Doris “Dottie” Walter Laber, 84, passed away peacefully Thursday evening June 25, 2020 at Avita of Wells, Maine. Preceded in death by her parents, Doris Evans Walter and Frank Orson Walter, and beloved husband, Larry J. Laber. Survived by adoring sister Lynn Walter Meier and brother-in-law Paul Meier of Asheboro, NC and many loving nieces and nephews, Melodie Laber Chapman (CJ Lisi) of Portsmouth, NH;, Marci Laber Poulin (Ron), Wells, ME, Mike Meier (the late Yung Chi) of Sophia, NC, Jodi Meier (Mike Overly) of Asheboro, NC, Carrie Meier (Kevin Wetter) of Belmont, NC; a great nephew, Timothy Chapman (Lucyana) of Kittery, ME; and great-niece, Acacia Rose Overly of Asheboro, NC.
Doris Ann Walter was born on March 4, 1936 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Dottie lived in several states before her family settled in Avondale, Maryland where she graduated from Northwestern High School in 1954. In 1958, she graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Journalism.
Writing and editing were passions of Dottie’s. She sometimes wrote the neighborhood column for the Prince George’s Post while still in high school. During college, she worked part time on Campus for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension Service. After getting her degree, Dottie worked full time for the U.S.D.A. in Washington D.C., which led to travel and projects around the country (Minnesota, Iowa, and Wyoming) using her journalism skills.
On June 9, 1963, Dottie became Doris Walter Laber when she married Larry J. Laber. Their wedding took place at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Rainier, Maryland where Dottie had sung in the choir. Larry was working on an advanced degree at the University of Chicago, so she moved there and began her side work - proofreading and typing Larry’s many research and thesis papers as he obtained multiple additional degrees. They lived many places including Chicago twice, Athens, Georgia - where Dottie wrote for a daily newspaper; Montana, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Orono, Maine. Along the way, Maine became their homebase.
Most of those years, and in most places, Dottie continued working for the U.S.D.A. using her treasured journalism skills. She enjoyed visiting farms and farmers, and writing for publications on soil conservation.
Devoted to family, Dottie helped care for her mother and a couple of aunts. She retired, in part, to concentrate on caring for her Aunt Alice. Dottie loved being an aunt herself and took special care to keep lists of individual’s interests so that she could find and give uniquely tailored birthday and Christmas gifts to each of her nieces and nephews. Cats were also special to Dottie, especially Mincemeat and Tris, then later Feather and Duster.
Camping, canoeing, cross country skiing, hunting, and traveling were all favorite activities. Dottie and Larry visited many places including Alaska, Australia, and many trips to Chincoteague Island and the Grand Canyon. In retirement, Dottie took up running and was very active in the local runner’s club, even authoring its newsletter. Dottie was also active in the local chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), to which she devoted much of her time.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Doris Walter Laber may be made to:
Animal Orphanage - 71 Airport Rd, Old Town, ME 04468
Sarah’s House of Maine - 346 Main Rd, Holden ME 04429
Due to COVID-19, there will be no public memorial service. The family will hold a virtual celebration of life.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Doris "Dottie" (Walter) Laber, please visit our floral store.