When Dolores Marie LaFontaine shed her body on September 30, 2018, she must have known, in her spirit’s mind, that she would be reuniting with beloved family and friends. It must have been an especially joyful embrace that she had for Yvonne Wills, who died in April 2018; her lifelong friend and housemate for some thirty five years. To we who think back on Dolores, the memories will necessarily include the two of them together. With Von’s relentless, and at times sarcastic, wit and La’s abiding kindness and gentle scolding, they formed a comedic team that kept us laughing.
The two lunched-out, shopped, had their hair done, and generally did everything together, including sharing, in the evening, their favorite beverage made from fermented potatoes. It is small wonder that after Von passed, La’s will to live faltered. Yet she was attended to by family members and one of Von’s grandsons, Jason Gordon, who showed up on a nearly daily routine to help with chores. He loved La as he had Von. As she grew more frail over the past few months, she would implore the Lord to “just take me”. That prayer has obviously been answered.
One could say that La was the more “organic” of the two. Known for her “green’ thumb, she would attend to her garden with a Swedish diligence; weeding and watering and fussing over the plants, especially tomatoes, that she seemed to genuinely love. She also bestowed that love upon animals, both wild and domestic. She was known to keep a child’s swimming pool filled so that she could listen to the neighborhood raccoons splashing in it at night. One could always find her picnic table piled with leftover food stuffs intended for her large “family” of critters. Lost and stray animals seemed to gravitate to her house over the years. Feral cats, who were normally fearful of humans, would sleep on her lap as she watched Lawrence Welk. La seemed worry more about their suppers than her own. One of those cats she named “Puddinhead” hides now in her empty house waiting for Gramma La to come home.
Dolores’ three daughters benefited from her willingness to listen to their concerns non-judgmentally. Those conversations usually converged into issues of family members; and La’s abiding love for them would often shed a light on a variety of situations. If you wanted to light up her eyes, you started talking about her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her oldest daughter, Denise Lyons (Vito Petrielli), provided mothering for Pete Lyons (Corrine), Rick Lyons (Michelle), Joe Lyons (Julie), Dan Lyons (Jennifer), Lindsey Lyons (Greg Jarr). All of those children of Denise contributed an additional ten great-children to the mix. La’s middle daughter, Sue Wahler (Larry), accounts for Jon Wahler (Erica), Emily Giltner (Luke), Brad Hensley (Kayla), Kale Wahler (Venessa), Brooke Hensley (Rudy Hernandez), and Molly Wahler (David Tandara). Coming from that group is another eight great-grandchildren. La’s baby, Sally Paun (Jim) gave her Julia Cheek (Mike), and Brent Paun (Lindsay). Sally and Jim are waiting for grandchildren. Dolores is predeceased by her parents, Freda and George Herman, and brother LaVerne.
Memorial service will be at 3:00pm with a visitation from 1:00pm until the time of service on Saturday, October 6, 2018 in Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory, Roscoe Chapel, 11342 Main Street, Roscoe, 61073.