“DODO” Dolores A. Dumanch, age 90, of Eau Claire and formerly of Clam Lake and Lake Namagakon, passed away peacefully from COPD on Dec. 8th, 2020 with her daughter and son-in-law by her side.
Dodo was born to Henry and Anna (Stamberger) Rast on May 3rd, 1930 in Glidden, WI. When Dodo and her brother Milton were still young their family moved out to Clam Lake, WI (in the heart of the Chequamegon forest) where Dodo ended up living in Clam Lake for most of her life.
As a teenager Dodo was a trained ice skater and performed in ice skating shows in WI & MN. When she fell and cracked her hip while skating she had to hang up her skates. Dodo married Edward (Jack) Dumanch in 1949 and together they had two daughters- Michelle and Robin. When Jack came down with tuberculosis and was confined in the sanitarium Dodo had to find work to support her young family and ended up moving back to Clam Lake near her folks. Fortunately Dodo was appointed Postmaster of Clam Lake in 1956 and at that time she was the youngest Postmaster in the state and stayed in that position for 50 years. Dodo and Jack later divorced.
Dodo was very active in her small community and she was the one person everyone would come to for advice or guidance on civic or personal issues. Dodo was a voracious reader and always wanted to learn more. She was both interesting and interested. These qualities led her to a life full of many many dear friends-young and old-over her long life.
You could easily say Dodo was somewhat of a ‘legend’ up in her beloved northern Wisconsin. She truly was one of those women pioneers of her generation that everyone had so much respect for and love for and looked up to. Dodo also knew how to have fun and was always the life of any party!
Dodo held many official leadership roles within her NAPUS (National Assoc. of Postmasters of U.S.) organization. Elected to Vice President on the national level for the 4th class offices where she spoke in Washington D.C. and traveled all over the country trying to save many of the smaller 4th class offices that were on the chopping block. She was also elected to serve as Vice President on the state of Wisconsin NAPUS organization and was very active and instrumental.
Dodo never thought of herself as being ‘old’. She backpacked around Germany and France with a friend in her mid 60’s and treated herself to a fabulous African Photo Safari trip for her 80th birthday with her dear friend Jeanne Baxter and Jeanne’s sons. Her daughters took her on numerous trips for milestone birthdays. One of those fun trips to New York and Washington D.C. included shows on Broadway and a Segway tour around D.C. where Dodo took quite a fall in front of the Whitehouse lawn, but fortunately the helmet protected her head! She dusted herself off and got back on her Segway and completed the tour. She was 70 at the time.
Dodo retired at 75 and then moved 12 miles west to her home on Lake Namakagon. She so loved her lake view from her living room and all of her lake friends there too. But Clam Lake was always “home” to her. Some of her favorite hang-outs were Garmisch and Lakewoods. It was hard on Dodo when her COPD complicated her life and she needed to move to Eau Claire to be closer to her daughter. She made the best of it and enjoyed being able to see more of her family.
There are so many stories to tell about Dodo and if only she’d written a book about her remarkable life! It would have been a best seller! She was already written about in the book, The Clam Lake Papers, authored by Edward Lueders years ago. Dodo always had a twinkle in her eye and had a great laugh.
Her daughters and their families were very much her pride and joy and loved it when they would get together-especially at her beloved lake. Dodo took her grandkids ice skating when she was in her 60’s and fell and got a concussion after racing granddaughter Kacey, and not to be deterred, the following summer she insisted on going water skiing behind a 25 hp fishing boat that grandson Kyle was driving and she fell and cracked 3 ribs! This Gramma was not to be outdone! She was showing her grandkids how to live life! With gusto!! Dodo loved spending time with all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Her life was amazing. She sat next to Green Bay Packer legend Ray Nitschke at a postal banquet years ago and she was thrilled when he let her try on his championship ring. And then the time she chased down then Vice President Nixon in the hallway of the Capital building in D.C. before the Secret Service swarmed her-but of course she got VP Nixon to turn around and come back and talk to her about her issue. She really was one of a kind. In Dodo’s own words, “I had a really great time!”
Dodo will be immensely missed by her loving family and many friends and we will now have to warm our hearts with all of our wonderful memories of her and remember how very lucky we were to have had her with us for so long.
Dodo’s family would like to especially thank St Croix Hospice of Eau Claire for their wonderful comfort care they provided our mom these last two years and especially for the loving care the last few weeks and months. You are true earth angels and were always there for mom and us. Mom could be stubborn and you handled it all so beautifully. We’d also like to thank Julie Hayden’s caregiving team of Julie, Meghan, Donna and Lori and numerous others for their tender loving care provided our mom during these last couple of years and during some of her toughest times. You were always there for her and for us. You were amazing. The entire staff at Oakwood Hills Retirement Living were all so wonderful to our mom and they truly enjoyed her spunky nature and her good sense of humor. You provided a very loving and caring environment for our mom’s final years. Thank you and God bless all of you mentioned here.
Dodo was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Milty and his wife Fran Rast and numerous other relatives and many close friends.
Dodo is survived by her daughters, Michelle Borman of Seattle, WA and Robin (Jim) McCorison of Altoona, WI and former son-in-law Steve Borman of Yelm, WA.
Grandchildren, Kacey (Carlos) Morrow of Edmonds, WA and Kyle (Katie) McCorison of Wausau, WI and step grandchildren, Ryan Borman of Yelm, WA and Seth (Sarah) Borman of Temecula, CA.
Great grandchildren, Will, Gus, Alice, Lydia, John, Lucy, Leo, Chloe and Claire.
The family is planning on a graveside burial and celebration of Dodo’s life this coming July. (Covid permitting)
In lieu of flowers please consider St Croix Hospice or Feed My People food bank.
Thank you to everyone who ever knew our mom and loved her. You enriched her life.
Chippewa Valley Cremation Services—Celebration of Life Center in Altoona is serving the family. To offer online condolences please visit, www.chippewavalleycremation.com.