Doris Ihrig Tiner

Doris Ihrig Tiner died peacefully in her sleep on May 16, 2020 at the age of 92. Doris was born on August 15, 1927 in Parkersburg, West Virginia to a young couple that had married shortly after immigrating from Germany in 1923.  Unfortunately, that marriage did not endure, and Doris and her mother moved to New York City, where her mother met and married Mike Schiraldi.  Two younger brothers came along and Doris became the older sister of the Schiraldi family.  Seeking a better opportunity in the midst of the Great Depression, the family found its way to Texas in 1937, where they settled in the small community of Highlands, located on the banks of the San Jacinto River near Baytown. 

Doris graduated from Baytown Lee High School in 1945.  There was no money for college, so she found employment in the accounting department at the Humble Oil (now Exxon) Refinery.  Not long thereafter, she met Calvin L. Tiner, Jr., a young, handsome sailor that was returning from service during World War II aboard the Battleship Texas and they married on July 4, 1946.  Without a high school degree, but trained as an electrician in the Navy, Calvin first found work at Houston Lighting and Power, and then at Exxon.  They built their own home in Highlands in 1948, which would remain Doris’s home for the rest of her life.  Their only son, Michael, was born in 1952 and Doris immediately “retired” from Exxon to become a full time Mom and Homemaker, a career that lasted for the rest of her life. 

Tragedy struck the small family in 1960 when Calvin died in an industrial accident at the Exxon Refinery.  Doris never remarried and in fact never even went on a date with another man, declaring that “when you have been married to the best person ever, no one else will ever measure up.”  At 32 years old, Doris was suddenly a widowed single mother with a 7 year old son and no income other than Social Security for widows and dependents.  Doris made ends meet by getting herself elected as the Tax Assessor Collector and office manger of her local water district, a part time position that provided the time she needed for the central passion of her life – raising her son.  She relied on her faith, work ethic, frugality, attention to detail and core values of honesty and integrity that were instilled in her by her German/Italian immigrant family, all forged during the Depression and WWII years, and did her very best to instill those traits and values in her son by living them every day. 

Along the way she took on all the volunteer roles available to a full time Mom – Room Mother Chair, Head of the PTA, taxi driver to and from endless sports practices and games.  She never missed a school or sports event in which Michael participated.  She only sought fulltime employment, initially at Hutchinson Hayes in Channelview and then later at IMSCO in Baytown, when Michael was about to graduate from high school in 1971.  Once Michael went off to Texas A&M, Doris joined the Baytown A&M Mother’s Club of which she, of course, eventually became President.  She bought season tickets to A&M football games (they were pretty easy to come by back in those days!) and enjoyed those football weekends and Michael’s college friends and their families immensely. Some of those friends will serve as her pallbearers.

Doris’s almost singular focus on raising her son arguably bore good results.  After graduating from Texas A&M, Michael was awarded a scholarship to Harvard Business School from which he graduated in 1978.  His successful career would have never been possible but for her tutelage.  She was extremely proud of him.  But like most mothers, she never quit being a mother.  Right up until her passing, she often had “guidance” on one thing or another that she felt compelled to share - and was never reticent to do so!

Although her son was her first passion, Doris’s other passion was sports.  Starting with the Houston Colt 45’s in 1962 and continuing through the 2019 World Series, over 57 years Doris listened to or watched or attended almost every major league baseball game played by the Houston Astros.  Her granddaughter, brother and two of her nephews won collegiate conference and even national championships in their respective sports, and two of them went on to play professionally.  While enormously proud of all of them, she took particular satisfaction from the fact that her nephew Calvin (named after Doris’s late husband) pitched for Boston in the 1986 World Series – and Doris was in attendance at all 7 games.  Doris, herself, won amateur bowling championships in the state of Texas in the 1960’s and 70’s. 

She traveled thousands of miles over the years to attend countless contests where family members were participants – ranging from church league teams to nationally televised contests.  She was a regular television spectator of most other sports.

Family was of utmost importance to Doris.  Her joy was complete when her family was gathered together, which most often happened at major holidays or significant sporting events.  She was enormously proud of each of them. 

Doris is predeceased by her husband, Calvin L. Tiner, Jr.; her mother and father, Anna and Mike Schiraldi; her brothers Joe and William Schiraldi; and her sister-in-law and her husband, Geraldine (Tiner) and Tom Sulas. 

Doris is survived by her son and his wife, Michael and Betti Tiner; their daughters, Kristen Brearey (Guy) and Keri Tiner.  She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Ramona Schiraldi; nephews and nieces Calvin Schiraldi (Debbie); Rhonda Fonseca (Bita), Linda Adams (Jay) and Tommy Sulas (Arlene); great niece and nephews, Samantha Schwartz (Travis), Lukas Schiraldi (Kaitlyn), Daniel Fonseca and Alec Fonseca; and great-great niece Annalee Schwartz.

Author’s note:  This tribute to his Mother is authored by a forever grateful son who knows with certainty that whatever good has come his way in life would not have happened without the singular focus and unwavering selfless love of a Mother that worked tirelessly to lay the rock solid foundation that shaped his future.  Thank you and rest peacefully Mom, your work is now complete, well and truly done!

The family will receive friends on Saturday, May 23, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church, 800 S. Main Street, Highlands, Texas 77562.

The Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Earthman Memory Gardens Cemetery, 8624 Garth Road, Baytown, Texas 77521.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests that friends consider a donation of their choosing to a scholarship fund established in Doris’s honor at Texas A&M University.  Checks may be written payable to the Texas A&M Foundation and mailed to 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, Texas 77840. 

It is very important to include Doris I. Tiner Scholarship on the face of the check to ensure proper credit. Gifts may also be made on line at https://www.txamfoundation.com/give.aspx?c_id=-1

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