Dolores Zelie Weeks Wilson (Van Wynsberghe), 91, of South Bend, Indiana passed away peacefully Saturday, July 25, 2021, at 9:25 am. Dolores was born on June 16, 1930, in South Bend, Indiana. Dolores was preceded in death by her parents, Emil Octaef & Magdaline Van Wynsberghe; sister, Maria (Mary) Sauer; 1st husband, Fredrick Weeks; 2nd husband, Richard Wilson; and companion, George Opperman.
Dolores is survived by her children, Janice Kent, Lawrence (Sally) Weeks, Julie Allouch & Roger Hicks, Joyce (Michael) Davis, Debbie Ebann, and Kevin (Rita) Wilson; her grandchildren, Melissa Wilson, Monica Davis, Jessica Davis (Marc Rockwell), Lilah and Ava Wilson; her great grandchildren, Meranda & Jeremy Burkhardt, Jada Wilson, Melena Wilson, and Michael Rockwell; and great-great grandchildren, Alexander Wilson, Melody Wilson and Nova June Wilson.
Dolores began her violin studies at age 10. Her early studies began in high school with Zigmont Gaska. She began her orchestral experience in the South Bend Junior Symphony (SBYSO) while at Washington High School, after which she toured with a women symphony. She began teaching students in her first year of college around 1949. She received much enjoyment from teaching her students - she said they kept her thinking and feeling young. At age 17, Dolores was second violinist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and performed with them for over 50 years. Later she became principal violist with the Elkhart Symphony for 29 years. She was in the Michiana Symphonette for years and also was a strolling violinist in the area. In 1970, after raising a family she returned to IUSB on a full merit scholarship, for her B.M.E. degree and then followed with her Master’s Degree in viola performance. Dolores was the violist of the Gaska String Quartet when it reformed in 1968. She became the 1st violinist in the quartet in 1990. She retired from the quartet in 2015. In 1991, she partnered with her daughter, Joyce Davis, to purchase a building for the Suzuki Music School of Michiana to help build a music community for children. She taught with the Suzuki Music School from 1987 through 2015.
Her greatest love was playing string quartets. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Friends may call from 4-7 pm Thursday, July 29th at Hahn Funeral Home 505 W. 8th Street Mishawaka. Funeral Service will be on Friday, July 30th at 1:00 pm in the funeral home with visitation 1 hour prior. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery in South Bend.
Dolores wished for donations to be made, in lieu of flowers, to the South Bend Symphony or the Suzuki Music School of Michiana.
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