Doris Fay Liddick Gelder, age 89, of Venice, Florida, passed away on May 14, 2017, Mother's Day, at Sarasota Memorial Hospital surrounded by her family.
Born on June 6, 1927, in Manheim, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of Bertha Eliza Shaw and Vern G. Liddick. As a child in Manheim, she was social and athletic, where she played basketball, was a majorette, and was captain of the field hockey team, becoming the Senior Athlete of the Year at Manheim Central High School. She married Douglas Gelder (Navy and Air Force) in 1947, after World War II, and the birth of her two sons followed. Their family moved extensively throughout his military career, relocating from Florida to Texas to California to New York to New Jersey to Mississippi and Japan, among other places. They later retired to Manheim, Pennsylvania, and then Windemere, Florida, before moving closer to family in Englewood, Florida.
Doris -- called 'Nam' and 'Grandma' by her grandchildren -- was truly precious and unique, known by everyone who encountered her for her joyful spirit, her eternal optimism, and her quick wit and mischievous sense of humor. She loved to talk and catch up, and was known for her enthralling storytelling, a gift also shared by her two sons. She was pure of heart with unwavering kindness, a complement to her remarkable great strength as a military wife. As a grandmother, she will be remembered for her deep blue eyes and shock of white hair, and for her big hugs that began with a warm and affectionate greeting and outstretched arms. She adored her family, as well as her pets, and loved gift giving and special holidays, giving endlessly with no expectation of receiving.
Doris is survived by her two sons, Richard (Barbara) Vern Gelder, Osprey, Florida, and Douglas (Brigitte) Steven Gelder, Hershey, Pennsylvania; her four grandchildren, Kristin Gelder (Carter) Paine, Nashville, Tennessee; Keith (Lauren) Richard Gelder, Naples, Florida; Elizabeth Gelder (Jeff) Sirolly, Orlando, Florida; and Steven (Emily) Douglas Gelder, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; her five great grandchildren, Palmer Eve Paine and Thomas Fite Paine IV; Daniel Bryce Gelder; Lucia Ann Sirolly; and James Douglas Gelder; and her sister Betty Arlene Liddick White, Gotha, Florida. She was preceded in death by her husband, Douglas Gelder.
Special thanks to Jen and the staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital for their loving care in her final days. A memorial service will be planned at a later time in Manheim, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood, Florida.
Lemon Bay Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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