Doris M. Kohlbach passed away peacefully Tuesday March 1, 2022, at Wilson Memorial Hospital after a nearly 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. She was predeceased by her parents Robert and Ina VanOstrand; her in-laws Frank and Edna Kohlbach, brother Robert VanOstrand; her nephew Daniel Kohlbach; her son-in-law Donald VanZandt and her husband, Richard F. Kohlbach. She is survived by her large and loving family, including: son Richard (Sue) Kohlbach, daughter Cheryl Tifft, daughter Sharon VanZandt, son David (Kim) Kohlbach, son James (Kathryn) Kohlbach, brother-in-law Norman Kohlbach, niece Carol Conklin, Ellen Madison, Dennis Tifft; 12 grandchildren [Beau (Tonya), Frank (Corie), Andrew, Sarah (Brett), Dustin (Kris), Devin, Rachel (Brian), Denise, David Jr. (Ashlee), Nicole (Jesse), Caleb & Elena]; 18 great-grandchildren (Mara, Haley, Beau Jr, Parker, Lilly, Sage, Landon, Lydia, Henry, Carter, Kollin, Caeden, Ethan, Vallery, Adelyn, Cohen, Lyla and Ryder), 1 great-great-grandchild (Lucciano); sisters Virginia (Donald) Quinn, Patricia Koven, Carol (John) Hawley; brothers Rick, Roger and Jeffrey VanOstrand, and a countless number of extended family and friends.
Doris graduated from Windsor High School, and it was there that she met the love of her life, Richard Kohlbach, who she later married and started her ever expanding family. She had many nicknames, including Dode, Dodie, Dottie, Dotie, Grams and Gramma, but the two she was always most proud of were, MOM and GRANDMA DODIE. Looking back at photos, the most magical moments were when she was able to hold the newest members of her family – the smile and pride was unprecedented.
Doris worked at Putnam Publishing for a number of years before returning to managing the family farm. She was a wizard with numbers and her bookkeeping skills were unparalleled in an age before computers. Not only was she an administrator, but she was 100% hands-on every day at the farm. In the summers you’d find her in the vegetable or flower gardens, picking wild berries for the best homemade pies or most prominently, sitting atop her Case 730 tractor baling thousands of bales of hay every year.
Doris worked hard, but she always managed her time wisely to ensure she attended her children’s or family’s activities. She was a spiritual woman and the treasurer of Flowers Community Church for decades. She had a penchant for cards and always was up for an intense game of pinochle or pitch. Doris also enjoyed playing volleyball, but her most-loved sport was softball. There was no one better at place-hitting than her and that skill, combined with her fielding abilities earned her numerous MVP awards from her team over the years.
Doris excelled in the kitchen as much as she did on the softball field. She was a great cook and an even better baker. You never left her house hungry and even if you didn’t want them, you were going to get seconds of everything served. For what seems like forever, she was the sole-preparer, (from the turkey to desserts) of Thanksgiving dinners for 30+ family and friends. Recently, those duties were split amongst the family members, but the turkey always had to be cooked at her house.
Doris was an extremely benevolent woman and the matriarch of our family. There is a hole in our hearts now, but we take solace knowing that she is at peace in heaven with those loving family members who predeceased her. We will miss her physical presence dearly but know her spirit lives on in all of us. The family would also like to thank her wonderful at-home caregivers, Doreen and Natalie, plus the staff at Wilson Memorial Hospital South Tower 5 for the compassionate care they provided during Doris’s last days. Seeing her in such comfort and peace made this difficult time a bit easier on everyone.
Per Doris’s wishes, there will be no memorial service, but instead a Celebration of a Life Well-Lived on Saturday March 19, 2022, from 2:00 – 6:30 PM at the West Windsor Fire Station, 8 Karla Drive, Windsor NY 13865. Express condolences online at www.SavageFS.com. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (https://www.michaeljfox.org). Arrangements entrusted to SAVAGE-Demarco Funeral Service.
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