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Doris Denke Janek

October 31, 1931 — January 23, 2015 



A visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 PM on Monday, January 26, 2015 at J. Levy and Termini Funeral Home on Galveston Island.

The funeral service for Doris will be at Grace Episcopal Church on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM, with the Reverend Meredith Holt officiating.

Interment at Calvary Catholic Cemetery will follow the service.

  Doris Denke Janek, 83 years young, was called home by the Lord on January 23, 2015, after a lengthy illness.

Doris was born on October 31, 1931, on Galveston Island – and never moved away. She was the second child (and only daughter) of Dolores and Emile Denke, Sr. As a young girl, she showed her intelligence early through excellence in her schoolwork at Galveston’s Ball High School. Yet, as with many things in her life, Doris was not content with doing just the minimum. While at Ball High, she was: selected to the National Honor Society in ’47 and ’48; Goodfellow in ’46, ‘47; cheerleader in ’47; sophomore class treasurer; junior class secretary; senior class treasurer; Mardi Gras Queen ’46; ROTC Queen ’48; Sarah Ball Senior Girls Club ’48; and Quill Queen ’48. She loved to roller skate, a very popular pastime among the younger Galveston crowd. In 1952, she was named the queen of Galveston’s Marine Corps Ball.

While at her 1948 senior prom, she was noted by one young man present (a telephone man, just out of his service to the U.S. Navy) as being “the most beautiful girl in the room” and much too popular to consider asking out. More on that in a minute!

Doris graduated from high school at the age of 16 and went straight to work, landing a job at J. Levy and Bros. Funeral Home as a bookkeeper and secretary – a posting that lasted for 10 wonderful years as she gained the mutual respect of Mr. Levy. In fact, that friendship and respect led Mr. Levy to make sure that, as Hurricane Carla bore down on Galveston Island in 1961, Doris and her family were safe. He sent a truck to the home of his former employee to evacuate them all to safety by riding out the storm at the funeral home. She later became the registrar at her beloved Ball High.

But, wait…a family? Yes, because that young former sailor who stared wide-eyed at Doris at the prom finally found an opportunity to ask her out on a date, in March of 1952. And fourteen months later that young man, Eddie Janek, somehow convinced one of the most popular girls in town to be his bride. Four years later they had the first of their three sons.

With her typical energy, Doris threw herself into the things that mattered to her family. A paper route was managed at various times by all three sons, and always under the watchful eye of Doris. There were school events of the time: PTA meetings, school plays, spelling bees, and open house nights in the classroom. Of course, there were lots of sports. With the Janek household being built around baseball schedules in the summer, there were days when Doris would have three sons playing baseball games at different times, and Eddie coaching another team as well. She managed the schedules, kept up with the uniforms, retrieved lost gloves, and shuttled between the ballparks. Later, she discovered tennis through her sons and took up the game herself. High school matches, out of town tournaments, and the boys’ ever-increasing circle of friends who adopted her kitchen as their own kept Doris at her preferred frenetic pace. She loved every minute of it. And through all this time, she continued to work, staying at each job for extended periods out of loyalty and duty. Doris worked for Mr. Lee Ansell at his accounting firm for over two decades, and worked in hospital administration at UTMB for a decade starting in the 1980’s. Doris’ last career move was to help her husband and son with their telecommunications company starting in 1992.

A devout Christian, Doris raised her sons at Grace Episcopal Church. There she taught Sunday school, served on the vestry and the altar guild, helped with the bookkeeping, and worked at the charitable store, The Silk Purse.

This amazing wife and mother was preceded in death by her parents, and leaves behind a cadre of loved ones: her beloved husband of 62 years, Eddie; brother Emile and his wife Johanna; son Ed, Jr. and his fiancée Heidi Bressler; son Kyle and his wife Shannon; son Craig and his wife Meg; her adoring grandchildren Ryan, Will, Walker, Luke, Megan, and Brooklyn; nephew Danny Denke and his wife Rebecca ; niece Debra Denke and her husband Marcin Wedlarski; niece BJ Kershaw and her husband Mike; and cousins Margaret Apffel and Bernice Mougey. Doris was blessed during the years of her illness to be under the extraordinary care of Dr. Tom Blackwell and his staff, who never wavered in commitment to her no matter how minor the issue or late the hour. Lastly, her life and comfort at home with Eddie were extended immeasurably by the loving daily attention of her loyal caretaker of ten years, Geneva Martelli. The family is grateful to all who pitched in to help.

A visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 PM on Monday, January 26, 2015 at J. Levy and Termini Funeral Home on Galveston Island. The funeral service for Doris will be at Grace Episcopal Church on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM, with the Reverend Meredith Holt officiating. Pallbearers will be Mr. John Knust, Mr. Frank Macaluso, Mr. Grant Mock, Capt. Mike Kershaw, The Honorable R.A. Apffel, Mr. Herbie Doreck, Dr. Chip Routt, and Mr. Roy Lee Dickson. Honorary pallbearers are Mr. Wense Guzman, Mr. Fred Moore, Mr. Trent Morgan, Mr. Paul Hopkins, Mr. Buddy Garcia, Mr. Rick Gornto, Mr. Leroy Schaper, and Judge Ray Holbrook. Doris’ grandchildren will be junior pallbearers.

Interment at Calvary Catholic Cemetery will follow the service, and a reception will be held at Mario’s Seawall Italian Restaurant immediately afterward. All are welcome.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the charity of one’s choice.