May 31st, 1931 an only child was born to the couple who resided at 32 Chestnut Street in the Cereal City, Battle Creek, Michigan. Little Doris Statler would grow up during World War II and help her mother with the boarders that the family took in to their cavernous house with doors leading off in all directions, concealing countless closets and attics. When her favorite Uncle Bill would pass through town on the train she and her mother would meet him at the train station where he would deliver dresses and other gifts to his niece before continuing on to his rooms at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago where he resided. She would often times see the white linen clad figure of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg pedal by on his bicycle, practicing what he preached; fresh air and exercise, along with his vegetarian diet and treatments.
Doris’s mother Ruth and father Rotch, a mechanic at a Chevrolet garage in town, were able to build a small cottage on Gull Lake where she first found the freedom of a little boat with an outboard motor. She explored Gull Lake and could never get enough of Lover’s Lane, Idlewild and the Island. She would share her love of the water with her children and friends throughout her entire life.
Doris would spend time in one of the great cereal factories of Battle Creek as a tour guide, explaining the different stages of manufacturing and the history of the Post Cereal company. She enrolled in Western College for Women but would transfer and graduate from the University of Michigan, no small accomplishment in the day. Always interested in literature, art and travel she certainly was inspired by her mother Ruth who took young Doris to Europe for an extended 6 week trip in the early 50’s.
She made the long trip to Kalamazoo to establish her family with husband Peter Curtenius Statler, experience all of the joys and sorrows of raising a family and dedicate years of her life to community service with the Junior League, the Kalamazoo Art Center, Pretty Lake Camp, the Service Club and others. An avid bridge player, tennis player and later platform tennis she was also an accomplished and graceful skier carving up the hills of Boyne Mountain with Stein, “bend zee knees”, Eriksen, as well as Mont-Tremblant and Aspen.
In the early 80’s she made straight for the family home on Lake Michigan following her divorce where she spent countless hours enjoying the peace and quiet, beautiful sunsets and the songs of the local birds whose calls were always outside the house and on the Audubon bird call records from her collection. Friends would worry that she was lonely and she would always say that she knew exactly where to find company whenever she felt the need. Independent from the start, as I suppose an only child would be, she relished the solitude and beauty of Glenn Shores. Well in to her 60’s Doris showed that windsurfing was not about size and strength but grace and balance. Many an aspiring young windsurfer learned some tips from her.
A high school reunion at Battle Creek Central would reunite her with her old boyfriend and she and Richard “Dick” Kriner would go on to spend many happy years traveling the country, visiting Dick’s children, passing several months with friends in the area surrounding Venice, Florida and playing golf,
Both in Florida and around Michigan. They maintained close ties with their Battle Creek friends from High School days and cheered on their college teams during football season. The Michigan – Michigan State game was always a little tricky as Dick was a graduate of MSU.
Doris never lost her optimism and appreciation of the beauty of life in spite of the loss of her daughter Laura Sue Statler and her partner Dick. Her small frame carried a mighty soul and she was a mother and friend to many. She loved the music of Jimmy Buffett and his words sang her on the way to the next adventure the evening of September 15th 2018 at the Hanson Hospice Facility.
She is survived by her son Timothy H. Statler, granddaughters Carley E. Statler and Olivia H. Statler, all of Petoskey, MI, and Julia R. Statler of Kalamazoo, MI
An open house and celebration will take place on the shores of Lake Michigan on Saturday October 13, 2018 at 1155 Edgewater Terrace, South Haven, MI 49090, from 1 PM to 4 PM, where friends and family are welcome to arrive to share memories and enjoy lunch. Please RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone (231) 348-8620. Casual Lake Michigan dress, Parrothead attire entirely appropriate. Should you wish to make a donation in memory of Doris to your local Hospice angels please feel free to do so.