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Dolores Watkins Dauber

Dolores Watkins Dauber

March 29, 1932- January 26, 2023

For most of her life, Dolores Dauber has been called “Boss.”   It’s a nickname given to her by a group of childhood girlfriends in East St Louis in a club they called The Friendly Circle.  Dolores lived up to the “Boss” title her entire life.   Anyone who knew her would agree that Dolores “Boss” Dauber had a talent for getting what she wanted.  But she always did so in a loving and respectful way.   She once brought her own hot dog to a Cardinal baseball game at Busch Stadium because she didn’t like theirs and kindly asked the concession worker to grill it for her.  Shockingly, he did so.  Her husband and children looked on in astonishment and she loved every bite.

Dolores’ kitchen table was where you could find her most often.   It’s where she made her famous baked hams and sour cream chocolate cakes and where she spent hundreds of hours talking to callers in need as a volunteer for Call For Help-The Suicide Prevention Hotline and Concerned Christians.    It was also a place where she welcomed her teenage kids and their friends to gather and debate politics and other topics of the day.  One friend of the Dauber kids recently said “In high school, the Dauber family table was a fun & safe place for us to talk about everything.  Mrs. Dauber always encouraged us to have opinions and to not be afraid to express them.  She didn’t always agree with us, but she respected us.”

Dolores was never afraid to break norms.  Her kids remember one Christmas midnight mass in the 1960’s when they refused to go because their Mom was wearing pants.  “Girls don’t wear pants to church!” they cried.   Dolores responded “They do now!  Get in the car!”   They obeyed, all went to mass, and survived.   

Dolores had a successful career in real estate but thought of herself more as a “professional volunteer”.   She was a devout Catholic and former president of the Holy Childhood Mothers Club as well as a member of the Holy Childhood School Board, Parish Council, HCCCW, a lector and eucharistic minister.  As a convert to the Catholic faith herself, she loved welcoming new members to the church and talking to them about her faith.    

Dolores was also former president of The Mascoutah Tuesday Women’s Club and was awarded the Mascoutah Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year in 2001.

Dolores was always a champion for progressive causes fighting against racism, for women’s rights, care for the less fortunate & LGBTQ equality.   In the 1990’s when AIDS was still a crisis many wanted to ignore, Dolores volunteered to help AIDS patients in Belleville get the treatments and medicines they needed.  She served as a chairperson for The United Way and volunteered for the Women’s Crisis Center and CASA.

In the 1960’s, as the civil rights movement spread across America, Dolores made it her mission to welcome the first black family that moved to Mascoutah.   Eva Jefferson, Founder & President of the Equal Justice Society remembers “We were stationed at Scott Air Force Base and when my Dad went to Vietnam we moved to Mascoutah.  It wasn’t easy.  Dolores Dauber went out of her way to befriend my mother, Doris, as a clear signal from a prominent Mascoutah family that, in her opinion, black people were welcome.  Dolores and my Mom became friends and my Mom felt fondly about Dolores for the rest of her life.  Dolores could have sat back and remained silent.   She did not.”

Dolores was also a voracious reader and someone who loved to have fun.   She and her husband, Bob, enjoyed traveling and they danced a mean jitterbug.   She and Bob also loved to throw parties.   Her wedding and baby showers were infamous for the drink she called “Surprises” which looked like pink lemonade but was mostly bourbon.   She loved when friends and family gathered to eat good food she’d prepared and simply have a great time.

Dolores was preceded in death by her husband Robert (Bob) Dauber, her father John Watkins, mother Helen Corrigan Watkins, and sister Joyce Watkins Needham.    In the days proceeding her death, Dolores was surrounded by her brother Tommy Watkins of Belleville, IL, children Amy (Steve) Novario of Ottawa, IL, Ellen Dauber of Belleville, IL, Rob (Jase Woodruff) Dauber of New York, NY, C.J. Dauber and David (Shannon) Dauber of Mascoutah,IL; many of her grandchildren Maggie Novario, Lucy Novario, Charlie Novario, Sam Novario, Annie Dauber, Brendan Dauber, Alex Dauber, Cecilia Dauber and her great grandchildren Leo, Gus, Eddie & Louis.  She is also survived by her mentee and longtime friend Cathy Castiller, who she loved like a daughter, as well as many nieces and nephews.

The Dauber family would like to thank the staff of Brightly Senior Living and Family Hospice for taking such good care of Dolores. They’d also like to thank Donna Mae Schlueter and Kathy Williams for Dolores’ twice-a-week “wash & sets” and for coming to her home when she could no longer get to the beauty shop.  Dolores always wanted her hair to look nice and it always did!    

Dolores supported many charities and causes but two of those closest to her heart are Concerned Christians Mascoutah Food Pantry and Holy Childhood Parish in Mascoutah.   If you wish to do something to honor Dolores, the family suggests donating to one of these organizations or to any group that helps people in need.   Or simply do something Dolores loved to do:  read a good book, bake a ham, or help someone who could use your support. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting

One last piece of advice from Dolores—“Always be brave and stand up for your beliefs”.    

Still the “Boss” until the very end.

Visitation: From 2 to 5 PM Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, at Moll Funeral Home in Mascoutah, IL.

Funeral: A funeral Mass will be held 10 AM Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, at Holy Childhood Catholic Church with Father Nick Fleming celebrating. Burial will follow in Holy Childhood Catholic Cemetery, Mascoutah, IL.

Moll Funeral Home
Mascoutah, Illinois

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