The Norman Transcript

February 12, 2014

Doris Jean Gowin Kupka

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Doris Jean was born Feb. 16, 1927, to Bill and Bessie Gowin. Her early years were spent at the home of her grandmother, Etta Lacy McLaughlin. Throughout her childhood, Doris developed her life-long love of travel by moving from place to place with her mother and her Naval officer stepfather. She lived in Boston, Norfolk, Va., and New Orleans.

She attended Mt. St. Mary’s high school in Oklahoma City. After graduation, Doris moved to California to attend college and to be closer to her father. Doris changed her address between Oklahoma City and the San Francisco Bay area several times while raising her family before settling in Las Vegas in 1978, when she married Andrew Kupka. They lived there more than 20 years before moving to Seattle to be closer to their children and grandchildren as Andy’s health declined.

Following Andy’s passing, she returned to Norman to be close to her daughter and great-grandchildren. In the interim, there were many Caribbean cruises, trips to Reno, Nev., Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico, with as many friends and family as she could convince to join her. She also traveled frequently to visit grandchildren and to meet her new great-grandchildren.

Doris enjoyed a crowd of admirers, a night out on the town or a good game of cards at home. She loved baseball and football and often hosted watch parties for her favorite teams, the Sooners, the Mariners, the Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles, Sudoku, classic movies and audiobooks.

Doris passed away in the early hours of Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in her Norman home surrounded in her last days by her son and daughter and all of her grandchildren.

Doris was preceded in death by her grandparents; her parents and stepparents; her first husband, George Smith; her second husband, Andrew Kupka; her aunts and uncles; her youngest son, John Charles Smith; her infant grandson, Joshua Charles Smith; and by her best friend, Fern Seikel.

Doris is survived by her daughter, Linda Lawson and her husband James; her son, George Owen “Bob” Smith Jr. and his wife Deborah; her brother, Bill Gowin, Jr.; her grandchildren, Eric (Heidi) Smith, Melessa (David) Gregg, Janet Lawson, Jonathan Smith, Daniel (Margaret) Smith, Selena (Scott) Young and Megan Smith; her great-grandchildren, Laura Cole, Victoria Cole, Natalie Gregg, Tristan Gregg, Caroline Gregg, Madeline Cole, Kassidy Cole, Elisa Gregg, Keagan Young, Gabriel Young, Eleanor Smith, Alexis Gregg, Kendall Smith and Zachary Smith; and her honorary family members, Bill Hunter, Cleo Dart, Jana “Leigh” Seikel, Madeleine Smith De Puglia, Matt Jackson, Marty Cole, Rachel Beard and Andrew Winn.

The family would like to thank A Better Life Home Care for taking care of “Jeannie” these last few months and providing her with her last honorary family members, Terry, Shelby, Cecilia and J.T.

Visitation for Doris will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Havenbrook Funeral Home. A wake will be 6 p.m. Thursday at the Havenbrook Funeral Home chapel.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Friday at the Havenbrook Funeral Home chapel, 3401 Havenbrook St. in Norman, with interment following at Rose Hill Burial Park in Oklahoma City.

Arrangements for Doris and her family were placed in the care of the Vice family at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman. Online condolences may be shared at

Norman Transcript, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

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