Her parents were from different worlds. She was named Dora after her maternal grandmother from central Indiana and Marie for her father's deceased French-Canadian mother. Dora Marie Turpin, later known as Marie Hockemeyer, would take the lessons of those distinct worlds and shape them into a life well-lived by a person greatly-loved.
Her father cut a dashing figure as a soldier. D. John Turpin, or Dick, ran away from an orphanage, found odd jobs in New York City, and joined the service at a young age. Although his youth had been difficult, Dick remained passionately optimistic throughout his life. Accordingly, Dick pursued his "retirement" career with the Indiana Department of Health with zeal, striving to protect people from the squalor he had suffered in the orphanage he escaped. Marie would credit his cheerful resilience to his family's background in the Catholic Church, even though he had lapsed formal practice of the faith as a young man. Dick would pass his nurturing optimism and zany sense of humor to Marie.
Her mother was a calm and cool librarian. Mona Belle (Albright) Turpin was the only child of a comfortable family from central Indiana. Mona Belle and Dick met while both were working at a large hospital in Tupper Lake, New York: Mona Belle as a librarian and Dick as an orderly. Dick always worked to keep Mona Belle comfortable. Unlike Dick, Mona Belle often occupied herself by looking to the past. She devoted much of her time to reading and, later, genealogy and capturing time in landscape paintings. Mona Belle instilled in her daughter respect for the discretion required to maintain polite company in almost any setting. Mr. and Mrs. Turpin welcomed Marie, their first child, to the world in Indianapolis on July 15, 1936. Marie was an energetic child, often told to "settle down" by her mother. At the same time, Marie's thumb-sucking, which also perturbed her mother, foreshadowed a self-comforting skill that would serve her well throughout life.
When she was about three years old, Dick re-enlisted in the Army for what would become his first career. The nuclear family would relocate to different states as Dick's service to his country required. For that reason, Marie considered herself an Army Brat, by which she meant a child "who is moved from one camp to another and never has any roots down."
In 1943, Dick was sent to the South Pacific and Mona Belle returned to Indianapolis with her children. There, Marie's maternal grandparents, again, became a part of the household. Her Grandmother Dora taught Home Economics at the Indiana School for the Deaf and helped an over-whelmed Mona Belle maintain the household, which now also included Marie's younger siblings, Marcia and Joe. Although Marie minimized the moniker "Dora" much of her life, the elder Dora would leave an indelible mark on her granddaughter - sharing a tireless work ethic and aptitude for domestic engineering with both skill and style.
Marie began attending Washington Center School in rural Whitley County, Indiana when her family moved to Tunker in 1947. She was an exemplary student who loved to debate in class and also worked on the school newspaper. Upon graduating from eighth grade, she received both the Citizenship and Scholarship awards. At school, she met and fell in love with DeWayne Hockemeyer, a farmboy with deep roots in the community. The two married on June 15, 1953, and began their own family before Marie graduated from High School, which she eventually completed at Central High School in Fort Wayne. Marie converted to DeWayne's Lutheran faith and was a fixture at the church for years to come.
Marie sometimes referred to the next twenty years of her life as a "blur." She modestly noted that she didn't remember doing anything but sterilizing bottles and doing laundry while raising five children next door to her parent's home in Tunker. Nevertheless, her children all remember that she was each of their biggest fan, serving, at various times, as room mother, 4-H leader, Sunday School teacher, PTA officer, and band booster. They also recall the occasional "en-route to church spit-bath," if they had failed to properly groom themselves. However, Marie would never use child-rearing duties to excuse her from maintaining a beautiful home, garden, and an impeccable personal sense of style.
Part-time employment at the Tunker Store supplemented household income. When the children were older, she was employed at the Sears outlet in Columbia City. She then worked in the office at Plastic Veneering in Tunker for 13 years, before a brief stint with Morsches Lumber and then serving as the first manager at the newly-renovated Lafontaine Center in Huntington. She retired from the position of Whitley County Chief Deputy Auditor in 2007.
Halloween was only one of the many opportunities she found to play "dress up" for the amusement and, sometimes, the embarrassment of her family and friends. She was a Clown College graduate and used costumes as just one outlet for her playful sense of humor. She would seldom drink spirits, noting that she was goofy enough without them.
Although she never completed the bachelor's degree she started at the regional campus of IU, Marie was a life-long learner. She completed classes on personal style and real estate. She was an avid reader with a particular taste for historical fiction. Marie loved visual and performing arts - especially music. Although she couldn't carry a tune, swim, or spell to save her life, she made sure all of her children could. Marie participated in various community and charitable organizations in Whitley and Huntington Counties but was particularly proud of her membership in Coterie Club and volunteer work at the Whitley County Historical Society, local Senior Center and Whitley Parkview Hospital.
After maintaining a residence in Tunker for almost 50 years, Marie and DeWayne moved to a new home on Loon Lake where they lived for several years. While DeWayne enjoyed fishing, she loved to mow the lawn or sit in her English Garden. Although she enjoyed having her family over for fish fries and holidays, Marie's energy to prepare her home before and clean up after such events waned as her health declined in later years. She eventually moved from her lake home to Millers at Oake Pointe, with DeWayne soon moving next door in the Oak Pointe apartments. Even as DeWayne struggled to walk, he would always come to spend time with Marie to make conversation or just watch television together. In doing so, he would observe that Marie had spent most of her life taking care of him and that he would now do whatever he could for her.
Dora Marie Hockemeyer, age 83, passed away Thursday, May 14, 2020 at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home. She was preceded in death by her parents but is survived by her loving husband of almost 67 years. She is also survived by siblings Marcia Beasley of Floral City, Florida and Joseph (Hester) Turpin of Redland, California; children Richard (Lisa) Hockemeyer, Victoria (David Meyer) Thorson, Lorene (James) Jenkins, Greggory Hockemeyer, and Jeffrey (Sherri Lowder) Hockemeyer all of Whitley County; nine grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.
Several churches benefited from her attendance and strong faith. She would sometimes observe that if a problem wouldn't result in eternal damnation, it should "go on the little problem pile."
Marie believed herself to have been blessed with parents who practiced unconditional love before the concept was popularized. The passionate soldier and reflective librarian raised a girl who would, in turn, bring unconditional love to her children. Because Marie's magical perspective enabled her to constantly seek improvement while still being content with her circumstances, she was an inspiration to more than just her family.
A private service will be held with immediate family and she will be laid to rest at Eberhard Lutheran Church Cemetery with Pastor Alice Smith officiating. Memorial donations may be made in Marie's name to the Whitley County Historical Society or the Woodlands Senior Center in Columbia City. Arrangements with DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City. Visit www.DeMoneyGrimes.com to send her family condolences online.
Pallbearers serving for Marie are Heather Thorson, Marcus Thorson, Christian Hockemeyer, Elisabeth Hockemeyer, Quentin Jenkins, Celine Jenkins, William Hockemeyer, and Trent Lowder.
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Dear Hockemeyer family, I’m so sorry to hear of Marie passing. I have always admired her. I have treasured memories of growing up with you Lori, you were my very best friend. May God bless and give you and the family peace through this difficult time.
DeWayne and family, our most sincere sympathy in the loss of your Marie. We think of you often. Praying for you all during this most difficult time. Bill and Deb Swihart
Her youngest graduating from high school in 1982
I'll always and forever remember Marie as that loving, big hearted and 'slap happy' (man did she have one heck of a belly laugh) type of person. She had such a positive grasp on life, always looking at what could be rather than what couldn't be. Marie always loved that I was different (being from Ireland) and loved learning about what made me unique. While she was learning, I was loving - her loving and learning spirit will live on in me forever. If I had to pass a little bit of DMH on today, I would say this: eat dessert before dinner, put others needs before your own and finally..... LAUGH A LOT (dress in funny costumes, life is short - enjoy it!!!!!)
I will miss all of our fun adventures together. I learned so much from you and will always be grateful for that. I hope I can make you proud by carrying on your love of volunteering and your ability to always see the bright side. Cheers grandma!
Although I never knew this person, this obituary captures the essence of a fun and happy American woman and her family. Rejoice in knowing such a person. My condolences and best wishes going forward.
I remember meeting Marie while serving on the Whitley County Literacy Council. She was a gem, her smile and sense of humor endearing. Mary Helfrich
I am so sad and sorry to see this, Prayers to the entire family. I know she will be truly missed as she was loved by all who knew her. I recall her as woman of class with down to earth nature. I loved her smile and kindness. Sorry to see this. God be with you all/
To the Entire Family, I know Marie will be missed so very much. Marie always treated my Mom and I so kindly. What a Beautiful Soul... I hope you all find comfort in the knowledge that she is now in the arms of our Lord and Savior.
I am so blessing to have had Marie part of my life....so many great sleepovers, she could put your hair in a bun that would not move the entire day (could have been the gallon of hairspray), breakfast with a TON of brown sugar in our Cream of Wheat (still the way I eat it) and she was so none judgmental. As an adult she celebrated the birth of my children with hospital/home visits and gifts. During my divorce she would send weekly cards or just show up with an inspirational gift. She was a true friend to my mom. Marie was one of a kind and will be much missed.....Love to you all,
To all of you....Marie was a true friend and cherished the guidance she gave me while under her wing at the LaFontaine Center. I will miss her. Take care all of you and thinking of you during this time of loss. My sympathy to everyone... Lynn Gamble
To the family, I want you know how much I loved and appreciated Marie. There were several times in my life when I was struggling with an issue and she provided me with advice that got me through and made me a better, more empathetic person.
DeWayne, Rick, Vic, Greg, Jeff, and Lori so sorry to hear about Marie. When I read the part about “zany” sense of humor I thought it perfectly described her. I’ll always remember the years at St. John’s when Rick,Vic and I were growing up. My mom always liked Marie and they probably talked about the headaches we kids gave them . Marie has now gone to the rest and peace of a better place. Craig Kneller
Our sympathies to you all. We are so sorry for your loss. ---Larry and Julaine Hockemeyer & family
My deepest sympathy to the Hockemeyer family. I first worked with Marie at Sears and we had so much fun. Who knew that years later we would be working together again in the Auditor’s Office. She was such a lovely lady.
DeWayne and family,
You have my deepest sympathy on the loss of Marie. She was such a wonderful,
cheerful, caring person. I’m sure she will be greatly missed. Treasure those wonderful memories you have had over her life time. However, she is now in a much better place -- came to the fullest in life – Eternal Happiness.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Dear DeWayne Leroy & I express our sympathy to you and your family. I remember the fun times we had playing cards together at the Senior Center. I also enjoyed my visits with both of you at Miller at oak point. May God comfort you.
We 5 “Miller Kids, (of Ron & Mary Kathryn)” loved Marie and we love DeWayne so much! Our heart-felt sympathy to DeWayne, Rick, Viki, Gregg, Jeff and Lori. Marie will be greatly missed, for sure and just as sure there is an extra brightly shining star in Heaven, now!! Peace be with You, Marie, and with you All, dear Hockemeyers! Love, the Miller Kids, Virginia (Jinny), Mark, Gloria, Lucia & Michael~
You may not remember who I am but my name is Kathy. I worked at CVS in pharmacy. It was always such a pleasure to serve the Hockemeyer family who ever came in to the store. Especially Mr. Hockemeyer. As time passed and he was no longer able to come himself I was able to still get updates from other family members who were just as nice. So sorry to read of Marie's passing but a wonderful life story. Such a great family and you are in my thoughts and prayers
My condolences to Marie's family. She was a good friend. Courthouse and Historical Society.
I am very sorry for your loss. She sounds like she had a wonderful life! Lifting the family up in prayers! Keeping you and Jeff in my thoughts. Never easy to lose your mother....very nice obituary!
It was a joy knowing and working with her! Always sweet and caring. And...she did my ‘colors’! Quite a talented and classy lady. Seemed she would be a livewire forever! Thinking of her wonderful family. Celebrate all she was...a bright light!
My sister Becky married DeWayne's brother Ted so I had the pleasure of meeting Marie many years ago. Her smile and laugh could light up any room she entered and Marie's energy and love of life was contagious! Whenever I think of her...it will be with a smile!! May all the family cherish the loving memories they made together!
I enjoyed working with Marie while she was at the Auditor's Office. She was always cheerful, friendly and had a great, goofy sense of humor. I still miss her being in that office. I am so sorry for your loss.
Why did Mother dress us alike??
I was so sorry to hear of Marie's passing. I will always remember her with that great big smile and cheerful hello. She was such a good friend to Mom for so many years. Glad you have so many beautiful memories to bring you comfort and peace.
She was the nicest lady! I got the privilege to meet and work with her while working for Whitley County Government. She was so kind and helpful. I loved her pleasant smile and easy laugh. I am so sorry for your loss. With deepest sympathy.
So sorry for your loss.
What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful lady!! So very sorry for your loss!!
I will never forget her with her sister Marsha surprising us at our wedding reception dressed up in wild costumes and bringing so much joy! May all of the joyous memories she gave comfort your entire family during this time. Love, Sara Turpin
DeWayne and family: We all know so well that Marie was a wonderful compassionate woman who will be missed by many. As a friend of many years, I pray for comfort and peace for your entire family. So very sorry for the loss of a wonderful wife, mother and friend.
What a beautiful woman inside and out. Always a smile, always a greeting, warm and compassionate. Our sympathy to the family but what wonderful memories you all have.
Marie was one of the most sweet ladies. She was always dressed very stylish. She brought a dignified life and joy into a room when she entered. God bless all the family.
Bill and I want to send our condolences to the family. We enjoyed knowing Marie over the years, as she always had a smile for others and seemed to always be happy in doing whatever she was doing at the time! Blessings, the Overdeer’s 🙏🙏🙏
I always admired this woman....her demeanor was pleasant and I always thought she was a class act . My sympathies to the family
John and Deb Hilligoss
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