Sister's doll holds precious memories for Putzke

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/9/97.

A 90-year-old doll proudly sits in a Marion Putzkeís china cupboard. Putzke, 81, Paynesville, never played with the doll as a child because it belonged to her older sister, Miranda.

ďI remember stories being told about how Miranda and Lucinda received their matching dolls,Ē Marian said. ďI wasnít born yet when they received the dolls as a present one Christmas many years ago.Ē Marian was about 10 years younger than her sisters.

Two dolls were placed under the Christmas tree at church, unwrapped. Prior to the Christmas program, everybody admired the dolls and wondered who they belonged to. At the end of the program, it was time to hand out the presents that were under the tree. The presents included gifts from Sunday school teachers, some from parents and treat bags filled with peanuts and candy.

ďMiranda and Lucinda were really surprised when their names were called to come up and receive the dolls,Ē Marian said, as the story goes.
ďAs a child, I donít remember ever seeing my sisters play with the dolls,Ē she added.

When Miranda moved to 700 Stearns, the doll was put into storage in a garage. Marian encouraged her sister to put in on display, not to bury it in a box. When Miranda died in 1994 at the age of 90, Marian inherited the doll. The doll still wears its original polka dot dress, slip, socks, shoes and pantaloons. The doll has a porcelain face and hands and a leather body. ďThe eyes still open and close even though one has lost its eyelashes,Ē Marian said.

Lucinda Lewerenz had her doll restored and dressed in a wedding dress. A few years before her death, the doll was given to her daughter, Marlys Behr.

ďIím glad Miranda left me her doll. I really cherish it,Ē Marian said. ďIím afraid to comb its hair as it looks so fragile it might fall out. At 90 years old, the doll is starting to show her age.Ē

Marian and her other sister, Bernice Voss, 77, Paynesville, still have the doll buggies they were given as young girls. ďThey are rather bent out of shape from use,Ē she added.

Marian had thought about placing the doll in the buggy for display, but felt it would last longer kept in the china cupboard.

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