Alice Doran passed away December 30, 2013 at St. Mary's Care Center in Madison of respiratory failure after a blessedly brief illness. She was 98 years old.
The former Alice Fanning was born November 3, 1915, the daughter of Miles Fanning and Elizabeth Snyder Fanning in Janesville. She lived in the Janesville area until 2000. She then lived with her daughter Carol in Madison until 2009, and in her final years at St. Mary's Care Center.
Her father was born near Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon, Ireland, and immigrated as a child with his family in about 1885. His was one of several related Fanning and Malone families who settled in and near the Town of Johnstown, between Janesville and Milton. Alice lived on Johnstown farms for parts of her childhood. Her Snyder grandparents were also Johnstown area immigrants, part of a grouping of several families from the same section of Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic. One of the great interests of Alice's life was preserving and recording the history of her parents' families. She compiled the first version of "The Fannings of County Roscommon, Ireland and Rock County, Wisconsin", a work since ably carried on by others.
Alice was a member of St. Mary's Parish in Janesville until her marriage in 1946, and of St. Patrick's Parish in Janesville for the rest of her life.
Alice graduated from Janesville High School in 1931, at the age of 15. She was employed for a number of years in the 1930's and 1940's in the product testing lab at Parker Pen Company.
Alice became reacquainted with a high school classmate, Henry Doran, while he was home on leave from United States Army service during World War II. Henry, a lifelong Janesville resident with family history in the city dating to the 1850's, served for 30 years as a letter carrier. They were married March 4, 1946, a few weeks after Henry's discharge from the army, at St. Mary's Church.
Alice worked in the offices of several Janesville businesses, but her principal career was a as a devoted wife, mother and homemaker. In addition to the ample basic challenges of caring for four children, she sewed many of their clothes and kept large gardens in her yard and in rented space nearby. Alice's mother lived with the family for many years and was her valuable partner in many of those homemaking tasks, including canning fruits and vegetables from those gardens.
Alice volunteered her excellent typing skills for many community and individual purposes. She also enjoyed collecting buttons, collecting coins, making quilts, crocheting, and refinishing furniture. She enjoyed playing cards, particularly with a close-knit group of friends in a bridge club that lasted several decades. She printed her own photographs in a makeshift kitchen darkroom. She was the primary caregiver for both her mother and her husband in their later years, and was a longtime volunteer at the meal sites for senior citizens.
She is survived by her daughter Carol Doran, of Madison; son Ken Doran (Dianne Carlson) of Madison; daughter Janet (Robert) Reiland of Pittsburgh, PA; daughter Phyllis Doran (David Moser) of Chester Springs, PA; grandchildren Jonathan Reiland, Gregory Reiland, Taylor Doran and Olivia Doran; greatgranddaughter Isabella Murillo; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 54 years Henry Doran, in 2000; her brother Robert Fanning; and her sister Florence (Betty) Knudson. Another brother, Howard Fanning, died in childhood.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Patrick's Church in Janesville on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 10:30 a.m., with interment to follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Janesville. Visitation will be on Monday, January 6, 2014 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Schneider Apfel Schneider & Schneider Funeral Home, 1800 E. Racine St., Janesville.