In remembrance of Doris Christensen, staff member
Although the death of a beloved member of a community can evoke sadness and grief in those close to them, it also allows the community to reflect on the lasting impact of their life. With the passing of long-time BSM staff member Doris Christensen on December 10th, the BSM community came together to find the joy in this sorrow by reaching closure with the legacy she left behind.
People will always remember how throughout her years at BSM Doris exemplified what it means to be a true Red Knight. “Doris’ death had a large impact on the BSM community because she exemplified what BSM has stood for throughout its history; a caring, faith-filled large family,” said alum of 1972 Dan Denmore. “She may have thought her contribution was just working in the kitchen, but it went much deeper than that.”
Doris began her work at BSM in the school cafeteria in the fall of 1963, where she collected people’s lunch money in the cash box; she was known for always treating the boys at Benilde with as much kindness as possible. “Whenever someone couldn’t pay for their lunch she simply wrote down their names even though she knew they couldn’t pay her back,” said math teacher Dan Bowler. “Her caring personality truly represents what BSM is about.”
While working in the kitchen, Doris acted as a second mother to all of the boys at Benilde. “Anyone who was in the work program or had to serve detention would do so by working in the kitchen,” said Dr. Tift. “The monks were really strict, but the second they left the kitchen Doris would give us cookies and offer to make us sandwiches.”
Doris’s care for everyone didn’t just stop when the school year ended, however, as her cheerful nature continued even when students weren’t around. “When BSM first switched over to Taher, we had to get rid of all the pre-existing food so Doris would make lunch for everyone there,” said Mrs. Moen, special events coordinator. “She loved doing things for other people, and she truly cared about everyone in the BSM community.”
Later in the 1990s, Doris switched from working in the cafeteria to the maintenance department, but no matter what jobs Doris completed, she maintained her signature, bright Doris smile. “I’ll miss her smile the most, and how she never had a bad word to say about anyone,” said BSM President Dr. Tift.
Even with complicating medical conditions, Doris’s work at BSM persevered whenever she was able to come to the school, and she inspired others with her continued dedication. “Many of us looked to Doris as a second-mother, and she showed us the beauty in simple acts of kindness and how helpful they are,” said Dr. Tift.