Doris Marie Knight Blanke, 93, of Russell, Kansas, and former Kensington, Kansas resident, died on Saturday, March 04, 2023, at the Russell Regional Hospital.
Doris was born on May 04, 1929, in Phillips County, Kansas, the daughter of Howard and Julia (Lala) Smith. She was born and raised on the family farm south of Kirwin, Kansas. She attended Jaybird country school through grade school. Her father died from tuberculosis when she was 12 and her mother remarried when she was 14. The family moved to a farm north of Kensington, Kansas, and Doris graduated from Kensington High School. She was united in marriage to Glen Knight on July 20, 1947, in Kensington. From this union Doris and Glen were blessed raising four children Jerry, Terry, Glenda and Cindy. She was an accountant supervisor for Kansas Nebraska Energy for 28 years and worked as a county clerk, waitress and doctor’s assistant. Doris found love a second time and was united in marriage to Kenny Blanke on October 30, 2000, in Athol, Kansas. She was a longtime member of Athol Congregational Church in Athol, Kansas. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Eastern Star. She enjoyed dancing, working crossword puzzles, traveling with Kenny to all 50 states, camping and getting together with her family. She especially enjoyed snowbirding to Arizona with Kenny and spending time with her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Surviving family include her husband Kenny of the home, sons Jerry Knight and wife Vicki of Loveland, Colorado and Terry Knight of North Platte, Nebraska; daughters Glenda Ratliff and husband Dennis of Smith Center, Kansas and Cindy Beckmann and companion David Stewart of Gaylord, Kansas; brother Larry Westerman and wife Tonya of Kensington, Kansas; Kenny’s children Gene Blanke and wife Marsha of Lakehills, Texas, David Blanke and wife Pat of Florissant, Missouri, Heidi Blanke of Ballwin, Missouri and Star Gates and husband Greg of Wichita, Kansas; 22 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, first husband Glen Knight on May 07, 1998, infant sister Gwen, step-father Frank Westerman grandchildren Sammy and Cory Reeves and son in-law David Beckmann.
A celebration of Doris’ life will be held at 11 A.M. on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the Athol Church of Christ in Athol, Kansas, with Pastor Becky Sadler officiating. Burial will follow at Germantown Cemetery in North Kensington, Kansas. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Friday, March 10, 2023, at the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell, Kansas, with family greeting guests from 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. Friday evening. A Prayer Service will be held at 7:00 PM at the mortuary. In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Kensington American Legion or Athol Church of Christ and sent in care of Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, Kansas who are in charge of the funeral service arrangements.