A pair of talented, dedicated and hard-working sisters were honored last week for their many years of public and community service.
Arlene Ross and Lorece Doerr of Lovell were honored as citizens of the year by Tri-Mountain View Masonic Lodge No. 35 during a special ceremony Thursday at the lodge hall in Lovell.
Arlene and Lorece are the daughters of the late Homer and Ella Keller, who were both active in the community and in the Masonic order, Homer as a past master of the lodge and a Shriner and Ella as a member of Eastern Star. Both Arlene and Lorece were also Eastern Star members and Job’s Daughters.
The sisters were born in Ainsworth, Neb., where their father worked for the J.P. Croff Co. department store. The family moved to Sheridan and then to Lovell with J.P. Croff. The Kellers later operated a shoe store, and Homer was the local State Farm Insurance agent.
Lorece and Arlene grew up in Lovell and graduated from Lovell High School – Lorece in 1949 and Arlene in 1951.
Lorece went on to DePaul University to study music, then the University of Wyoming. She married Dick Doerr in 1952, and the Doerrs lived in Sidney, Neb., where Dick worked for Ohio Oil, then moved back to Lovell and, in 1974, they moved on to Cody with Marathon Oil. Dick retired in 1987, and Dick and Lorece moved to Lovell in 1989 after building their new home.
Lorece sold real estate for many years, working as a broker for ERA Real Estate for 16 years, and she taught music, both voice and piano, for 27 years. She has three children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Arlene worked for First National Bank in high school and afterward, married Richard Sessions in 1953 and moved to Browning, Mont., a couple of years later, then back to Lovell in 1964. She started working for the Big Horn National Forest in 1969 and married Miller Ross. She lived in Steamboat Springs, Colo., from 1980 until her retirement in 1994, when she moved back to Lovell to help take care of Homer. She has three sons, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Both sisters have a long history of community service. Both are longtime members of the Lovell Woman’s Club, helping start the program more than 20 years ago to plant and maintain flowers on Main Street. Both ladies, and their mother, too, helped launch the Mustang Follies in the 1960s, and the Woman’s Club produced the show for many years, providing props and costumes, finding talent, organizing the show and running concessions.
Arlene was an original member of the Dollies of the Follies and helped start the Rockettes. Lorece helped with acts and music.
Arlene has volunteered for the New Horizons Care Center gift shop for many years, is a member of the Lovell Branch Library board and is the coordinator of data entry for the local Wyoming Health Fairs.
Lorece was active in economic development and served for years as the director of the Lovell LDS Stake Choir. She worked with Dick on the Veterans Memorial Park and is active in Relay for Life.
Both served on the initial North Big Horn Arts Council board of directors, and Lorece was the first president, Arlene the treasurer for the organization. Both were members of the Northwest College master chorale for many years.
Arlene has been active in the Lovell United Methodist Church for many years, serving for more than 10 years as organist and as an active member of the church leadership.
In making the presentation Thursday, Tri-Mountain View Master David Peck said what he has noticed over the years about Ross and Doerr is their intense interest in their community and their support of school and community activities. If there is a public meeting, Peck said, Arlene and Lorece are there. If there’s a Lovell High School game being played, they are in the crowd rooting for their team, Peck said.
“We’re just willing to take on any project they ask us to,” Ross said. “It just comes from our mom, and from Dad, too.”
“I guess we thought, if they could do it, we could, too,” Doerr added.
By David Peck