Spotlight on Doris Michels
Doris Jeanette Maynard was born on June 16, 1926, in South Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, the third girl to parents, Frank and Mabel Maynard. She had two older sisters, Minerva (Marie) and Patricia. Her dad, was from the West Indies and her mother was a native of Brooklyn. Later, her parents divorced and Mabel owned and operated a tea room on Church Avenue to provide for her three young daughters.
Doris remembers her childhood as being very lean years. Working long hours, Mabel needed to be very organized to maintain order in her small family, so each girl was assigned a color for all of her clothing. Patricia got the color blue, Doris green and Marie’s clothes were red. This system made it easier for Marie to put clothes away after they were washed and to help her sisters choose outfits to get ready for their day. Little Mother, Marie, (Don’t call her Minerva!) had most of the responsibility for raising her younger sisters. Although it was challenging at times, this relationship forged a strong bond among the sisters throughout their lives.
Although those childhood years were lean, the Maynard girls still played outdoors whenever possible. Doris has fond memories of stickball, stoopball, jumping rope, and playing jacks with friends on the porch and on the sidewalk, which was the neighborhood place of much fun and activity. One of Doris' favorite things to do was to go roller skating at the local rink at Prospect Park.
Throughout school, Doris learned that she had a gift for math and after graduating from high school, she attended business school in Manhattan and was hired at Chase Manhattan Bank. She worked there until retirement.
Doris met her husband Harold Michael Michels (who preferred to be called Mike) on a blind date. She admits that she stood outside the place where the date was going to take place, nervously debating for several minutes whether or not to actually go in. Of course, she was glad that she finally did decide to go through with it, because that decision changed her life. Mike was tall, good-looking, quiet, and gentle, The couple dated for two years before getting married at Immaculate Mary Church.
Mike had a good job at the New York Telephone Company with great benefits and Doris continued to work part-time after their three children, Karen, Kevin, and Janet were born. Life was wonderful, and “worth all the ups and downs,” she says, as she looks at her beautiful family. Karen worked for a short time as a teacher, then decided to become a nurse, where she worked in labor and delivery until she retired. She and her husband, Charles, currently live in Newtown, and have two children, Mark and Laura. Kevin was a banker and he and his wife, Dorothy, live in Southern New Jersey. They also have two children, Bridget and Christopher. Her youngest, Janet, lives in Brookfield with her husband Gary, whose dad also resided at The Gardens. Together, they have raised Craig, Erik and Kelly. Doris is completely in love with her beautiful children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren!!!!
Although she lived a very busy life, Doris made time to volunteer at her church. She was very active in the altar guild and helped at the annual church bazaars. In addition, she made time to visit her children when they lived abroad: Kevin in England and Karen in Holland. She also traveled to Ireland, Texas, California, and Niagara Falls.
To be closer to family, Doris moved from her beloved Brooklyn to Palace Views in Danbury, and then here, to The Gardens. She is a kind, gentle person, who always lends a helping hand and shows kindness, caring, and warm friendship to all. We all appreciate the wonderful person she is and how she makes each day brighter. Thank you, Doris!