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Doris J. (Koontz) Karenke
May 10, 1933 ~ August 31, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
Doris J. Karenke, 90, of Elkhart, passed away on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at her residence with her loving husband at her side. She was born in Elkhart on May 10, 1933, to the late Melvin and Dorothy (McManus) Koontz.
In addition to her parents, Doris is preceded in death by her lifetime friend, Bonnie Statzer. Doris is survived by husband of 62 years, Richard “Dick” Karenke and sons Rick (Mary) Karenke and Darren Karenke.
Cremation was chosen and will take place at Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St. in Elkhart, IN. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 2-4 p.m. at her residence.
Doris was an outgoing, independent, and some might call “feisty” hard working woman who enjoyed being a loving and supportive mother as well as a friend to many. She was often referred to as an “eagle-eye”, as she rarely missed a thing. She was the office manager and co-owner of Motor Electric Inc in Elkhart since 1975 where she continued to work until 2020. In her earlier years, Doris was an avid bowler representing her business’ bowling team where she and the team would go on to win the 1996 National Bowling Championship in Buffalo, NY. This was a great accomplishment for her team, as it was the first Women’s Div II League to win the title from Elkhart. Doris continued to bowl and drive her team to the National Championships every year until she retired from bowling. Doris also really enjoyed live music and would go out with the girls after league bowling nights to enjoy the sight and sounds of a night out with the girls.
In her spare time, she loved spending time with Bonnie, her best friend since third grade. They would go shopping, attend art and food festivals in the region and of course, find a good restaurant to dine at on their journeys. Doris loved to travel and see the sights along the way, so no destination was too far. Doris also always looked forward to going out to dinner with her longtime friends Priscilla and Marie, who would regularly invite her to join them and had always considered Doris as the “leader of their pack”. Doris would always be the first one there and have the best available table waiting for them. Doris was very punctual and passed that trait on to her loving sons. She would also never miss her weekly Friday morning appointments with her favorite hair stylist, Heather, no matter the weather, even in blizzards when most would cancel, she would be sure to always make it there on time. She also attended Riverview Adult Day Care where she made many new friends and always looked forward to “going to school” to have fun filled days with the great staff there and her new friends.
Doris lived on the upper St. Joseph River for over 60 years and in her later years enjoyed taking pontoon rides. She especially enjoyed watching and listening to live bands performing at the Upper St. Joe River Rats “Music on the River” events with her son. She became well known as a regular at those events. Doris’ family would especially like to thank the Caring for Hoosiers team and her main caregivers Laurie and Leslie for all their help in allowing and helping Doris maintain her active and busy lifestyle until her final days. Doris will be dearly missed by her family friends.