Doris's Story

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Doris Dorie B. Huepenbecker, 86, died Saturday, November 11, 2017 in Mankato after a several months long battle with lung cancer. She was surrounded by family and friends, most notably her husband, Elwood, who never left her side, compassionate hospice professionals, and supported by an entire community network. Born June 2, 1931 in Glencoe, Minnesota, Doris was raised on the Breyer family farm in rural Lester Prairie, Minnesota. Her parents, Albert and Gertrude instilled a very strong work ethic and served as a source for her life-long commitment to her Lutheran faith. After graduating from Lester Prairie High School in 1949, she worked at the College of Medical Technology in Minneapolis as a medical technician, part-time nurse, and doing secretarial duties. In 1951, Dorie married Elwood Huepenbecker of nearby Plato, Minnesota. After Elwood was discharged from the Army, they began looking for a job and a place to live. After looking in Williston, ND and Minnesota Lake, MN, they drove through Mankato, Minnesota. Dorie said this looks like a nice townÂ…and in 1953, Elwood took a job at the Mankato Free Press and Doris worked as a physicians secretary. Doris and Elwood loved Mankato, and they became active in the church. Over time, Dorie worked for School District 77 in the Health Services Department. In 1975, she changed jobs and worked at the athletic office of the brand new Mankato East High School. Doris worked there for 19 years, retiring in 1994. She often said those were the best years. Her tremendous contributions and love of sports were recognized when Doris was inducted into the Mankato East Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Dorie had an infectious laugh, and she easily befriended people of all ages. She had a tremendous love for her three boys and their families, and she especially loved to watch them play sports. She travelled wherever the schedules took them, and she and Elwood were present at literally thousands of games. While Doris also loved to play cards, fish, and garden, her favorite activity was baking her chocolate chip and sugar cookies were mouthwatering, as well as her strawberry jams, myriad pies and cakes. She was a loving companion to her husband of 66 years, Elwood, as they seemed to be inseparable.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Gertrude Breyer, and her brother, Lowell Breyer.
Surviving are her husband, Elwood, and three children: Dr. Paul (Nancy Mutch) of Phoenix, AZ; Dr. John (Marcia Page) of Edina, and Jim of Owatonna; and her six grandchildren: William (Diana), Anne (Ryan), Tom, Sarah, Kristen, and Laura; and three great grandchildren, Ryan and Olivia Benson and Sam Huepenbecker. Also surviving is her sister, Norma and several nieces, nephews and in laws.
We all celebrate her combination of faith and courage, strength and steadiness, and humor and caring throughout a life well lived.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mankato. Visitations will be from 5-8 pm on Wednesday, November 15 at Woodland Hills Funeral Home and one hour prior to the church service. Interment will be at Woodland Hills Memorial Park.
Memorials are preferred to Mankato Mayo East Hospice or Mankato East High School.
Published on November 12, 2017
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