Cover photo for Doris Mae Hanusa's Obituary
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1927 Doris 2023

Doris Mae Hanusa

May 28, 1927 — March 29, 2023

Doris Mae Hanusa, 95, met her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. She was born on May 28, 1927, the daughter of Iver and Julia Carlson Hagen in Black Earth, WI. When her parents moved to Middleton, she attended and graduated from grade and high school with honors. She attended University of Wisconsin, Madison and Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. She taught school at The Children’s Home in Waverly and in Bellevue, IA.


She married Pastor Ralph W. Hanusa on August 21, 1949, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Middleton. This marriage was blessed with four sons.


She was a positive influence in every congregation where Ralph served. She took an active role in the American Lutheran Church Women serving as program Chairman. She is remembered at First English in Oshkosh for writing, planning, and directing the Lenten Tableau “Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper” and other Lenten scenes. This program attracted attendance from as far away as Madison being included in bus tours. The program remained popular for more than 25 years. She was also a Bethel Bible Study teacher.


Doris’ pride and joy was her family. She was devoted to her husband, sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.


Doris was a fabulous cook and baker. Feeding four boys on a pastor’s salary could be challenging; on average, Doris made 6 loaves of homemade bread per week, there were always homemade donuts, crispies, and the best pies you ever tasted.


There was not a game she did not enjoy playing – card games (very competitive Skip-bo games with sister Elsie and Larry Lohr), golf and cribbage. One of her favorite pastimes was playing pool; Doris and Ralph would have daily games just before supper. She was also nicknamed “Queen of the bank shot” by the people who played against her.


Doris and Ralph were married for 73 years. To sum up their marriage, Ralph wrote this the year of Doris’ 86th birthday:

Proverbs 31:10 says, “A good wife, who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” I can think of no finer tribute to Doris than to say I have had the good fortune of having found that good wife. She is a precious jewel; far more precious than any diamond in a jewelry store.


The Proverb goes on to say, “The heart of her husband trusts in her…She does him good and not harm, all the days of her life.” Wow! How lucky can one be to have had a wife like that for 63 years. Doris, you have been all to me and more than I could have hoped for. You have been a good mother to four handsome, talented sons. You were always there for them at the many times I thought the ministry demanded my time. You instilled in them the importance of living the potential with which they were blessed. You gave your all in so many ways. Happy 86th. Thanks for the memories. With love, Ralph.


In Doris’ own words (2008), looking back on her life:


‘I enjoyed my school days living with two wonderful parents. I enjoyed teaching first and second graders. I particularly enjoyed working and teaching at the Children’s Home because there I was both teacher and parent at times.


My favorite time was when I was raising our four precious boys, making a home for my husband, Ralph, and them – cooking and baking to please them. I enjoyed teaching them in every way I could.


I enjoyed working in the churches where my husband served. I wanted to help make his ministry special. One of my joys was writing and directing the women’s Tableau of Leonardo DaVinci’s Last Supper. I think fondly of all the people in all the churches we served: Faith in Metamora, Ohio, First American, Oconto, Christus, Clintonville, and First English, Oshkosh.


I want to ask forgiveness for anything I said or did to cause pain to anyone. I ask for your forgiveness and also God’s. Everyone is special and God loves you all.”


She is survived by her husband, Ralph, four sons, Dr. James (Robin) Hanusa, David (Janise), Timothy (Gail), and Daniel (Janell); eleven grandchildren and spouses, eight great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.


Speaking on behalf of the sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, we will miss her beautiful smile, kind nature, her laugh and love. We are blessed to have been a part of her life and will cherish our memories forever.


A memorial service will be at Peace Lutheran Church, 240 W. 9th Ave on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 with visitation from 11:00 AM and a service at 1:00 PM. Memorials may be given to the ELCA World Hunger program.


Thanks be to God!


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doris Mae Hanusa, please visit our flower store.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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