Doris J. Walker

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Walker, Doris J.

Doris J. (Rezin) Walker, 95, born in her family home in Cranmoor on November 27, 1917, died peacefully at the House of the Dove Hospice in Marshfield on January 7, 2013.

A memorial service to celebrate Doris's life will be held on Saturday, February 2 at 11AM at St. John's Episcopal Church , 320 Oak Street, Wisconsin Rapids. Following the service, family and friends are invited to a luncheon buffet featuring "cranberry specialties" at the Hotel Mead's Centralia Room from 12:15 to 2PM. No visitation prior to the service; a burial of ashes will be held at a later date at the Port Edwards Cemetery.

Doris Janette Rezin was the second of thirteen children to William and Mabel (Sawin) Rezin. As a young girl, Doris attended school in Cranmoor, Nekoosa and Port Edwards; she recalled wintery rides from her home to town in a horse-drawn sleigh, snuggled under blankets with heated bricks for added warmth. Doris graduated from Nekoosa High School. In 1936 she was selected for the Queen's Court of the first annual Cranberry Festival (later called the Cranboree), and remembered canoeing to islands in the middle of the Wisconsin River for the Festival's bonfire.

Prior to her marriage, Doris worked as a nanny in Hawaii, as an office worker in the Milwaukee Courthouse, as well as at Central WI Motor Transport. After marrying Harold Walker in 1941, they became the co-founders of Walker Cranberry Co, Inc.

Doris was proud to be among the fourth generation of her family to be in the cranberry business, and even more proud that the family's cranberry growing tradition continues into the fifth and sixth generations with her son and grandsons. Her roots were deeply planted in the Cranmoor area, and she loved being surrounded by the beauty of the cranberry wetlands.

Doris enjoyed gardening, knitting, playing the piano, travel, photography and reminiscing through her many photo albums. She learned to use a computer when she was in her 80s, and enjoyed compiling her family tree and exploring the internet. Doris was a member of the Cranmoor Homemakers for many years. Always a resourceful person, Doris tried to do what she could for her growing family. She even took a night school woodshop class in her mid-60s so she could make a large set of building blocks for her grandchildren to play with. Her number one priority was always her family.

Doris will be sadly missed by her children, Beverly Schraeder (Arnold), Barb Hammerberg, Donna Schuette, Ryan Walker (Pam), Mary Dillmann (Todd) and Nancy Zabler, (Brien). Grandma Walker was proud of her 17 grandchildren, Arnie, Cherie (Joe), Dan (Malissa), Kelly (Sara), Nikki (Tim), Kyle, Debbie (Curt), Dani (Matt), Chad (Ariel), Andy, Tyler, Martin, Drew, Sydney, Ben, Robin and Lily, and also of her 19 great-grandchildren. She always enjoyed getting together with her surviving siblings, Gladys Vehrs, Marilyn Kampen, Shirley Moore and Don, Ed and Gerald Rezin, along with her sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and Pamela Jensen. She will also be remembered by many other friends, family and fellow cranberry growers.

Doris was preceded in death by her husband Harold, son Roger, sister Geraldine Hanneman, brothers Earl, Ken, Art, George and Leonard Rezin, her cousin Helen Gottschalk and son-in-law Gerald Schuette. On Harold's side of the family, Doris was the last remaining member of her generation.

Please designate any memorials to St. John's Episcopal Church, 320 Oak St., Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494. The family appreciates the care given to Doris by the kind staff at the House of the Dove Hospice.

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Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on Jan. 23, 2013
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