Doris Bower

doris bower
Doris Mae Keltgen was born November 1, 1925, and initially raised on her parent’s farm near Judd, North Dakota. She was the eighth of ten children born to John and Katherine Keltgen. They were a family transformed by the Great Depression, and with the nation’s economy collapsing, they had to make a change and moved to Jamestown, ND. Doris always remarked that even though they were poor, those were some of the best years of their lives. The family worked together and stayed close their entire lives. Her siblings were: Marcella, Marien, Victor, Rita, Kay, Zita, Bill, John and Jeanette. Doris graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelors Degree in Home Economics. Following graduation, she worked at Meyers-Taube Company and Northern States Power Cooperative in Fargo. On October 18, 1952 she married Gerald Bower and for short period they lived in Page, ND. Later they built their farmstead near Galesburg. They had 6 children: Dennis, Joan, Mary Ellen, Eileen, John and Patty. In 1954, Doris and Jerry, helped to create the Elm River Credit Union, which became a big part of their lives. For many years the credit union office was the kitchen in the family home. Gerald died in 1977 and Doris took over managing the Credit Union until 1993. She was always a business woman at heart and enjoyed working and helping the farmers and local people of the region. Doris was also the driving force in the creation of another family business, Red River Coffee Company. Doris was always active. Even in retirement she worked as a receptionist at a nursing home until well into her 80s. She used to say that she liked working with the elderly, as if it allowed her not to join that club. Doris was independent and lived in her own house until six months ago. She was passionate about many things including the farm, her children and grandchildren. She also believed in fun. She enjoyed gardening, traveling, and bridge, and often played four times a week. Doris’ faith was important to her. She was an active member of St. James Catholic Church in Page and Holy Spirit Church in Fargo. Doris is survived by her children, Dennis of Galesburg, Joan of Inver Grove Heights, MN, Mary Ellen of Fargo, Eileen (David Hauff) of Fargo, John of Fargo and Patricia (Roy Bower Jernigan) of Eagan, MN, seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Gerald, her parents John and Katherine, and her nine brothers and sisters.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Love you Aunt Doris and I know you are in Heaven with your parents and all your siblings. Once again you are all re-united.

  2. Sorry to read about Doris. We send our sincere sympathy and prayers to all of the family.

  3. To Patricia and Roy Bower-Jernigan and all the Bower families, my sincere sympathy for your loss. I always admired Doris for her warmth and loving spirit and appreciate the values she exemplified to her family and our shared family. Rest in God’s Peace, Doris.

  4. Elm River Credit Union would like to extend our condolences to the family of Doris Bower. She and her husband were instrumental in developing credit union services in the Galesburg and Page, ND area. Today the credit union remains strong and has branched out into the Kindred, ND area. All this was made possible by the devotion of the Bower’s getting the credit union off the ground. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  5. Thoughts and prayers to the Bower family. I have many memories….riding bike to your house as a kid, your mom was a great gardener. Then my job at the credit union, I learned alot working with her. She allowed me to bring my first born to work for the first several months. We had good times and lots of laughs. She was very proud of Red River Coffee Co. I got to benefit from many of the delictables sold there. I know you have many wonderful memories to help you thru your loss. God Bless her soul.

  6. Our sympathy to Dennis and his family. We are sorry we are not going to be able to attend the funeral. Doris had a good life and you Dennis, you were a good son. God give you His comfort and peace.

    Berlin and Jeannette Nelson

  7. Joan, So sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. No matter what or when, it is never easy. God bless you and your family and know I am thinking about you. Prayers.

  8. So sorry to hear of your loss. Doris had a great life I hear and I am sure she is celebrating now with her loved ones that have passed before her. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Vicki Lerud

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