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Doris Joan (Robart) Smurr was born Feb 7, 1935 in Ft Wayne IN. She passed away on January 12, 2023, at 87 years old. Doris was a lifelong resident of the Northeast corner of Indiana, with the majority being lived out on a farm with her husband Robert (Bob) Smurr (1928 – 2010).
There they raised three children: Steven Smurr, Linda (Smurr) Franklin and Julie (Smurr) Baka. They are all living. Her parents were Russel and Mildred (Sparks) Robart. She had a loving relationship with her 3 siblings, Max Robart, Wanda (Robart) Pfafman, and Janice (Robart) Lash, all proceeded her in death. Doris loved being at home, yet she was always working or volunteering.
In her younger years, she worked at her parent’s restaurant followed by Delucany’s in Avilla. During the decades of raising her children she was the custodian for the Calvary United Methodist Church. For close to 30 years, she was also a Sunday school teacher in the toddler room. Children weren’t allowed to go to the toddler room unless they were potty trained. That rule was tossed out the window when her grandchildren started to arrive. All seven grandkids loved spending Sunday mornings in that classroom.
Seven grandchildren are: Jeremy Smurr, Christopher Smurr, Whitney (Smurr) Crismore - children of Steven Smurr
and Lori (Fiandt) Smurr; Kelsey (Franklin) Laue, Robert “Robbie” Franklin – children of Linda (Smurr) Franklin and
Walter “Max” Franklin; Travis Baka, and Rose Baka – children of Julie (Smurr) Baka and Greg Baka
Plus 6 great-grandchildren all under 3 and another due at any time. We are sure that one of her greatest regrets is that she did not have the opportunity to get to know them.
She also worked at the Courier factory in Kendallville in the late 70’s. She became a union organizer to improve safety and working conditions as well as increase pay. The union vote did not pass but she was always proud of the changes that the factory made as a result of her advocacy work. Her passion was her family and that included helping out on the family farm near Avilla where she lived from 1964 until 2019. She spent 1000’s of hours driving the tractor with her hair in a weekly updo covered in a chiffon scarf. She also was a master of storing food. With a large garden, plus fruit trees and grape vines, she often canned 100’s of quarts of vegetables, made the best black raspberry jelly, also froze and canned fruits for pies and other desserts. Her cooking went beyond family. She was always volunteered to make something for church dinners. She donated many hours cooking and assisting at the church’s Chicken Noodle Stand at Kendallville’s annual Apple Festival.
Another passion that Doris had was being a huge sports fan. She had season tickets for the East Noble basketball team. She loved baseball, especially the Cubs. Once she got the tennis channel on TV she became a huge Roger Federer fan. After selling off the farm animals Bob and Doris liked to travel. They went to most of the national parks. One year they drove from one Bluegrass Festival to the next across the country. They enjoyed stopping at the small casinos where Doris would win or break even often winning back the money Bob would lose. Later, Bob began having dementia. Doris became his full-time care-giver until his death in 2010. During this time period she became a regular member at Curves in Kendallville. She was very proud when she received her t-shirt for 1000 visits. When her own mental functioning declined, she moved to Lincolnshire in Fort Wayne. She continued to care for others and help clean. She took care of her baby doll and cleaned the tables and handrails in the facility. The family wishes to express our deepest gratitude to the staff there for 3 years of fabulous care. Her family also wishes to thank everyone for your assistance, kind words, and prayers during her life and transition.
Visitation will be held Thursday, January 19, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Hite Funeral Home in Kendallville.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Hite Funeral Home with Pastor David Gruber officiating. There will be visitation at 10:00 AM prior to the service.
Burial will follow at Avilla Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Calvary United Methodist Church,101 Cherry St, Avilla IN 46710.
Arrangements entrusted to Hite Funeral Home.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.