Once upon a time, in a midwife’s home located in Nokay Lake Township, outside of Brainerd, Minn., Doris L. (Mahle) Elless was born Aug.18, 1933. Such a delight she was to her parents, Elizabeth and Norval Mahle, and her sister, Alice (Mahle) Jaloszynski.

Her brother, Jerry Mahle, who has since passed away, would come into their home after Doris. What a life — filled with values, hard work, laughter and life memory-making.

First raised on a farm, this gal loved to be barefoot and was happy to always help the family (well, maybe with the exception of picking rocks out of the field). The little farm girl would grow up into a loving, nurturing, always-giving wife and mother.

On May 8, 1954, Doris married George Elless in Brainerd, Minn. and lived throughout the Midwest, Arizona and California, raising two children, Gayla (Elless) Young, who now lives in Idyllwild, and Jeff Elless, who resides in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

With a marriage of 53 years, Doris and George created a life they nurtured together and were thrilled to enjoy their retirement by traveling full-time for more than five years.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008, the Lord gently took Doris into his arms, leaving her family and friends with the gift of her ever-present love and strength. Her kindness to people and animals never wavered and will forever be her legacy.

She was a member of the Huntington Beach Emblem Club for more than 20 years, and received the “Best Mother of the Year” award from her daughter. Passions of gardening, traveling, animals and special people would make Doris smile.

Services and inurnment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations, in memory of Doris Elless, be made to Living Free Animal Sanctuary, P.O. Box 5, Mountain Center, CA 92561.