Artist, Educator, Devoted Wife and Mother
Doris Pearl McKissick Kurkas died peacefully, in Erie, Pa., on April 3, 2014.
She was born at home April 9, 1928, in Philadelphia, Pa., to the late Samuel and Freda McKissick.
Doris was a true artist, crafting many beautiful florals, landscapes, and religious paintings, many of which hang proudly in her children's homes. She was an avid reader of mysteries and suspense thrillers, and was a rabid Cleveland sports fan, often traveling with her husband to away cities to watch her beloved Indians. She was known for entertaining her friends wherever she lived. From Philadelphia, El Paso, Texas, Industry, Pa., Warren, Pa., Massillon, Ohio, and finally Erie, each group of friends and family experienced her great cooking and gracious hospitality. She was married to Edward G. Kurkas for 58 years, and for over 30 years, enjoyed supporting his deaconate ministry at Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Massillon. Many times she listened to and critiqued Ed's sermons with a smile or a word of encouragement. She taught religious education classes for over 40 years in Industry, Warren, and Massillon. Doris participated in her children's lives by attending their many school functions and activities. She also participated in the Charismatic Renewal Movement, and made Cursillo #10 in Erie, in the 1960s. Contemplative prayer gave Doris her desire to pray with others.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Deacon Edward G. Kurkas, and her sister Gladys McKissick Ladislaw.
Surviving children include Kathleen (Kurkas) MacKenzie, husband Jim MacKenzie from Oxford, Pa.; Edward George Kurkas II from Edinboro, Pa., and Barb Kurkas Lee, husband Scott Lee of Erie, Pa. Surviving grandchildren include Kevin Kurkas of California, son of Valerie and Edward Kurkas II, and Samuel Lee, son of Barb and Scott Lee. Also surviving are her sister Pauline McKissick Waters of Philadelphia, and many nieces and nephews from the Philadelphia, Maryland, and Florida areas.
Doris's family would like to thank AseraCare Hospice for their extraordinary and compassionate care the last week of her life.
Friends may call at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 7700 W. Ridge Road, Fairview, Pa., on Friday, April 11 from 11:00 a.m. until the time of a Mass of Christian Burial at 1:00 p.m. There will be a committal service at Saint Joseph's Cemetery in Warren, Pa., Saturday, April 12 at 11:00.
Arrangements are under the care of the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 W. 26th Street, Erie, PA 16506.
In lieu of flowers, Doris requested memorials be made to AseraCare Hospice, 1600 Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA 16505; or the Sisters of Saint Joseph Convent, 5031 W. Ridge Road, Erie, PA 16506, or the Religious ED program/G.I.F.T. Campaign at Holy Cross Church.
Published in the Erie Times-News on Apr. 6, 2014