October 2, 1919 - November 10, 2017
DORIS (RUNYAN) McKENZIE
"I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 2:4
Doris (Runyan) McKenzie was born on October 2, 1919 in an area of Brown County called Centerville near Mt. Orab, Ohio. Her parents were Elva (Balser) Runyan and Ralph Runyan. She had a younger sister, Wanda, who was born in 1936. Doris graduated that same year from Mt. Orab High School at age 16 because she had skipped second grade. Doris began working at the Sullivan Shoe Company in Georgetown and hoped to make enough money to become a hair stylist until she could save enough for college. Her dream was to become a school teacher. However, when her and Wanda's dad passed away from Hodgkin's disease in 1938, Doris became the breadwinner for her mother and little sister.
While working at the shoe company, Doris met a handsome young man, back from serving in the CCC (3Cs). His name was Hamer McKenzie (from Higginsport) and they would marry in 1940. A son, Roger Lee, was born and the young family moved to Williamsburg, Ohio around 1945 when Hamer began working for Croswell Bus Lines. A daughter, Rita Ellen, joined the family in 1948. Both Hamer and Doris were active with the Boy Scouts. The family were all members at Williamsburg United Methodist Church. Doris and Hamer's Sunday School Class made large canisters of homemade ice cream each summer for the church chicken dinner and ice cream social. The children of the class played games until the final canister was made … and then they got first dibs on the cold, refreshing treat. What wonderful memories for all!
For many years, Doris ran the family paper routes in Williamsburg (for both the Cincinnati Post and the Cincinnati Times-Star until the two papers combined.) Roger was the paper boy until he went to college, and then she hired local high school boys to deliver the papers. She also began working part-time for the Village of Indian Hill as a billing clerk and eventually gave up the paper routes and worked full time in the Indian Hill office from 1963 until she retired in 1984.
Hamer preceded her in death in 1978 and Doris beautifully maintained the house they built on Kermit Avenue - and for many years the large yard and flowers as well. Eventually, in 2001, she moved into a condo at Traverse Creek near Milford, Ohio, to be closer to her daughter. Doris made new friends there and at Trinity United Methodist Church where she attended for 12 years.
When her health began failing in 2013, she moved into the Assisted Living wing of SEM Haven Care Center in Milford, where she again made new friends of both residents and staff members. Last November, she had two difficult stays in the hospital and when she returned to SEM, had to move into one of the full-care wings, where she passed away peacefully on Friday, November 10, 2017. She was determined to celebrate her 98th birthday with her family, and over a four-day period around October 2nd, all who live in the area were able to visit with her. Roger and Rita celebrated with milkshakes ON her birthday, and the grandson who lives in Michigan was able to visit Doris with his daughter within the last two weeks of her life.
Doris's biggest blessing has always been her family. She was especially proud that her children and grandchildren all are college graduates! She leaves behind her sister, Wanda (Bill) Shannon, her two children, Roger (Barb) McKenzie and Rita (Ed) Fisher and four grandchildren: Dori (Kurt) Hansen, Joseph McKenzie, Richard (Angie) McKenzie, and Brian Fisher. Doris also had 11 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren plus dear nieces, nephews, other relatives and many wonderful friends. She dearly loved her family and friends -- and those feelings were very much returned.
"Her children rise up a call her blessed … Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Proverbs 31:28-29 NIV
Visitation will be held from 6 PM - 8 PM on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at Evans Funeral Home in Milford, Ohio. A Celebration Life will be at 11:00 AM, Friday, November 17th at the Williamsburg United Methodist Church, where friends can greet the family from 10 AM until time for the service. Burial will be at Mt. Orab cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Williamsburg UMC , 330 Gay Street, 45176, or Trinity UMC, 5767 Wolfpen-Pleasant Hill Road, Milford, 45150.