Doreen was born at home on the farm on Nov. 3, 1934 to Sam and Hattie Klaus. She soon had a playmate when brother Armand was born in 1936. Doreen attended elementary at Busenius School and graduated in Leduc.
In 1952 Doreen (who is described in the Looking Back history book as “local girl-Doreen Klaus”) met Helmut Wrubleski and they married on July 9, 1954. The barn where their reception was held is still used every day. Doreen worked for a time at Palm Dairies. She also served as a school trustee and managed the accounts for the International Farm Dealership owned by the Wrubleski Bros. (Helmet and Bill). Helmut and Doreen raised a family of 3 children. Brian, Donna and Bruce. They lived for a time in Camrose but primarily lived in New Sarepta and then at the farm which was homesteaded in 1904 and now has the 7th generation living on the land.
Their family grew as Brian married and Doreen’s cherished grandchildren began to arrive. Jason and Gerrid. Donna married Jim Brook in 1979 and blessed her with 2 more to love – Jeffrey and Kim. Finally, Helmet literally lost a bet and Bruce married me and we topped up the grandchild pool with Kelsey, Katherine, Nathan, Kennedy and Kassandra.
Doreen was always busy. Working in the garden or milking, canning and baking. She was an excellent bookkeeper, sang in the church choir, created beautiful stitchwork and crochet and had a large circle of wonderful friends. She loved being an aunt and spoke often of her nephews & nieces and was always interested in their lives and activities. Extended family was also really important and Doreen was very good at keeping in touch with all – near or far.
The grandchildren have been sharing stories about grandma and we are struck by the impact the simplest acts had on them. They don’t speak of grand gestures or big events. Gerrid said he remembers trading chore labor for BLT’s and loving the stories grandma told him while they worked together digging potatoes or gathering eggs. Kim was the firstborn granddaughter. She was born small and full of sass and grandma loved to tell stories about what “Charlie” was up to and who she was bossing around. Nathan shared that he rolled the quad one day, possibly while operating it in an unsafe manner. He really didn’t want to go home and tell his parent s so he went to grandma instead. She walked all the way to the far end of the field with him, helped him to tip the quad right side up and never spoke a word of it to anyone. Saturdays were Camrose Auction Mart days and Doreen was often delegated to haul bull calves to the sale. She would leave the yard in the morning in a pick-up loaded with grandkids and calves and return many hours later with groceries, feed, assorted hardware and tired, dusty, happy kids full of sugar and stories of adventure.
Soon the great grandchildren began to arrive. Emma and Ella. Paige and James. Olivia, Ava and Landen. Wylie and Gibson and Ruby, Bella and Crickett. A whole new generation of little people who Doreen loved to chat and play with. She was so proud to share her family with the staff and residents at Extendicare and never failed to ask for full updates on all of her grands and great grands.
While there was much happiness, there was also sadness. Doreen lost her mother and brother in a tragic accident in 1969. Her father passed in 2000 and the following year she lost her best friend and husband – Helmet.
If you ever visited at Helmet and Doreen’s she would tell you very sincerely not to expect anything fancy but you would be fed extremely well, the coffee cups would never empty and the stories and laughs could last all night.
I asked Donna how she most wanted to remember her mom. She didn’t hesitate for even a second and said simply, please just make sure they know how much she loved her family and how caring and compassionate she was. She will be so very, very missed.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, January 3, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in New Sarepta with a funeral service to follow at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 2:00 p.m.
Donations in memory of Doreen may be made to the Leduc 4-H Beef Club. 49167 RR 230, Leduc County, AB T0B 3M3.
Serenity Funeral Service, Leduc. Ph: 780-980-3688