LISTEN! Do you hear that? The heavenly choir increased by one when Dorris Atkins Wieting flew to Jesus on November 7, 2009. To those of us who remain, we feel blessed to have known her for 83 years. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend and her uncommon grace, love and compassion will be sorely missed by those who love her.
Dorris was the first child born to Elmer and Ethel Bingham Atkins on February 9, 1926, in Choate, Texas. Dorris is survived by her brothers and their families, Jimmy (Kay) Atkins of Portland, Texas, and Carl Atkins, Jr., of San Marcos, Texas; her son, L. J. Wieting, Jr., and his wife Cathie Messer Wieting, of Houston, Texas, and their two children Anagail Lynette and Jamison Franklin; by her daughter, Beckie Bright, and her husband Jeff Bright of Bastrop, Texas, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Dorris is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Joyce Troy, Patsy Smith, and Sandra Lindley, and by her husband of 59 ½ years, Leroy Wieting. The family soon moved to Runge, Texas, where in high school she found her sweetheart and in 1945, she married Leroy James Wieting.
In 1958 they moved to Portland, Texas, which remained their hometown for the rest of their lives. Their home was always open for family and friends, church fellowships, countless receptions, and annual Christmas Eve parties cherished by all. In 1962, Leroy was elected as a Texas State Representative and for the next 22 years, Leroy served in the foreground, but Dorris immersed herself in serving in the background. Afterward, Leroy served as a lobbyist until his death in 2005. So while Leroy served in the Texas House of Representatives, Dorris served as an officer in the Legislative Ladies Club, (LLC) and sponsored luncheons and trips, with the most memorable being a trip to Kingsville, where the wives boarded nine small planes, toured A&I and had lunch at the King Ranch . In 1993, the LLC published “How to Survive as the Wife of a Texas Legislator, by Betty Elliot Hanna. Dorris is quoted in various sections but the most memorable passage was about one of their trips to the LBJ Ranch when President Johnson toured them around and then invited them into his and Lady Bird’s bed and bath rooms to freshen up. The commode was up, and President Johnson quickly put it down and said, “Lady Bird would get all over me if that is up!”
Throughout their lives, they remained involved in every Baptist church they attended. Whether it was the First Baptist Church of Portland, the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Gideon’s International, whenever Leroy held an office, Dorris was equally involved in the women’s equivalent.
Visitation was at Limbaugh Funeral Home, Wednesday night, November 11, 2009, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. A reception was held at 3:00 pm at the Fellowship Hall at the First Baptist Church in Portland followed by a celebration of Doris’s life at 4 :00 pm at the First Baptist Church. Graveside services were in Austin, Texas at the Texas State Cemetery on Friday at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Gideon’s International, Corpus Christi, Texas, or an organization of your choice.