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.