Doris Marie Bolgrihn

WYOCENA — Doris Marie Bolgrihn, age 95, passed away on Sunday, July 4, 2021, at the Columbia Healthcare Center in Wyocena. 

Doris was born on July 25, 1925, in Ladysmith, the daughter of Charles and Josephine (Thorson) Irwin. She was the fourth of seven children. Her family moved to Madison when she was young where her father did farm work and her mother taught in a rural school. Doris graduated from Sauk Prairie High School and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her family next bought a farm north of Portage, near Date’s Mill.  Doris worked at Badger Ordnance where she met her husband-to-be, Earl Bolgrihn. They were married on January 25, 1947, and moved into Portage where they raised three children, Michael, Patricia and Mary Beth. Doris worked several jobs over the years, her favorites being at Piggly Wiggly/Eagle and City Bank of Portage. She especially loved working at jobs where she could help people. 

Doris and Earl were members of Trinity United Church of Christ. Doris was also a member of the Women’s Guild, she served as a Sunday school teacher, sang in the choir and was a member of the church council. Later, she was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Oxford, and finally the First Presbyterian Church of Pardeeville. During her last years she was a resident of the Columbia Healthcare Center in Wyocena. Even though she suffered from Macular Degeneration and hearing loss she lived a full life there. Monna Kiefer was her favorite roommate and the two were good and close friends. Doris loved her family and offered help to any who needed it. She and Earl enjoyed helping relatives and friends with building and remodeling projects. Doris sewed clothes and made Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls for her nieces and nephews. She was passionate about baking and was famous for her tea rings which she shared with friends and neighbors. 

Doris had a good outlook on life and encouraged her children and grandchildren to have the same. Her five granddaughters were her pride and joy, and they spent many happy days and sleep-over nights with Grandma. After Earl passed, she vacationed with her children and grandchildren during the summertime and traveled to many states. For a while she owned a trailer and wintered in Harlingen, Texas. For several years she owned a home in a mobile home park near Poynette.      

She is survived by her children, Michael (Caroline) Bolgrihn, Mary Beth (Fred) Gabbei and Patricia Stetz; her grandchildren, Josephine (Jason) Oldham, Jess (Cameron) Curtis, Betsy Gabbei, Robin Gabbei (Tony Paull), Jennifer and Steve Thede, Olive and Anderson Paull, Abigail Wick, Cole and Taylor Thede; her great-grandchildren, Michael and Mathea Oldham, Carder and Calahan Curtis; her sisters-in-law, Kathy Hallet and Alice Irwin, many nieces and nephews and their families, and many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Josephine and Charles Irwin, her husband, Earl Bolgrihn; her sister, Maryon Bartels; her sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor (Darwin) Ferry, her brothers, Arnold Irwin, Robert Irwin and his former wife, Margaret Mary Dalton, and John Irwin; her brother and sister-in-law, Morton (Sara) Irwin, her brothers-in-law, Paul Bartels, Roger Bolgrihn and Harold Wolff, her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Louis (Mick) Bolgrihn and her sister-in-law, June Pieper and her former husband, Leo; and sister-in-law, Marlene Wolff.    

A graveside service will be held for the immediate family with a memorial service to be held at a later date.  The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage (www.pmmfh.com) is assisting the family.    

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the American Kidney Foundation or the Columbia County Humane Society.

The family would like to thank the Columbia Health Care Center for the wonderful care they provided Mother during the last years of her life.


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