Doris Pauline Bromberg, the daughter of Karl and Beulah (Fansher) Klein, was born in Portland, Oregon, on January 14, 1920, and passed away peacefully in Albuquerque on April 14, 2020, after recent and joyous celebrations of her 100th birthday. Doris was joined by family and friends from Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico in two wonderful parties that featured laughter, live music, and of course cake and ice cream. Her fun-loving, feisty, and adventurous personality shone like a beacon to all who were privileged to attend.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Lt. Col. John S. Bromberg (USAF, Rtd.); brothers, Kenneth and Frank; sister, Phyllis Valentine; nephews, Kary Klein and Neil Valentine; and numerous beloved dogs including Rip, Cap, Max, Jinx, Rebel, Zuni, Chloe, and Patton. She is survived by nieces, Kathie Hellwege, LeAnne Decker, and Thaya Valentine; nephews, Ron, Steve, and Doug Klein and Craig and Keith Valentine; fifteen great-nieces and nephews; one great-great-niece; and many cousins and friends.
Doris moved to Redwood City, California, after her marriage and to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1973, where she lived for the remainder of her life. She travelled all over the United States and the world, including Russia and China. She traveled to Europe with her sister Phyllis and loved visiting her brother Frank and his family in Hawaii. She wrote a detailed record of her trip to the Holy Land. Doris loved climbing and hiking, and in her 60s took the mule ride down into the Grand Canyon. During that trip, the guide was injured, and Doris was the acting guide for the remainder of the trip.
Although Doris and John had no children of their own, they celebrated having a family of nieces and nephews who loved them dearly. Whenever she and John visited her parents and other family members in Portland, one of the activities was a trip to the Portland Zoological Gardens (now the Oregon Zoo). Doris and John rounded up the kids, put them into a station wagon, and took them off to the zoo. Doris loved animals of all sizes and shapes, although she was particularly fond of elephants. Doris had wonderful memories of Packy, an Asian elephant who was born in the Portland Zoo in 1962. She frequently mentioned that her cousin Kathy Kenyon took her behind the scenes at the Oregon Zoo to visit the elephants. Doris was a long-time member of the Humane Society of the United States.
A keenly intelligent woman, Doris returned to college when she was in her 50s. She earned a B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico in 1976 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Journalism. She was particularly interested in the politics of Latin America. She was an avid reader, especially of the newspaper and biographies, until her sight failed her very late in life. She loved politics and was active in the Goldwater presidential campaign of 1964. She was also an enthusiastic student who enrolled in biblical Greek a few days before her ninetieth birthday.
Doris was a faithful Christian who volunteered as a church librarian at both First Christian Church and St. John’s United Methodist Church in Albuquerque. She was active in the Fellowship Circle and worked in the Food Ministry at St. John’s until her failing health prevented her from participating. She taught Sunday School for almost 30 years, and one of her youth remembers that “Doris shared her love of Christ through enthusiastic and creative ways when she taught my Sunday school classes. I can still see her warm, sweet smile.”
Doris loved dogs and always had two black labs with her, until she got older and had to switch to smaller dogs. Her last companion, Patton, was a rescue dog who had lost one front leg after an accident. Doris always claimed that Patton had chosen her, not the other way around; he was a quiet, faithful friend in her last years. Family members recall that whenever Doris telephoned them, she inquired about how the dogs were doing as well as the people.
Doris was an accomplished seamstress. While she lived in California, she took classes in dress-making and design, and she designed and sewed many of her own clothes. One niece remembers, “She shared her knowledge, passion, and supplies with me on many occasions. Above all, she encouraged me to sew and she and Grandma Klein helped me to understand the value of a project well done.”
The family appreciates the devoted friends who helped Doris to maintain as much independence as possible in her declining years. They especially thank all the caregivers who assisted Doris, particularly Phyllis Baxter of FootPrints Home Care, the entire staff of Carefirst Assisted Living, and Regina Hunter of Ducks in a Row. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. John’s UMC Food Ministry, 2626 Arizona St. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110.
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