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Doris LaMar Lyman, 91, passed away peacefully at her home in Maribel on February 7, 2024.
She was born on December 21,1932, to the late Eric Cooke and Martha Fielmann Cooke. Although she was the only child of her parents, she had a large extended family and a step-sister, Varla Watts Byrne. She often spoke fondly of the time she spent with her German immigrant grandparents and her many cousins. She attended high school at North Park Academy, Chicago, IL, graduating a year early at age 17. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University in 1953. While at Valpo, she was the feature editor of the school newspaper, The Torch. She was also a member of the Kappa Tau Zeta sorority where she made many lifelong friends.
After graduation, she was offered a position in the publishing industry in New York, but ultimately took a job teaching elementary school in Downer’s Grove, Illinois. It was there, at a Halloween dance at the YMCA, she met her future husband, Bob. They carved pumpkins together, and he charmed her by offering his jack-o-lantern for her classroom. Eight months later, they married in June of 1955. Robert was a farmer and Doris a city-girl who hadn’t obtained a driver’s license. To say moving to the farm and then having twin boys 11 months later was a difficult adjustment is an enormous understatement. Nonetheless, their marriage survived for 57 years, until Bob preceded her in death in 2012.
In 1959, Doris and Bob purchased a 137-acre dairy farm and relocated their family to Francis Creek, Wisconsin. Doris returned to teaching, first in Valders, then later at Garfield Elementary School in Manitowoc. As an avid reader herself, she took great pride in teaching hundreds of children to read over the course of her career. In 1964, Doris and Bob purchased 80 acres of land along the Devils River in Maribel. Initially, they purchased the land to preserve a historic grist mill on the property. But eventually, they sold the farm and developed Devils River Campers Park. Their strengths complemented one another, with Bob handling all of the buildings and grounds, while Doris manned the office. Bob restored the mill, and Doris completed the paperwork to get it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Doris loved all the wonderful people she met at the campground. She also loved the public address system, and much to the chagrin of the campers, cheerfully made a lengthy announcement every morning at 8 a.m. about the activities of the day ahead. The campground is still in the family and now owned by Doris and Bob’s youngest son. Doris was moved to tears in July of 2022 when the campers planned a large party and presented her with a plant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the business.
In her retirement, Doris volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Salvation Army. She donated to many charitable causes. She was a prayer warrior for her family, friends, and anyone else she knew of who was in need of healing. She loved our country and was fiercely patriotic. She never made it through “The Star-Spangled Banner” without weeping.
Doris is survived by her four children: Matthew (Lynne) and their daughters Beth Piontek (Brett) and Laura Dorn (Eric); Mark (Young Ock) and their children, Aely (Marc Ulrich), David and Daniel; Rebecca Persick (Jay) and their children Benjamin and Hannah; and Robert, Jr. She is further survived by her great-granddaughter, Audrey, and two great-grandsons, Landon and Tyler.
Visitation will be held at Peace United Church of Christ, 3613 Waldo Boulevard, Manitowoc, on Friday, February 16, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Matthew L. Sauer will officiate. Lunch will follow. Burial will take place at Evergreen Cemetery. The family wishes to thank Preceptor Hospice for their care and support the last couple months of Doris’s life, particularly Nurse Tina.
Expressions of sympathy can be sent to the family by visiting www.lakeshorefamilyfuneralhomes.com
Doris specifically requested her obituary close with these words:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.
And to her precious family, she leaves this message: I thank God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart… Philippians 1:3-7.
The Lakeshore Family Funeral Homes, Jens location, is assisting the family with arrangements.