Navigation Menu

Doris (Rettig) Conway

August 23, 2018


Doris Jane was a retired management consultant and facilitator with the State of Minnesota. She spent much of her working life engaged in community and human development through the Ecumenical Institute and Institute of Cultural Affairs, based in Chicago, Illinois. This work led Doris Jane to live in cities and towns across the U.S., as well as in Canada and Indonesia.


Doris Jane was born in Indianapolis, IN to the late Dr. Chester C. Conway and D. Genevieve Conway. A 1958 graduate of Thomas Carr Howe High School, Doris graduated from DePauw University in 1962 with a BA in English and earned her MA in Religious Education from Drew University in 1964.


Doris Jane enjoyed singing and all kinds of music, particularly folk and bluegrass, and she played the piano and dulcimer. She was an avid reader and upon retirement also spent time writing and participating in writing groups. Doris Jane was a member of the United Church of Granville and formerly the North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a member of different churches during her life, Doris Jane led Sunday School, taught bible studies and book groups, and engaged in making the churches welcoming and supportive.


Surviving are her daughter and son-in-law, Jessica Rettig and Geoffrey Smith; son and daughter-in-law, Dirk and Krista Rettig; grandchildren, Wesley and Logan Smith, and Pavel and Liesel Rettig; brother and sister-in-law, J. Michael and Marcia Conway; sister, Kathleen Conway; and special friend, Richard Hunter.


I celebrate the life of Doris and her service as one of Those Who Care. I was from the Fresno Cadre under the San Jose House San Francisco Area. I attended the New Individual in the New Society (NINS) course in a large hall in Oakland, CA. I remember Loudermilk, and Mathews gave the closing address which rocked my world. How do we be servants in the world. A turn to the world was needed now more than ever. Doris came and talked with me about becoming a sojourner in San Jose, but I had decided to move to San Francisco to study cinematography at SFO. So I would be a university intern in SFO.  But had Doris not talked with me, I might not have made that decision. She was always very gentle and yet clear, firm, and calm.


I am sure she will be greatly missed by those who were lucky enough to know and love her. Sometimes it is the quiet and strong willed ones that help people to decide their future and then we forget them. I will remember her as a key person who simply asked, what do you want to do now? Grace and Peace,

          ~~  Evelyn Kurihara Philbrook with ICA Taiwan in Taipei


I love this memory, Evelyn. Doris was in Jakarta when we were in Bontoa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It was she who patiently explained to me “Puwasa,” the holy month of Ramadan. She was always thorough, respectful, and a very good soul.

          ~~   Diann McCabe


Doris and I, along with Doris Morris, were teachers together at Jakarta International School when we were assigned together from the Kelapa Dua Human Development Project to help earn the staff support.  We also had the benefit of having our children in a fabulous educational program, well-funded by all the large oil companies and embassies working in Indonesia.  Students came from many nationalities.  The long rides from the project into the city of Jakarta were fraught with many obstacles, unbelievable potholes, dreadful mud, and “race car” type driving.  Our old van didn’t have shatter-proof windows and it was not unusual for us to have another broken window or a missing side mirror by the time we reached school.  After one accident, the back door wouldn’t close properly and was secured by a rope tied to the front door frame.  As the year went on, our children began to ask to be let off before getting into the car line so that they wouldn’t be seen getting out of such a jalopy.

Doris was a well loved teacher at JIS.  She, Doris M. and I shared many adventures together in that old van and in the village.  It has been a pleasure to reconnect with her in the more recent years.  In spite of her illness she was always heavily involved with her church as well as the community and her dear grandchildren, and keeping up with the latest good reads and plays.

           ~~  Lynda and John Cock




I worked with Doris in the Fifth City infant and mini school.  She partnered with Ruth Carter in the infant school and the two of them created wonderful events and cared deeply for those small ones.  Of course later Ruth ran the preschools for many years in Fifth City.

Doris was also the sister of my cousin’s husband.  When my cousin who I had not seen for many years was very ill, Doris re-connected me to her.  For this I am very grateful. Peace,

          ~~  Jeanette Stanfield