Doris Harback

August 31, 1920 - July 8, 2016
Kalamazoo, MI



Saturday, July 16, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Oshtemo United Methodist Church
6574 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

A luncheon with a time of sharing will be held immediately following in the fellowship hall.

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At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Oshtemo United Methodist Church
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Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
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Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


If you knew Doris Harback, then chances are you know that she never met a stranger, or at the very least someone who didn't become her friend. Through her role as a wife, mother, and grandmother and the time she spent at her job, she made caring for people her life's work, and it was a career she excelled at. Above all else, Doris was dedicated to the well-being of her family and cherished every moment she had with them. Although she lived in a world where very few things are permanent, she knew of two things that she could always count on, the love of God and the love of her family.

1920 was the beginning of the era known as "The Roaring Twenties". World War I was but a grim memory and Americans were enjoying some of the new "technologies", such as, automobiles, radio and movies. James and Marie (Jackson) Cutshaw were living in Kalamazoo, Michigan and preparing for some enjoyment of their own. Already the parents of two boys and one girl, on August 31, 1920 they welcomed the birth of their second daughter, Doris. For the next five years, there were just the four of them. In 1926, Beverly was born, followed soon after by Philip, James and Patricia. The family of ten was now complete.

Doris and her brothers and sisters grew up in Kalamazoo, but when the Depression of 1929 hit, the Cutshaw family lost their home, as did many others, and they had to move out in the country to the family farm on M-89 in the Richland area. Doris attended school in Richland and was the first of her family to graduate from high school, which was then called the Richland Rural Agricultural School.

After high school, Doris began working at a local restaurant and it was there that she met Duane "Dewey" Harback. Duane was a truck driver and often stopped into the diner for a cup of coffee, and probably to see Doris. Their friendship blossomed into love and the two drove to Byran, Ohio, where they eloped on October 19, 1940.

Soon Doris and Duane had a family of their own - daughter Sherry and son Duane. When Doris's children were little, her sister-in-law died, leaving four little children -all under the age of six. Without hesitation, for about nine months Doris and Duane welcomed these four children into their family and she was now a mother of six - all under the age of six!

Although the family was large, there was usually little chaos. Doris believed in discipline and ran the household well. She was very particular about how things should be done, and wanted them done right. No one ever complained of being bored because Mom would just add more chores to their list. She was a stay at home mom and loved spending time with her family. She was a member of the school PTA and often helped in the kids' classrooms.

When her son Duane left to join the service, Doris decided it was time to work outside the home. She began working in the office at Ridgeview Manor, a local nursing home as an administrative assistant.

With the children grown and on their own, Doris and Duane moved to Holiday, Florida, where Doris continued her work of giving by working at the Free Medical Clinic. Besides working, Doris had many hobbies to keep her busy. She loved to read, crochet and she was a wonderful cook. She was a strong-willed person but also had a great sense of humor. She always tried to be positive in her life but couldn't help worrying about her family, no matter where they were or what they were doing. Her grandson Chad had a service dog (Pryde II), and it always made her smile when the dog came to visit her at Park Village Pines.

Doris tried to instill in her family, the life lessons of honesty, integrity, good morals, high standards, and most importantly, love of the Lord. And Doris's love of the Lord was so important in her life as she was a four-time survivor of cancer -true miracles.

In 1997, they decided to move back to Kalamazoo where Doris became a member of the Oshtemo United Methodist Church. Her church family was an important part of Doris' s life, along with her own family. Sadly, her husband, Duane, died in 1999.

The deep love she had for her family was the guiding constant in Doris' s life. Spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren brought her the most joy. Doris spent the last five years of her life at Park Village Pine Assistant Living. Four of those years she was under Hospice care. A strong-willed person, yet full of love for those around her, this beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother went to heaven to be with her savior, Jesus Christ on July 8, 2016.

Doris was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Albert, Richard and James; two sisters, Dorothy (Dot) and Patricia and one sister-in-law, Eleanor. She is survived by her two children and their spouses. Sherry and Jim Holmes of Kalamazoo, Duane and Bonnie Harback of Three Rivers, and five grandchildren; five great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild; a sister, Beverly; a brother, Philip (Margaret); niece and caregiver Gaylia and many other nieces and nephews. The family deeply appreciates the love and card given at Park Village Pines and the Hospice nurses, Christie and JoAnn.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday July 16 at the Oshtemo United Methodist Church with Pastor Carol Newman officiating. A luncheon will be held immediately following the service in the church's fellowship hall with a time to share stories and memories. Please visit Doris' personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook.

Memorials may be given to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, Oshtemo United Methodist Church or the donor's choice. Arrangements by Betzler Life Story Funeral Home.