Doris H. Thurston: 1924–2017
Port Townsend, Washington
Doris Horton Thurston died peacefully on March 7, 2017 at her home in Port Townsend, Washington, surrounded by her children. She was 93 years old. Writing haiku was among her many creative pursuits, and she always enjoyed hosting haiku meetings in her inviting home.
Doris grew up in Woodland, Washington, went to college in Eugene, Oregon, and in 1989 graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She raised five children in California, moving to the Olympic Peninsula in 1973, and lived in Port Townsend for the last three and a half decades of her life. She was a longtime member of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and engaged in a multitude of community organizations including various community choruses, the weavers’ guild, Northwind Arts Center, Copper Canyon Press, Centrum, and the peace movement. Doris published poems in dozens of journals, magazines, and chapbooks, taught haiku at summer workshops in McCarthy, Alaska as well as hosting haiku and singing groups in her Port Townsend home. She was an accomplished storyteller as well.
Throughout her life Doris expressed her artistic creativity through painting, weaving, photography, writing, poetry, and music. She was known for her beautiful voice and skill at the piano, entertaining people until the very end of her life playing jazz standards and popular tunes. Doris loved to be outdoors hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and gardening. She placed great value in preserving the natural environment for future generations and was committed to fostering a society that demonstrated compassion for everyone.
Doris is survived by four of her five children—Peter, Marci (deceased), Andrew, Peggy and Polly; ten grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Her creativity inspired many. Her family and friends will miss her bright spirit, compassionate heart, and generous nature.
See the obituary notice in the Port Townsend Leader. In the summer of 2018, Doris Thurston’s family privately published A Life’s Story, a book of 278 pages collecting as many of Doris’s haiku and longer poems as they could find.