Remembering Dorothy Eloise Dielman (Reynolds)
April 3, 1940 – September 7, 2015
Scroll down this page to view a photo tribute spanning the life of my mother, Dorothy Eloise Dielman, beginning with the facebook post I wrote the day she passed away. Mouse over the thumbnail images below to reveal captions, or click on an image to view the slideshow.
Thank you so much for all of your kind words. Please feel free to leave your comments following the photos.
My beautiful and kind mother, Dorothy Eloise Dielman, passed away at home yesterday afternoon with her beloved dog Ozzie snuggled on her lap and her husband, daughter and son holding her hands. The one person who has been by my side since the moment I was born is now gone. She had amazing positivity and will to live, and after being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer survived for six full years of brutal chemotherapy. Her body may have failed, but thankfully she was lucid and smiling right up to the end, and was able to make calls to family members and lifelong friends to say goodbye.
For those who did not know my mother, she was a great teacher and mentor, and affected countless lives in positive ways. She taught English at colleges and high schools and was a favorite of many students. Even those who never had her as a teacher. That is because she genuinely cared for everyone, and was the kind of person to whom people gravitated to get help with their troubles, both academic and personal. Mom had ex-students who graduated in 1985 visiting as recently as Saturday.
My mom taught me compassion, and how to care for others. She has been crucial in support of the boys and me during the divorce, and I have spoken with her once or twice a day since it started two years ago. She was so relieved that it is finally over. I can’t imagine how we will all survive without her sweet, reassuring presence. You’ve always had my back when I was down or in trouble, and were my greatest cheerleader in all of my endeavors. Thanks for giving us six years to prepare for this moment. I am happy you no longer have to struggle to get a breath. I love you, mom.
The photo above is a shot of mom that I love taken in 2004, before cancer, that shows up on my phone when she calls me.
Nels Dielman, September 8, 2015.
The early years growing up on the farm.
Eloise was born in a former log school house on Green Peter Mountain east of Sweet Home, OR, delivered by her mother’s aunt. Until age 18 Eloise lived in a two-story log house further down the mountain on the north bank of the Middle Santiam River. Shortly after graduation from high school the family farm and house were covered by Foster Dam.
Grade school at Sunnyside, a two-room country school house.
Eloise attended her first eight years of schooling at the two-room Sunnyside School up Quartzville Road from her home. The precocious Eloise taught herself to read before she entered first grade. Her teachers allowed her to work a couple years ahead of her classmates. Eloise was valedictorian of her eighth grade class, having gotten straight A’s for eight years.
Teen age years through graduation in 1958.
During her teens Eloise earned money in the summer picking strawberries, working in a bean canning factory, and in the box office of the Sweet Home movie theater. As she had in grade school, Eloise played flute in the high school band, and played piano for a local dance band. Having earned straight A’s through four years of high school, Eloise was selected co-valedictorian of the graduating class of 1958.
Young woman raising a family and living in Germany for a year.
Eloise attended Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern University) in La Grande, where she met her husband, Gary Dielman. At Eastern they started a family with birth of daughter Katrina in 1960. Eloise interrupted her studies to follow Gary to graduate school at the University of Iowa and then to Germany for a year at the University of Tübingen (1962-63). In 1963 son Nels was born in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1968 Gary got a job in the Modern Language Dept. at Purdue University, where Eloise earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Teacher “Mrs. Dielman” at Baker High School
In 1972 the Dielmans moved to Gary’s home town, Baker City, Oregon, where Eloise was immediately hired to fill in as a math teacher. The next year she joined the faculty of the English Dept. and taught at Baker High School for twenty-four years, with one year off on sabbatical to earn a PhD in American Literature at the University of Oregon. In 1989 Eloise discovered a fire was in the ceiling above her English classroom and spread the alert that led to the evacuation of the school. After retiring from BHS in 1995, Eloise taught at Eastern Oregon University, served at the same time as Chair of the Board of Directors of Blue Mountain Community College and Chair of Baker City’s 5J School District Board of Directors.
Recent years. Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother.
The Dielman clan grew bigger, starting thirty-one years ago with the birth of Katrina’s daughter, Anya. Then came Nels’ sons, Lars (14) and Miles (11). Most recent is Anya’s daughter, Naomi, age 15 months. In 2003 Eloise was chosen Legacy Woman of the Year for her many contributions to the community. Up until just two weeks before her death, she was still leading a group of women writers, as she had done for over twenty years.
Thank you for loving Eloise. Please take a moment to share your recollections.