Cover photo for Doris Knipe's Obituary
Doris Knipe Profile Photo
1925 Doris 2010

Doris Knipe

March 5, 1925 — October 23, 2010

Doris Lucy McKenney was born March 5, 1925, on a family farm near Auburn, Nebraska, to Glenn and Cora (Buckingham) McKenney. She was the youngest of three children; Glenna and Jim were her older siblings. From early on, Doris loved adventure and horses. She rode her pony, Tootsie, bareback to Pleasant Ridge, District 18, a one room school house one mile from her home. Doris had vivid memories of her experiences at that country school. She recalled ?ciphering at the chalkboard, putting kindling in the wood stove, and playing Duck, Duck, Goose on the grassy hill outside the schoolhouse?.

In eighth grade, Doris graduated from District 18 and entered Auburn High School where she met her future husband of fifty-two years ? William J. Knipe - known as Bill to friends and family. They met through 4-H where they received the local award ?Healthiest Male and Female of Nemaha County?. Four years later, the year 1943 became momentous for Doris: she graduated from high school and a month later eloped. Bill had been drafted into the army at the start of WWII and was stationed in St. Charles, Louisiana. He sent her seventy-five dollars and Doris secretly hopped a train to marry him. Because of her age, the Justice of the Peace wouldn?t conduct the ceremony until he got permission from her parents. Upon calling her home, her father, Glenn, reportedly remarked to the official, ?She got all the way to Louisiana. She better get married.?

When Bill was dispatched to France during the war, Doris moved to Omaha where she worked as one of the secretaries to the president of the Martin Bomber Plant. On May 8, 1945, she was riding a city bus home when the end of the WWII was announced. Doris remembered how the bus had to stop because of all the celebrations that were taking place in the streets: ?People were dancing, honking their car horns, and shooting off firecrackers. The American flags were unfurled. The noise and cheering were tremendous. It was the happiest day of my life. Bill was coming home.?

During the fall of that year, Doris and Bill were reunited and moved to a small farm outside of Auburn where, over the next eight years, three children were born to this union: Karen Kay, Rebecca Sue and Charles William. Farm life was a busy time for Doris, planting flower and vegetable gardens, separating hogs, and (her family thought) making the best cherry pie and fried chicken in the county. Most of all, though, she created a wonderful home, a place of make believe and wonder for her three children.

Doris and Bill had their fun, too ? lots of it. On Saturday nights, they?d drive to the Elks Club in Falls City with their card-playing friends and danced to Big Band music - Paul Whitman and Orchestra, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and the like. Doris was quite the dancing partner in the early days, kicking up her heels whenever she could. She mastered the Cuddle Step, several of the Jitterbug Turns and finally, the famous slide through Bill?s legs, landing them one night the award of ?Best Dancers?.

Doris brought this high spirit of fun and adventure to her seven grandchildren, cheerfully following them during the football season and attending wrestling matches, dance and piano recitals. She was always one of their greatest supporters.

Beginning in 1961, Doris worked at the local ASCS Office in Auburn where she applied her extensive skills in bookkeeping and accounting. Later, she joined the staff at Educational Service Unit #4 and was eventually promoted to Office Manager and Treasurer. Doris loved working with teachers and school administrators and made many long lasting friendships during her employment there.

Since her marriage, Doris had joined St. Paul?s Lutheran Church and stayed active in its church activities all of her life. She particularly liked the Lutheran Church Women?s organization ? and the women that were part of it. Doris enjoyed singing in the triple trio, organizing educational and church outreach programs and serving at various church functions. Celebrating and decorating for the holy season of Christmas at church and at home was a lifelong passion of hers. As a grandchild observed, ?Every inch of her home was always filled with tinsel, sparkly lights, Dickens Village, and a variety of Nativity scenes. It looked like a fairy land.? And another granddaughter recalled, ?Grandma used to start singing Christmas carols in September - as she stood over the kitchen sink peeling potatoes!?

In the later years of her life, Doris was in declining health, dying peacefully on September 22, 2010. Doris Lucy Knipe will be remembered for her great love of family and friends, her personal and unique expressions of life, and for encouraging all who knew her. Why, we can hear her say even now while flashing those hazel green eyes of hers: ?Come on. You can do that!?

Doris is survived by daughters Karen and husband Hank DiPillo of Grass Valley, CA, Becky and husband G.E. Breed of Lincoln; son Chuck and wife Barbara Knipe of Auburn; grandchildren Matt Knipe, Brian Knipe, Klark Knipe, Monica Breed-Carithers, Allison Breed-Boyce, Nathan DiPillo, and Jeremy DiPillo; 5 great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 24, 1:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn. Inurnment of ashes will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be at the funeral home Saturday, October 23, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends 5:00 to 7:00.

Memorials are suggested to the Auburn Rescue Squad or Auburn Memorial Library Foundation.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doris Knipe, please visit our flower store.


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