Being a lifelong Elvis Presley fanatic, one of the highlights of her life was getting to see him perform live. She even asked to have her ashes sprinkled over Graceland — but we think that would be frowned upon, so hopefully she’ll be happy with taking one last flight to sunny California where she will be surrounded by family.
Dee was the type of person that made everyone feel remembered and loved. She never forgot a birthday or holiday no matter the distance with her greeting cards wishing good health, good times and good fortune, her four-page-long letters talking about her day and the magazine subscriptions she sent out every time she thought of someone.
Dee loved to cook, so it was no surprise that Thanksgiving would be one of her favorite holidays. She would spend all day cooking a full course Thanksgiving meal from scratch whether it be just for herself or a house full of family and friends. Her biggest worry was always if her turkey would be dry, but it was always perfect.
She didn’t quite make it to Thanksgiving this year, but with her diminishing health, it would not have been the same celebrating at the Long-Term Care facility.
The family would like to extend our deepest gratitude to dear friends Alan and Barbara Krueger, of Jefferson, who treated our beloved Dee like family. Whether it be repairs on the house, rides to medical appointments or just for companionship, they were always there for her no matter what, including making sure she was comfortable and well taken care of up until the very end.
Dee is survived by her brothers: Robert E. Smith, of Yreka, Calif., and Don Mull Sr., of Des Moines; her children: daughter Janine Sanders, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and son Robert Richey, of Santa Clara, Calif.; four grandchildren: Michelle Pellegrini, of Yerington, Nev.; Starr Herron, of San Jose, Calif.; Eric and Lisa Sanders, of Sunnyvale; four great-grandchildren: Paul and Matthew Phillips, of Yerington; Jacob and Aria Mercado, of Sunnyvale; a great-great-grandson, Maxwell Phillips, of Yerington; and several nieces and nephews.
Dee is preceded in death by her father, Clarence Smith; mother Bertha Mull; daughter Lorri Herron; sister Rose Smith; former husband James Richey; and former companion Bob Andrews.
No local services are planned, but family and friends are invited to share a memory of Dolores on the tribute wall online at the Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home: www.sliningerschroederfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Dolores-Richey/