Dolores was born in Brooklyn New York on July 19th 1931 during the Great Depression. She grew up in a very large tight knit family always 4 or 5 generations strong. She grew up in a household with a well-respected and very popular Rabbi as a grandfather who instilled in her, at an early age, the love for her religious heritage – of which she was always extremely proud. The memories of lessons learned during World War II, stayed with her all of her life, she fiercely defended her faith.
She also defended her patriotism. Dolores loved her country very much. You could find her on the 4 of July decked out from head to toe in American flags from her earrings to socks, including her finger nails; she was a walking talking advertisement for her pride. She never missed an opportunity to vote, and gave you an earful if you even thought of missing the polls. This was always viewed as another event for her Flag uniform to be worn with pride.
She was very close to her Sister Ruth. They were almost like twins, joined at the hip. The stories with these two and so many that there are too many to recount. The antic’s that these two got into are actually family legend. To the last hospital stay that Dolores had, strangers later recounted the fits of laughter they had just heard the two sisters engage in. They were always there for each other, comforting each other, supporting each other and getting into well-mannered mischief. They had their own language that no one else understood.
She was also very close to her brother Harold, for who she felt like a second mom to growing up. Her feelings toward Harold were very protective; she often looked after him when he was a baby, so that her parents could work. She always kept in contact with him, no matter where he was. While Harold was in Korea he sent her many beautiful gifts, that she treasured her whole life.
When Dolores was in her early teens she contracted rheumatic fever. This kept her out of school and in bed for a year. It was during this time that her love for reading and needlework began. Anyone who knew Dolores knew that she could complete a novel in 2 days (sometimes even 1). Her home was always filled bookcases filled to the brim, and every corner of the house had a stack of books in it. She could never get enough. Books were shared through the family and would go from one person to the next. Books were always to be cherished, and no matter how much anyone tried, Dolores was not about having an electronic reader as she loved the feeling of holding a book.
Dolores married her beloved Ralph in 1960. Ralph was the love of her life and she was his. This was a love that she fiercely defended, and would smack you down if you made a judgement, which many people did due to their age difference. They had a romantic love, and she was showered in attention and affection. There was always at least 1 red rose in a vase somewhere in the house. Always a secret message to her to remind her that he was thinking of her. She and her beloved had two children, Dessie and Dean, whom she loved dearly. She worked a second job to make sure they had music lessons, orthopedic shoes for Dean and Braces for Dessie.
Her Dear Ralph passed away on April 5th 1982, leaving her a widow at the age of 51. Breaking her heart and forever changing the way her life looked and felt. Tragically, she lost her son in 2014, another loss that caused her great pain and one from which she never fully bounced back from.
The light of her life and source of her joy was her grandchildren, Rachel and Andrew. She spent a lot of time with them as they were growing up and loved each of their choices for spouses. When the great-grandchildren came along, her heart grew even larger, she was known for carrying at least 2 books of photos in purse of each child – she just adored Conner, Abby and Rory. In addition she loved her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great nephews and great-great nieces and great-great nephews were always on her mind- and in her heart. She was also incredibly proud of her son-in-law, Jerry. If you were in a room long enough with Dolores, you would get an earful on Jerry’s accomplishments. Her world was family. It was her strongest motivation.
There wasn’t anything that Dolores couldn’t make with a needle and thread. From making wedding dresses or veils for her nieces to knitting blankets for charity to embroidering exquisite baby blankets for each baby born into the family. Everything she made was exquisite – nothing was impossible for her to make. She was well versed in many forms of needlework, and was known for this talent. She was also known for finishing projects for others, both for family and for friends.
Dolores was great with numbers. A Bookkeeper by trade, she worked for Foremost/Knudson Dairy for 37 years, in addition to doing the drivers books to helping them balance their accounts at the end of the month. She also worked for her Son’s design company as his bookkeeper for many years. But to Dolores her favorite job in life was working as a Taxi service for her grandchildren and half of Tujunga for 15 years.
Dolores loved to travel. When she wasn’t working she was demanding a road trip. She didn’t care where, but she had to go. If she sat too long she had shpilkes and told Ralph “let’s go!” She loved Solvang and Ports-o-call. She loved visiting the National Parks, as often as time would permit. She would load up her kids, and Ethel into Ralph’s big blue van named Nancy and off they went.
Dolores was the one of the world’s greatest Dodger fans. This was one truest consistent passions of her life. She followed her Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles. She could always quote the Dodger stats and never missed a game. If there was cause to leave her home when a game was on, you could always find her in a corner asking “Siri, what is the score of the Dodger game”. She loved the sport and that team all of her life. And GOD help you if you ever tried to argue with her about that. Her loyalty was pure.
Dolores left us on Friday, March 13, 2020 after a fast and brutal battle with Cancer. She never once complained of pain and was still feisty right up until the last minute. The world has lost a true treasure and the sun will shine a little less bright.
Dolores leaves behind;
Her daughter and Son-in-law Dessie and Jerry Clark
Her Grandchildren, Rachel and Mathew Berning and Andrew and Jenna Clark
Her Great Grandchildren, Conner Berning, Abigail Berning and Rory Clark
Her Sister Ruth Hirsh, Her Nieces Anita, Donna and Paula and their families
Her Brother Harold , Her Niece Olivia and Nephew David and their families
She also leaves behind many Beloved Cousins and Family Friends.
Please visit the Guest Book below and leave a Tribute to Dolores.
Bubbie By Rachel Berning
Some of my earliest memories of Bubbie were Saturday night at her mobile home. Mom and Dad had a long standing date that they went out every Saturday, rain or shine, and Andy and I went to Bubbie’s. She would make sure that we had our favorite food to eat while there. She would record all of our favorite cartoons all week long and we would sit under the raised foot rest of her recliner and watch them. She had a big toy box in the corner filled with all kinds of stuff. But what I remember the most was sitting and watching her do needle work. She would make baby blankets for the newest arrivals, ornaments for Mom’s tree or for other’s Hanukkah bushes, and covers for tissue boxes… she was always making something. I was fascinated watching her fingers work, the tiny little Xs she’d make, the swift and exact snips with those tiny little scissors, the prefect knots that disappeared into the project. I still proudly put up the ornaments she made me every year. My kids still wear the scarves she made when it’s cold.
My parents did not go out of town together very often but when they did, we stayed with Bubbie. She had a huge bed in her room and one side of her bedroom was lined in shelves. On those shelves were dolls. There were so many dolls: porcelain dolls on stands, teddy bears, Kewpie dolls, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Barbie dolls in big red dresses, dolls in kimonos and dolls with braids and moccasins. Normally we were not supposed to touch these dolls but when we spent the night, after we put our pajamas on and brushed our teeth, and Bubbie had completed her long procedure of “protecting my hair while I sleep” ritual, she would let us pick one doll to sleep with. We would all then pile into bed and she would read to us as Andy and I drifted to sleep.
Bubbie was a huge part of my childhood. Besides Saturday nights, birthdays and holidays, after my mother went back to work, she become our after school and summer guardian. She sat in the car and waited in the cold and heat for us to come out of school everyday. She was the first person who got to hear about how great my day was and the grade I got on my test. She was also the first person to weather my storms if I had a bad day. Looking back on it, I did not give her the credit she deserved on how well she handled everything that was thrown at her. Even when it was clear that she didn’t know what to say or do, she listened with loving and caring ears. I’m so grateful for our car rides.
The car was a place where a lot of memories were made. In the summer time we would go pick up my great grandmother and take her to lunch or we would go to Bubbie’s apartment to swim. On the drive we would play travel games like trying to be the first person to spot the out of state license plate. That game got super competitive and lead to us keeping a running list of who spotted which. Eventually that lead to analysis, which were the most common plates and which were the rarest. How many out of state plates did we see this month? And then ….This year? She also let my brother and I have control of the radio which was very, very generous of her. She listened to everything from TLC to Greenday to Smashing Pumpkins and didn’t complain. Well, didn’t complain a lot.
Another special memory I have of my Bubbie that involves the car also includes egg rolls. This is a memory that belongs to no one but us. At the time I was working at a veterinarian hospital. I went straight from high school to work several days a week. Sometimes I didn’t get a chance to eat. On those days, Bubbie would stop and get a couple boxes of egg rolls. She would park a block away from my work, under a huge oak tree, roll down all the windows, so we could enjoy our snack in the shade. I looked forward to these moments. It was a moment of calm, relaxation, and laughter in-between one responsibility to another. The egg rolls were a delicious bonus.
I very clear memory I have of my grandmother happened in the summer. I can’t remember how old I was. My brother and I were swimming in the pool. Bubbie was sitting in a chair next to the pool watching us. One of her neighbors came out and started taking to her, asking her questions about Andy and I. At one point, the neighbor said, “How lucky you are to have one of each, a boy and a girl grandchild. Which is your favorite?” I was trying to act like I wasn’t listening but I remember her face and her clear strong words, “I don’t have a favorite. I love them both the same.” I loved Bubbie more for this answer then I ever told her. I cannot explain why.
There are just somethings that will always remind me of her. There are too many stories too tell and in some cases, no stories at all. Just clips, habits, memories, moments in time that are tied to her. Yarn, thimbles, rosy cheeks and margaritas. Ice skating, Beauty and the Beast, pancakes for lunch. Cats the Musical, and cows. Coffee. 4th of July, the Dodgers, and hot dogs. The smell of Aqua Net and baby powder. Potty mouth and thank you cards. Trips to the movie theater, popcorn in her huge purse. Shopping. Sweaters with tissues and cough drops in the pockets. Pink sweetener packets, the color red, being told to say “Bread and Butter” to make sure you are never parted from her and Hugs.
When I sit down and think about the things that we shared, the things that we have in common, it’s more than I realized. I treat books like friends the way she did. I will think of her whenever I get lost in a book. I like to make fiber art and keep my hands busy. I often have a project in my purse. I will think of her when I start a new cross stitch. I will smile every time I eat wor wonton soup. I love adventures and being on the move but also value routine like her. It’s hard to say if I learned these traits through the loving eyes of a child, or if it was hard wired into my system. Either way, I’m glad to have part of her.
City of Hope
Let a loved one battling cancer know they are in your thoughts, celebrate a survivor or commemorate the memory of those who have passed on by making a gift.
Bubbie By Andrew Clark
I have so many memories of Bubbie, she was loving and feisty at the same time. Some of these pictures in my mind include:
On multiple occasions when Bubbie came to pick me up from my High school she would have a hard time finding a parking spot. So, she would circle the school driving slowly, sometimes making multiple passes ….. eventually we would notice her and when my friends and I would look up at her, she would flip us the bird and then keep driving. I would flip her off as well and everyone thought was shocked and thought we were both crazy. But that was absolutely hilarious to her, she loved seeing the expression on my friends faces.
I had a pair of friends who were twin brothers named Dusty and Jason. Jason was very outgoing while Dusty was a bit shy and well mannered. Bubbie regularly gave Jason a ride home. She often drove Jason and all of my friends here and there. On the particular day I’m thinking of Dusty got into the car instead of Jason. Dusty opened the door and was just about to get into the car when Bubbie turned around and said “NOPE GET OUT OF MY CAR”. Dusty jumped out of the car and started walking away really fast. Bubbie was trying to not pass out from laughter, she was hysterical but finally yelled out “GET BACK IN THE CAR YOU LITTLE….I won’t repeat what she called him. Now, I’m buckled over with laughter and he is now almost at the end of the block practically running at this point. So I got in the car and explained to her that she just met the shy twin who she had not been introduced to yet…no the twin whom she was accustomed to teasing. So we went after him, and she nearly hit a trash can and several other things along the way because now she was laughing harder than I’ve seen her laugh before. In the end, all was well, but for as long as I live I will never forget that day, everyone’s faces and hysterical laughter mixed in with my Bubbie’s seriously colorful sense of humor.
One of my favorite things in life is listening to music. Bubbie always made sure I had a CD Walkman, especially because I was always listing to music. And, of course, I always breaking them or wearing them out. When she would pick me up I would put whatever CD I was listening to into her car stereo.. And she would always find whatever repetitive lyric there was in each song, and make her own up to make me laugh, and to also drive me crazy. She was very entertaining.
Rachel and I also had a favorite radio station called KROQ. Each year they would put out a calendar that Rachel and I both had to have. Bubbie would drive all over, every year, to make sure we both had one. No matter how much of a hassle it might have been, she always did it before we could even ask.
Saturday Night was Date night for my parents and every weekend we went to bubbies house . She would always got special food for me, and for Rachel. She would record show for us to watch. Cartoons, SNL, and her shows as well. We would all gather around the TV and watch our shows. Every time I eat fried chicken it takes me back. We had so much fun, and fried chicken has always been a comfort food for me. Thank you Bubbie.
Another memory I have of Bubbie was Friday afternoon Movie Day. During the Summer or School breaks, Bubbie would take us to the movies every Friday. This was a whole thing. If the movie was at l, we had to be there at 10, because she was positive we would be late and miss the trailers. Of course we would always be there to see the trailers before the trailers on the showing before the movie we were there to see. In her magic purse with no bottom, was always our favorite treats and she already had movie popcorn in her purse. We had a blast and she took us to every movie my sister and I wanted to see.
I want to thank my Bubbie putting me on her AAA account so that I never got stranded, for always driving me to and from school, for treating my friends like family, for always taking me to sport chalet, for celebrating Christmas with us, for rapping in the car with me, letting me stay in the pool for just a few minutes longer, for always making me laugh, for always being there for us. We will all miss you so much.
“O God, You have been our refuge in every generation
Before the mountains came into being
before You brought forth the earth and the world
from eternity to eternity You are God.” —Psalm 90
The gallery below is a tribute to Dolores from her family and friends.
Please select an image to view it within the gallery.