Doris Ann Reed Castevens August 21, 1957 - July 3, 2020 CHARLOTTE - Two things caught Joe Castevens' attention when he first laid eyes on Doris Reed in horticulture lab more than 40 years ago: her very long hair and very short shorts. When instructed to partner up, Joe made a beeline to her. "I usually work alone," Doris told him. Joe persisted and he soon learned that Doris wasn't just the prettiest girl in class but also one of the smartest. They made the seamless transition from lab partners to life partners. For the next 40 years, instead of working alone, Doris plunged deep into family, friendship, and community, all while living her life out loud. Doris Ann Reed Castevens was born in Jamestown, New York on August 21, 1957, the fourth of James and Doris Reed's five children. Fiercely independent and headstrong, Doris chose the University of Georgia largely because her mother said she couldn't. She earned her first "C" as a senior-- after she started dating Joe--but still graduated with honors. Always one to drive a hard bargain, she refused to move to Charlotte unless Joe made an honest woman of her. Always the first to fold, he agreed. They married on February 20, 1981. Doris and Joe had two children, David and Ashley, but their family included friends, neighbors, dogs (Tucker and Baxter), and their pet chicken, Speedie. The family worked countless hours restoring their Plaza Midwood home, making the plant-filled front porch a communal hangout. As a gifted crafts artist with a penchant for building community, Doris hosted legendary parties and held workshops on making jewelry and holiday decorations, which usually turned into a party. But nothing solidified her place as the Doyenne of Winter Street like the progressive dinners and Halloween tradition she ignited. Every year, hundreds of trick-or-treaters came to see the house and yard that rivaled the set of "Thriller" with her family and dogs as lead actors. Only Doris could turn a stage IV cancer diagnosis into a research project. Intent on becoming her own best advocate and educating others, she tackled the science and treatment of nonsmokers lung cancer with a singular focus and became a national advocate for funding and research. She and Joe used her four years post-diagnosis to travel through Europe and across North America and spend every possible moment with family and friends. On July 3, 2020, Doris Ann Reed Castevens--wife, mother, artist, friend, and cancer activist--died in the home she loved surrounded by the people she loved. She was preceded in death by her niece, Laura Ann Wells, and brother James Reed. She is survived by her husband and best friend, Joe; daughter, Ashley (Babak) Mostaghimi; son, David (Caitlin) Castevens; grandchildren, Kaveh and Laleh Ashley Mostaghimi; sisters, Jackie Wells, Donna (Gary) Norgaard; brother, Darryl (Coreen); sister-in-law Jane Goree; her canine son, Baxter; nieces and nephews; and innumerable friends. We are broken by her death but joyed by her life. To honor Doris, live strong, love hard, and don't put off what matters. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Lungevity Foundation or the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina. A Celebration of Life will be held later and, like all of Doris' parties, it will be epic. Learn more about Doris' journey, at posthope.org/doris-news/journal
Published by Charlotte Observer on Jul. 9, 2020.