Doris Eilene Tuntland | Obituary

April 8, 1926 – July 24, 2022

Doris Eilene Tuntland, affectionately known as ‘Gramma D,’ died peacefully on July 24, 2022 surrounded by loving family.

Doris was born in her family home in Trail City, South Dakota on April 8, 1926 to Tracy and Ann Boheman Campbell. At the age of 13, Doris and her family relocated to Auburn, Washington. While Auburn became her new home, it was on the Dakota plains that Doris learned resilience, faith and generosity; values that would come to define her life and legacy.

On February 9, 1947, she married Virgil Tuntland and three years later they moved to a small dairy farm in the lower Auburn valley where they raised their five children. Doris was the strength and heartbeat of her family. In the summer she and her eldest son, Jimmy, made sure the hay was bailed and stored. In the fall she sewed clothes so that each of her kids had a new outfit for the first day of school.

While money was often tight, Doris never let this reality inhibit her generosity. When the neighbor’s farm burned down in the night, she hurried over with clothes for the entire family. When her daughter Suzann’s girl scout troop was hard pressed for new uniforms, Doris found a pile of used ones that were several sizes too big and sewed each girl a custom-made outfit. All the while Doris worked various jobs to help support her family including work with the Milwaukee and Burlington Northern railroad companies.

Doris was a woman of remarkable faith and an active member in the White River Presbyterian Church where she taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school. Doris and her sisters often prepared church meals and each of her kids knew how to run the church dishwasher from a young age. Her belief in God’s grace would remain a source of peace and encouragement throughout her life.

In the spring of 1965 Doris moved to East Main Street where she would reside until she turned 90 years old. During these years Doris spent her favorite days with family at Lake Tapps watching her son Rory water ski or picking wild mountain blackberries for a pie. Doris was known for her pancakes which were the highlight for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the morning after a sleepover. Each Christmas Eve everyone gathered at Gramma D’s for the most anticipated night of the year. Family was so important to Doris and she loved hers deeply and unconditionally. Her family will miss her beyond measure.

Doris was also a skilled gardener and cultivated a beautiful yard, complete with her favorite flowers: peony, hydrangea and iris. While caring for her yard, she would often smirk and quote her mother, saying, “nature doesn’t care if all the colors go together.” Such moments reflected Doris’ keen sense of humor that was witty, smart and always spot-on.

Once her children were grown, Doris enjoyed the opportunity to travel. She visited her daughter Suzann, while teaching in Germany, Korea and England. Doris also traveled to Switzerland, to see where her daughter Dawn had gone to school. One memorable experience, was a roadtrip with her three daughters across the United States in the little, bright yellow, Opal Cadet. Doris also made several trips back to her beloved Trail City, South Dakota.

Doris spent the last six years of her life at Merrill Garden in Auburn, cared for primarily and with much gratitude by her youngest daughter, Robin. During this time, she connected with old friends and enjoyed new relationships. Doris was grateful to remain in her cherished community.

With thanksgiving, her family commends her into the loving presence of God with words from her favorite scripture, Psalm 139: I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength uphold me.

She is survived by her daughters Suzann McFeat of Selah, Dawn McHugh (Kevin) and Robin Tuntland, both of Olympia, daughter-in-law Karen Tuntland, of Woodland, sister, Mary Jane Tinsley of Auburn and sister-in-law Audrey Campbell, eight grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Preceding her in death were two sons, James Tuntland (d. June, 2022) and Rory Tuntland (d. May, 1995), her grandson, Jason as well as her siblings, Ethel Garrison (Don) , Beverly Keegan (Duane), Tracy Campbell (Rene), Rodger Campbell (Barbara), Vincent Campbell and her brother-in-law, Bill Tinsley.

Friends and family are invited to a memorial service to celebrate her life on Saturday, September 17th at 11:00 am at Harrison Square Presbyterian Church in Centralia. Memorial gifts in remembrance of Doris may be sent to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (1100 Fairview Ave . Mailstop M3-B232 Seattle, WA 98109), Tacoma Rescue Mission (425 South Tacoma Way Tacoma, WA 98402) or American Heart Association (PO Box 840692 Dallas, TX 75284).