Doris Nadine (Keith) Avants, 85, died Saturday, February 10, 2018 at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City following a brief illness. A visitation for family and friends will be Wednesday, February 14, 2018 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Strode Funeral Home, 610 S. Duncan St., Stillwater. Funeral Services will be at 10:30am on Thursday February 15, 2018 at the First Baptist Church, 701 S. Duncan St., Stillwater. A graveside service will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Doris was born August 8, 1932 in Payne County near Stillwater, Oklahoma to James W. Keith and Velma O. (Graham) Keith.
Doris attended a little one-room schoolhouse called Cottonwood just west of Stillwater during her grade school years. She shared a pony with her siblings getting two and from school. The family moved into Stillwater locating on a ten-acre farm, which now is a heavily traveled road with many businesses, Perkins Road and Hall of Fame. Doris graduated in 1950 from Stillwater High School where she enjoyed playing the French horn and was part of the Drum and Bugle Corps.
Doris had a beautiful smile, warm laugh and a kindhearted spirit. This is what was to catch the attention of her (unknown at the time) future sister-in-law, Marie. It took a while but Marie finally convinced her to write her brother who was in the Army and overseas at the time. What was a reluctant start became two years of corresponding through letters. Once her lifelong love, Vernon Gene Avants, returned from overseas, they met for the first time; it only took three months until they were married. Vernon and Doris celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on April 6, 2017.
Doris was a homemaker and mother of four children who followed her husband to multiple locations throughout the U.S. while the family was still young. The family eventually returned to Stillwater in 1971 where the three younger children also graduated from Stillwater High.
Following their return, Doris was an active member of Cottonwood Community Home Extension Club where she had perfect attendance until her health began to fail. She and her husband were active faithful members of First Baptist Church and Doris taught preschool children for 30 years. Doris enjoyed playing hymns on her piano and organ.
Doris worked with Stillwater Public Schools, and in her last position, she was the High School Cafeteria Manager until she retired. While with SPS she earned several awards including Support Personnel of the Year, State Louise Sublet Award for Oklahoma, Food Service Employee of the Year, numerous ribbons for Payne County Fair entries and award winning cinnamon rolls using a recipe she developed and perfected on her own.
Her parents, James and Velma Keith of Stillwater predeceased her and one great-grandchild.
Survivors include her son, Ronald Avants of Stillwater; three daughters, Cheryl (Avants) Maye of Stillwater, Melinda (Avants) Williams and her husband Joe of Ada, Janice (Avants) Cox and her husband, Tad of Stillwater; Eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and numerous other beloved family members.
She loved serving her Lord and is now rejoicing with Him in her heavenly home.
Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com .