Dora Bell (McAusland) McClain was born November 1, 1936, in Coalgate, OK to Robert “Red” and Dolly (Dalton) McAusland. When she was six months old the family moved from Oklahoma to California. Dora was the third oldest of eight children born to Red and Dolly. She lived the majority of her life in the Fresno area.
Graduating from Clovis High School she married James C. McClain. Though they would later divorce, together they raised four children: Richard (Connie) McClain of Clovis, CA, Deborah (Dan) Sipes of Manhattan, MT, Ronald “Gus” McClain, deceased, and Johanna (Derek Alvarez) McClain of Visalia, CA.
Dora devoted her time and energy to her family. She loved to cook and bake. Often the home was filled with aromas of something delicious coming from her kitchen. She was often found sitting at her sewing machine creating something for her home or one of her children.
When her children became more self-sufficient she entered the work force as a Nursing Assistant. She worked in the surgical recovery room for St. Agnes Hospital in both the original location and then their new location.
Following her career as a caregiver in the hospital, Dora began a new venture working for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department in Records. She continued to work in legal when she became Clerk of Court for the Honorable Judge Jane York in Sanger, CA.
Dora truly desired to help people as is evidenced by her career choices. She loved to go on long drives with no particular destination in mind. These excursions were known as “goin bummin.” They were typically followed by a stop for a small treat such as an ice cream cone or a vanilla milkshake.
In her retirement she was very active in her church, St. Paul Newman Center in Fresno. She loved the children, and they loved her. You could always find Dora by following the kids.
Following a stroke in September 2018, Dora relocated to Bozeman, MT in January 2020 to be near her daughter Debbie, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great great-grandchildren. While in Bozeman she enjoyed many family gatherings and celebrations as well as a new church home at The Bridge in Manhattan where she attended regularly.
She was blessed to reside at Hyalite Country Care where she found new friends and new family. She loved a good joke and could deliver a straight line like nobody’s business. She loved the mountains, as well as the snow often saying “Just look at those mountains! They are so beautiful.”
Dora was preceded in death by her parents, her son Gus, and four of her siblings. She is survived by her children Rich, Debbie, and Jodi, two sisters, and one brother, as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a great great-grandchild.
We are all the better for having Dora in our lives. Though she is sorely missed, we celebrate that she is now truly home with all who have been waiting for her arrival. In her own words “I made it!”
A Celebration of Dora's Life will be held at 1:30 PM Saturday, September 17th, at Hyalite Care, 6040 S. 3rd Road in Bozeman.