Doris Foss Wallach

Doris Foss Wallach exited the stage on Dec. 29, 2020.

Born in 1930 in Ballston Lake, N.Y., she was the youngest of six living children of Emily and Otto Foss. As a child, her best friend was Ruthie and she played the clarinet. After high school she worked as a secretary for GE and paid for her own braces and bought her dad a TV. She attended airline training school in Worcester, Mass., and worked as a stewardess for Eastern Airlines out of Charlotte, N.C. Doris then moved to New York City, where she worked for a diamond dealer and met future husband, Jacques Burton Wallach, through mutual friends. Jacques was a pathology resident. They soon married and rented an apartment in Jackson Heights, where they had three daughters in five years: Kim, Lisa and Tracy.

In 1959 they all moved to Cranford, N.J., where Doris joined the NAACP and worked for the equal housing commission in town. She joined the local group on March on Washington in 1963. Doris was passionate about civil rights, human rights and against the draft for the Viet Nam War. At home she built a Japanese garden in the backyard, painted ‘til the wee hours of the morning and played the starring role in many little theater performances, including “Picnic,” “Bus Stop” and “The Crucible.” Doris was often told she looked like Audrey Hepburn.

She survived ovarian cancer in her 50s and breast cancer in her 70s. After Jacques retired the two of them traveled around the world both as tourists and medical volunteers, and Doris built another showstopper of a garden at their home in Concordia, Monroe Township, N.J. There, Doris cared for Jacques through his struggle with progressive supranuclear palsy until his death in 2010.

Doris doted on her grandchildren: Gabriel, Jonah and Zachary Auteri (sons of Lisa and Anthony Auteri); and Ariel Temple (daughter of Kim Wallach and Peter Temple); and later, her great-granddaughter Rose (Gabriel and Rachel Auteri). Doris spent her last two years in Keene with her daughter, Kim, and a cast of loving friends, dogs and helpers, playing competitive Scrabble and Boggle, yelling at Trump on TV and enjoying her evening pinot grigio. She was a unique, creative and complicated woman of strong passions and opinions, and she will be missed.

Do not send flowers! Please contribute to the ACLU or the NAACP in her honor if you can, light a candle, have a glass of wine, and raise a toast to Doris.

The arrangements are in the care of Compassionate Cremation of NH. To leave a condolence, please visit our web site at