Doris Pierce Obituary (2022) – Munster, IN

Doris Pierce

Dec 19, 1928 – June 13, 2022

VANCOUVER, WA – Doris Pierce, a 32-year faculty member of Purdue University Calumet Campus, Hammond, Indiana passed away in Vancouver Washington June 13, 2022. A native of Seminole, Oklahoma, she was born to James and Viola (Chestnut) Stuart on December 16, 1928. She met Robert Pierce while attending the University of Oklahoma, eventually marrying in 1955. He served as City Manager of Marysville, Missouri, then for 20 years as City Manager of Park Forest, Illinois.

Retired from Purdue Calumet in 1994, Doris was designated for Professor Emerita of Political Science. She served as head of the department of History and Political Science from 1986 until her retirement. Under her leadership, a criminal justice operation and an area of ​​specialization in Public Administration were developed. Also, course offerings in European History were expanded and Purdue Calumet’s Center for International Research and Education (CIRE) was conceived. Pierce served a first CIRE director, 1989-1990. She also served on the committee that developed the University’s Women Studies Program. Her instructional arises also include urban politics and public law. Before coming to Purdue Calumet, she served as an assistant professor of Political Science at Northwest Missouri State. She also held a Bachelor’s Degree in English from East Central State (Okla.) College, a master’s in Political Science and a JD degree from the University of Oklahoma. She completed the coursework for her PhD at the University of Kansas. A former student of Pierce’s at Purdue Calumet established an endowed scholarship at Purdue in her honor in 2021.

As she approached retirement from Purdue Calumet, Doris rejoined the League of Women voters in 1993 in order to have an outlet for her professional interest and expertise. She was President of the Homewood-Flossmoor Area League of Women Voters 1995 – 1997, Illinois League of Women Voters Legislative Specialist and state Board member from 1997 – 1999. In 1999 she became Campaign Finance Chair for the State League. She remained active in the Homewood-Flossmoor area league until her death.

In January 1998 she began piano lessons with Margaret Nichols and took lessons with Mrs. Nichols at the Sherwood Conservatory of music until Mrs. Nichols retired. Music became the primary focus of her activities. Doris made her first trip to Europe in 1954 and after her marriage, she and Robert traveled abroad every other year as long as their health permitted, including waltzing into the New Year at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna , Austria. They were interested in history, art, music, opera and birding. Travel included Kenya, Costa Rica, Trinidad-Tobago, Panama, India, Europe, and many locales in the US focused on birding.

She lived in Olympia Fields, Illinois for over 30 years, and after losing Bob who passed in 2019, then suffering a series of strokes. Even though disabled, Doris continued to thrive by her spirit and energy, supported by her devoted caretaker Viktorija and her “posse” of League of Women Voters buddies. Doris moved to Washington state in March of 2022 to be closer to devoted friends of 50 years during her final years which were cut short by her unexpected death. She continued to read her New York Times, listen to classical music, monitor politics of the day, and took joy in watching the birds, squirrels, rabbits, and flowers from her big window. She will be missed by many, including the decades-old coterie of over-sleek squirrels, chipmunks, birds and other critters who became used to a bon appetite passage through the bitter Chicago winters in front of Doris’s glass patio door.

Doris married a soulmate, educated and inspired her students, worked to better her society and country, and enjoyed and celebrated life with her friends for 93 years – a life well-lived.

Published by The Times on Jul. 31, 2022.

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