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Nelsen Williamsburg

3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA

OBITUARY

Dolores Agnes Schoch

January 7, 1938April 26, 2020
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Dolores Agnes (Bratina) Schoch was born in Harrisburg, PA, January 7, 1938. She passed from this life to Heaven, April 26, 2020 in Williamsburg, VA, during a long sleep in Home Hospice Care. She is survived by her grieving husband of nearly 50 years, Bruce Paul Schoch; her daughter, Scottie Lynn Dean of Greensville, SC; three grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Dolores, or Dodi as she was known to her friends and colleagues, was a strong-willed and spirited lady who served her country for 40 years in Air Force and Army Civil Service. She was the first Retirement Services Officer at Fort Eustis, and finished her government career as counselor in the Army transition management program. She began at Olmsted Air Base, Harrisburg, where she was the first female aircraft instrument repair technician during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Later, while assigned to the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, she had the honor of taking dictation from former President Dwight Eisenhower during his 70th birthday celebration. She met and married a young captain, Bruce, and followed him to Fort Campbell, KY and eventually to Fort Monroe and Fort Eustis.

Dodi loved decorating, sewing, flower gardening, and the Williamsburg area. She and Bruce were active in the building of the new Saint Bede Church on Ironbound Road, in the Saint Andrew’s Society of Williamsburg, and in self-improvement. She graduated “summa cum laude” at Saint Leo University with a BS in Accounting in 1984. On retirement from the Civil Service in 1997, she was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service medal.

Celebration of Life Service will be held at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188, on June 10, 2020 at 11:00 am with reception to follow.

Nelsen Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements; inurnment will be in the Columbarium at Saint Bede. Online condolences may be shared at www.nelsenwilliamsburg.com.

Services

  • A Celebration of Life Service

    Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Memories

Dolores Agnes Schoch

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Kris HOSLER

June 16, 2020

RIP Dodo, I always looked forward to seeing you and Scottie and Bruce in the summers when you came to visit. Every time I use or hear the word "daresent" I honestly think of you. I know you are resting in the arms of Jesus and may the peace of Christ be with you and your family.

Bruce Schoch

May 6, 2020

Through Darkness into Light

I became my wife’s principle caregiver, gradually about 5 years ago and totally over the past 36 months, as dementia became more manifest. I became “retired retired” from government contract work and adjunct teaching to deal full-time with her many issues with memory, cognition, mobility, and communication. I prepared meals, helped her bath and dress, tried to maintain the house, and took her to all appointments. She loved being around other people, especially children, and we went somewhere, often just browsing, nearly every day. Six weeks ago, a terrible combination of dehydration, chemical imbalance, and a second broken hip had her and me either in the hospital or undergoing home rehabilitation. Three days before she passed, I started her in home hospice. She had not been eating for over two weeks and barely taking in or passing any fluids at all. During those last days, she never said anything beyond a rhythmic hum. During the last 24 hours, she did not open her eyes and could or would only lightly grasp my hand. About 10 minutes before the end, she opened her eyes wide, staring at the ceiling. I believe she saw the angel taking her to Heaven. Our living room had become the bedroom and our bedroom has over the months become a rabbit’s warren of her clothes and all the paraphernalia that women acquire. Since we came home from the hospital, the daily home health aide had been my conversation outlet. The nurses and physical therapist had been our visitors. I did notice the affects of the Stay at Home guidance on the few times I went out for necessities. Phone calls, texts, and email had become my communication, as it had for nearly everyone. I would watch religious services, listen to music channels and drift through the cooking shows and thus escape the hysteria of the news channels. It was Fifties/Sixties rock that we enjoyed when we dating playing as she drifted off. Three days later, I am very engaged in her final arrangements, for a funeral that is still weeks in the future, and getting ready for the stream of notifications and other post-mortem events that follow. Our daughter is visiting tomorrow, but it is brief since she and her husband need to be back in South Carolina. Her family is near Harrisburg, undergoing its own shutdown experience. My sisters are even farther away. Locally, I hear from all our friends, but they cannot visit yet. The house is full of her things, but empty of her. Even the dog senses what happened and has been withdrawn and even agitated. I cannot bring myself to sit on her sofa, but the dog can. Before the funeral home team arrived, he had jumped up and licked her legs and then briefly lay beside her. I have awakened from a doze to hear her voice, which I have not heard for weeks, or to see her sitting across from me, for a long fleeting moment. I kind of know what I am doing and going to be doing in the days and weeks to come. What I don’t know yet is what role I am to take up now that I am alone after 50 years.

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Biography

January 7, 1938 Epiphany
RCA published Development of Television State paper concerning their New York City experiment.
MGM announced Judy Garland would play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
A diver descended into the Grand Coulee Dam construction.
Mussolini announced major navy construction program.
Lee Tracy starred in Crashing Hollywood.
Edsel Ford, President of Ford Motors, had his photograph taken by Harris and Evan.
Dolores [Agnes] Bratina was born to Theresa and Joseph Bratina in Harrisburg, PA. She would be the first of five, and in her younger days, often went by “Dorothy” before she became Dodi.