SANDUSKY - Doris Drennen, 60, a former home economics teacher at Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio, died Wednesday in her home after an 11-year battle with breast cancer.
Mrs. Drennen, born Feb. 3, 1942, in Sycamore, Ohio, worked odd jobs, and lived mostly with her parents in an attempt to save them money while attending Heidelberg College in Tiffin. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree and immediately began teaching at Margaretta.
During her time there, she shared a room in a house with friend and co-worker Loretta Miller, who has never forgotten her experiences living with Mrs. Drennen.
“We had kitchen privileges. We had to get our cooking done and out of kitchen at a certain time. Things were different back then,” Ms. Miller said.
She recalled the day Mrs. Drennen had to take a driving test because her license had expired.
“The highway patrol officer who was giving the test was somebody she knew and so they were talking and somebody else backed into her car.... She had to go back and do the test again,” Ms. Miller said. “We teased her about it for a long, long time.”
Friends of Mrs. Drennen said she decided to become a teacher because she loved passing along knowledge. She also had a passion for the subject she taught - sewing - and was well-known for her handiwork, her daughter, Theresa Klontz, said.
Mrs. Klontz said her mother made everything from afghans to teddy bears for her friends and family, as well as for charity.
“She was an amazing artist. She loved to knit. She made almost all of her own clothes. She made my wedding dress,” Mrs. Klontz said, describing her wedding dress as sheer and lacy. “She would make [teddy bears] for special occasions, like for my best friend. When she had her baby, she made one for her.”
Mrs. Drennen quit teaching several years after she began so she could start a family and spend time with her husband, Howard, and their daughter.
Mrs. Klontz said any time spent with her mother was special.
“She was one of my best friends. We spent a lot of time together and it might have just been going out to the mall or going out to lunch or just sitting around talking,” she said.
During the last few years, Mrs. Drennen made a point of trying whatever new treatments came along for her cancer, even though she realized she might not be cured. She wanted to help scientists find cures, said Helen DuBall, her friend and spiritual adviser of eight years.
“Her main goal was to give everybody hope that a cure for cancer would come even though for herself it was becoming very evident that she was succumbing to it. She always talked very positively about the treatments they were getting,” Mrs. DuBall said.
She had one other goal, Mrs. DuBall added - to love everybody.
“She may not have liked you, but she still tried to overcome that and love you. That was her philosophy,” she said.
Surviving are her husband of 34 years, Howard; daughter, Theresa Klontz, and two brothers, David and John Stuckey.
Services will be at 10 a.m. today in the Groff Funeral Home, Sandusky.
The family requests tributes to Stein Hospice Service, Inc., or Sand Hill United Methodist Church.