Cover photo for Deloris M. McDonough Zell's Obituary
Deloris M. McDonough Zell Profile Photo
1928 Deloris 2020

Deloris M. McDonough Zell

April 24, 1928 — March 30, 2020


Deloris McDonough Zell was born April 24, 1928 in Johnson, Minnesota to Emma (Norenberg) and Otto Hoffman.  She grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota with 5 brothers and one sister.  She loved to share stories about the fun & mischief she and her siblings got into on the farm (especially her!) It was instilled in her early, the true value of family and how you always love and care for your family.  They knew how to do family and carried on the tight knit relationships through the many up & downs of life and across state lines and generations, even now with her much loved nieces & nephews and their families. Working In her late teens as a Ma Bell Telephone operator, while out one night dancing, she met a jaunty handsome Irishman.  His name was Warren “Mick” McDonough. They soon married and moved to Montana to be by family, eventually landing in Helena.    They then moved to Shelby, where they raised their 3 sons, Dennis, Mike and Pat and their daughter, Pam.  Never a dull moment in that household!   Deloris worked as an ASCS Program Assistant there until retirement 30 years later.  She had many friends at work and knew most every farmer in the area and they all considered her a friend throughout the years.  Deloris & Mick spent many years having much fun with longtime friends, with some of the most special & happiest memories spent out camping & fishing…they loved fishing! (Especially for walleye) & playing card games of all sorts, (especially cribbage) and many an intense game of horseshoes was always going on! Mick passed away in 1993.  Deloris then met Rawlin Zell out dancing at a Senior Center party.  They married and she spent several happy years being a country girl again, until Rawlin passed away in 2010.   Deloris then moved to the Heritage Center, where she thrived with all the activities and many visits & comings and goings with family and her special friend, Bill Ahrens…and an almost weekly visit to her dear Dr. Clary.  She was a joyful, fun, bright spot for residents, their families, and staff alike and they all loved her dearly and they were her 2nd family.  Her very favorite thing was the many, many family get-togethers and celebrations with good food, laughter, games, fun and lots & lots of family, kids and grandkids & even now great grandbabies around. Many of those the last several years taking place down at Pat and Jeanne’s at the River.  All her kids and grands also knew from Gramma D that everything could be fixed with a milkshake, a pound or 2 of fried side pork or hamburger goulash!!

Deloris will always be remembered as a “Bearer of Laughter and Love”.  She had an infectious laugh and rarely let life’s difficulties keep her down.  She just chose to let things go, forgive and forget and pick herself up and move forward with a smile. Laughter was her constant companion...she just loved a good joke or silliness of all sorts, being the first one to rat herself out for crazy things she’d done.  Her greatest gift though, was this incredible ability to make people feel loved! Her family always felt it and her friends and many around town or wherever she went.  She almost never left anyone without a big hug or grabbing their hand and saying “I love you” and she meant it and you knew it.  Leaving family was always a major event as no one ever got away without that big kiss, hug and I love you!

To say that she was a one of a kind does not do her justice.  She was always a “classy” lady dressed to the nines with her infamous jewelry and her beautiful white hair looking lovely. She was the center of her large incredibly loving family …having true special relationships with all…from the babies to the teens, with her kids, grandkids and great grandkids, their friends and extended family. She also loved music, singing, dancing, jewelry, shopping for clothes & always a new shoe!

Of course, you can’t begin to sum up the life of someone who lived on such a grand scale of love.  The lives she touched, the true joy and fun she shared, the undying love of her family will live on in us always.   If you were Blessed to know her…you were Blessed Indeed!  She had great faith and we know she is now laughing and hugging her greetings around heaven and putting in a good word for all of us.  She went in peace and we send her with the greatest of love into the Arms of Pure Love…until we meet again.  So, with a big kiss, giant Hugs forever…we love you!

Deloris passed away March 30, 2020.

Deloris is survived by her sons & their families: Dennis (Cindy)McDonough--Carrie (Chuck) Pritchard ~ Patrick McDonough, Corey VandeKop, Jillanne Arner; Kristy (Russ)McKay~Jase,Logan

Mike (Patty)McDonough--Mical McDonough~Oliver; Mick (Brandy)McDonough~Blaine, Sarah

Pat (Jeanne) McDonough: --Bridget (Mark) Blevins~Chloe, Cami, Cael; Brianna (Tom) Hansen~Birte, Brodey & Rowdy White; Brooke (Jabez) Rogers~Lucas, Mac, Wyatt, Halle; Daniel (Leanne) McDonough~Finley, Shane; David McDonough;

daughter: Pam (Tom)Bogan--Jeff Bomar, Sam (Hannah) Bomar;

and numerous extended family, a sister in law, nieces & nephews and their families.

Memorials can be made to Marias Heritage Center Activities Fund, 111 2nd St South, Shelby, MT 59474.

A service will be at later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Deloris M. McDonough Zell, please visit our flower store.


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