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Obituaries » Doris L. Fuerstenau

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Doris L. Fuerstenau

May 7, 1921 - May 7, 2020

A celebration of life service will be planned once conditions with the COVID-19 restrictions permit.

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Doris Lillian (Krause) Fuerstenau
May 7, 1921–May 7, 2020

At 4:30 a.m., May 7, 2020, the world’s light dimmed, even with all the sunshine there was that day, as Doris Fuerstenau died peacefully in her sleep. It was the day of her 99th birthday. So much joy, wisdom, selflessness, and loving-kindness were wrapped up in one human being. As her six-year-old great granddaughter Evelyn said when she heard the sad news, and after a time of being sad, “GG gets to spend her birthday with Jesus!”
During her ninety-nine years, she saw our country go from horse-and-buggy and oil lamps when radios started to become popular, through the Roaring Twenties; The Great Depression; World War II; the beginning of the age of television, and a car in every garage; the moon landing, and finally the digital age of cell phones and computers. She did her banking on-line, and her pastor said she taught all the seventy-year-olds how. She drove until she was 94 and lived independently in her own home until the age of 98.
The home in Richmond, Michigan, she and Charlie, her husband and love of her life for sixty-nine years prior to his passing in 2009, was a sanctuary of peace and love for countless numbers of family and friends. She moved to Ohio, near her son Mark and his family, last October, when she was no longer physically able to remain in her own home. Her wisdom, grace, and love for everyone close to her, touched their lives in priceless ways, and she leaves a gift of wonderful memories for those of us who now grieve her passing.
Dinners around her large dining room table, whiffle ball games in the back yard, cookouts with Charlie manning the grill, and quiet visits around a cup of her legendarily strong coffee, or tea at her kitchen table or their living room were all treasures of memory we share from her full life.
She was a farm girl, raised from the sandy loam soil of the Richmond, area. Born to her parents, Herman and Wilhelmina (Killian) Krause, she played girls’ baseball (as it was called then) for Richmond High School. She married Charlie at the age of 20. When he was called to the service in WWII, she worked at a factory in Marine City making filters for gas masks. After a short time, she took the Civil Service test and was hired at the Richmond Post Office where she became Assistant Postmaster.
Following Charlie’s return from the service, she went home to raise her two sons, Mark and Joel, first in a house on Parker Street, behind the plumbing store where Charlie worked with his father and brother, and then in 1956, their home on South Forest Road where they lived a long and happy life together.
When Joel started first grade, she became a certified librarian and went to work as the librarian at the Will L. Lee Elementary School, and later became the librarian at St. Augustine School in Richmond. In retirement, she worked as an assistant at the Richmond Public library. She also served on the Macomb County Library Board for many years and served as a volunteer reading tutor, teaching adults how to read. She sang in the choir for many years at Richmond First United Methodist Church, was a member of the Richmond Historical Society, where she served as one of its senior historians. Also an author, her life story is recounted in an autobiography, “Of Ashes and Soot”, that was published by Lakeshore Publications last year.
She and Charlie traveled extensively, especially after their retirement. They loved spending time with their grandchildren, going up to their cabin in Onaway with granddaughters Amy and Lauren, and later going to their softball games. They also made seventeen trips to Alaska to spend time with grandsons Harold and Charles, during the twenty-three years Mark lived there.
Doris loved the Detroit Tigers, and enjoyed drying flowers and crafting hand-made cards with calligraphed messages on them that became treasures for all who received one.
She leaves behind one son, Rev. Dr. C. Mark (Donnajean) Fuerstenau, of Mount Cory, Ohio, daughter-in-law Debbie Fuerstenau, of Richmond, Michigan, seven grandchildren Amy Fuerstenau of Sonoma, California, Lauren (Eric) Fuerstenau Warddrip, also of Sonoma, California, Harold (Sarah) Charles of Washington, Pennsylvania, Rev. Charles (Stephenie) Fuerstenau, of Harrod, Ohio, Robert M. Fuerstenau, of Willow, Alaska, step grandsons Brad (Casey) Lentz of Rossburg, Ohio, Brian (Erica) Lentz of Sidney, Ohio, seventeen great grandchildren and numerous great, great grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, and all of her siblings, that included two sisters and five brothers, she was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie, her son Joel, great granddaughters Mackenzie and Grace, and longtime friend and “adopted son” Father Raymond Bruck.
The family is filled with a mixture of anguish and joy for her fully becoming a saint, as she is reunited with countless loved ones who have gone before her. Thanks for all the priceless memories that we hold in our hearts.
A celebration of life service will be planned once conditions with the COVID-19 restrictions permit.
Memorial donations can be made to Seven Ponds Nature Center in Dryden, Michigan, The Richmond (Michigan) Historical Society, and Richmond (Michigan) First United Methodist Church.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.chiles-lamanfh.com.
Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services in Bluffton is honored to be providing services to the Fuerstenau family.


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