TERRE HAUTE —
Vanita June Collings Dopher, a former longtime resident of Terre Haute, peacefully passed away Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at Millers Senior Living, in Indianapolis, at the age of 89. She was born June 25, 1923, in Greene County, to Orval and Velma Kelley Collings, and spent her childhood on the family farm in Bloomfield, Ind.
She graduated from Solsberry School in 1941 and soon after attended the Terre Haute Commercial College, where she graduated with a specialty in bookkeeping. Vanita worked briefly after college, but proudly spent most of her life as a homemaker caring for her family. A mother of four, Vanita led by example and taught her children the same values that served her all of her life. Her “waste not, want not” philosophy made her a good steward of the environment, as she often found new and creative ways to repurpose everyday items. Many of Vanita's talents stemmed from her mastery of the skills necessary to her early life on the farm. Not only was she an excellent seamstress, cook and gardener, but Vanita was also known for her beautiful cross-stitch work, and she enjoyed sharing this work with her children and grandchildren in the form of annual Christmas ornaments she made for each of them. Vanita was intensely sentimental and treasured even the smallest mementos, a collection which illustrates the sincere appreciation she had for family and friends, and serves as a reminder that she truly cherished every moment in her life. It is doubtful Vanita ever fully realized the immense joy she brought to her family and friends through her countless acts of love and kindness, for she was simply being a wife, mother and friend as best she knew how, and at each of these she excelled effortlessly. Her beautiful smile is captured in photographs, her laughter echoed in memories, and her love forever carried in the hearts of all who knew her.
Vanita is survived by her loving husband of 55 years, Walter C. Dopher Jr.; her sister, LaVonne Gallian of Bloomfield; her brother, Forrest Collings (Mary) of Springville; and her children, Vivian Phelps (Allen) of Indianapolis, Marcia Walker (Meredith) of Tennille, Ga., Donald Dopher (Sandra) of Strasburg, Colo., and Kenneth Dopher (Jean) of Escondido, Calif. She also is survived by seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several cousins, nieces; and nephews.
Visitation with family and friends will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 15, 2013, at Roselawn Funeral Home, 7500 N. Clinton Street, in Terre Haute. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. at the funeral home, followed by interment in Roselawn Memorial Park. Online condolences may be made at: