Doris LaFern (Keil) Maier, 92, of Natoma, Kansas and formerly of Gove County and Russell County Kansas, passed away on Saturday Aug 17th, 2019 at the Ness County Hospital.
Doris was born on April 12, 1927 in rural Russell County as the first child to John and Anna (Krug) Keil. She grew up in the Bender Hill area in a Volga German community, and attended Holly one room school house through 8th grade. She grew up during the depression and dustbowl days. Being the oldest child, much of her younger years were spent helping her mother with the household and raising her younger brothers.
Doris was united in marriage to Ruben Jacob Maier on November 10th, 1946 at the Bender Hill Lutheran Church. They first made their home in Russell County in a stone house that was the childhood home of Ruben’s mother, Katie Dumler. It was here that their first son Tom was born.
They moved to Gove County where they raised a family of 6 children and operated a farm and ranch from 1951-1972. She was an active member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Oakley, frequently teaching in Sunday school and vacation bible school. She was an active member of the Extension Home Makers Unit.
In 1972, the family moved to Natoma, Kansas where the family continued with farming and ranching of Angus cattle. She was an active member of Peace Lutheran Church where she was in the women’s guild and sang in the choir. She was instrumental in forming and operating the Natoma Thrifty Market. She was active in the Natoma Heritage Seekers and the Volga Germans Historical Society.
Her great joy in life was always family life. Her face always lit up to see a family member. She was a passionate gardener with a very green thumb and operated a home greenhouse. She enjoyed playing the organ, singing, and traveling. A highlight of the year was often a family summer vacation to the mountains, picnicking, fishing, visiting museums and exploring. It was a great joy in her life when she and Ruben traveled to Europe and visited Germany where she was able to converse with the locals in her childhood language.
Doris’s surviving family include: her brother Dean (Ruth) Keil of Russell, her sister-in-law Elsa (Marvin) Keil of Colby Kansas, Carolyn (Larry) Keil, Lincoln, Nebraska, sons Martin (Iva) Maier of Natoma, Steve (Cindy) Maier, Brownell, daughter Janna (Peter) Belau, Pagosa Springs, CO and Savannah, GA, daughter-in-law Donna (Tom) Maier, Russell and many grand, great grand and great great grandchildren.
Doris was proceeded in death by her parents, her husband Ruben, 3 sons Tom, John and Mikey, brothers Marvin, Larry and infant brother Melvin. A celebration of Doris’ life will be held at 11 A.M. on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at the Peace Lutheran Church in Natoma, Kansas. Burial will follow at the Natoma Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church from 9:30 A.M. to 11 A.M. on Wednesday the day of the service. Memorials may be given to Peace Lutheran Church or Cedar Village Long Term Care and sent in care of the mortuary. Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Natoma, Kansas, is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.