A year ago we spoke with a great, inspirational lady by the name of Doris Ehli. She was 90 years old at the time. It was only April of 2020, and the pandemic had seemingly just started. She had already survived COVID-19, and was quarantined inside of the Marias Heritage Center, which had been the hardest hit in the state from the virus at the time.

Doris passed away this past weekend (non-COVID related), surrounded by family.

We got a call from Tim Tharp in Savage, Montana. He says Doris was like an adopted grandma for him. Despite being quarantined inside of the facility, and unable to see her friends and family on the outside, Doris kept her faith and maintained a positive attitude.

THARP: She remained positive throughout all of this and nothing but complimentary toward all of the National Guard members who were there helping because, like you said, my mother in law was in there at the same time. That place just got hammered hard and ended up with six deaths out of the building early on in the early days of the pandemic. During the whole time Doris remained positive about it, which was just an example for all of us.

Our friend, and longtime Montana broadcaster, Norma Ashby in Great Falls first told us about Doris before we got a chance to speak with her one year ago from inside of her room at the Marias Heritage Center. 

I loved the quote from Phil Drake's piece in The Great Falls Tribune- "Weathering the storm: Shelby woman clings to faith in Heritage Center to survive COVID-19."


“I have a different attitude than a lot of people,” the spry Ehli said during a telephone interview. “I am a born-again Christian. I said ‘Oh Lord, you will either keep me here and heal me or take me home with you. Either way I am a winner.’”

The Lord has now taken her home.

Her obituary notes that "Doris was born on May 25, 1929 to Lincoln and Margaret (Murphy) Sammons on the family ranch near St. Kilda, Alberta on the North end of the Sweet Grass Hills. She arrived prematurely at a whopping 3 lbs. and spent several weeks wrapped in a breadbasket on the oven stove door."

Doris and her husband led a Bible study and prayer sessions on the nearby Blackfeet Nation for nearly 20 years.

According to Asper Funeral Homes, her celebration of life will be at the Sunburst Methodist Church on Saturday, May 1 at 10:00 am with food and fellowship immediately after at the Sunburst Methodist church.

Doris Ehli, Credit Artha Dunk
Doris Ehli, Credit Artha Dunk

Here's our phone call with Doris Ehli back in April of 2020.


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