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Gary K. Doudna

     Gary K. Doudna, 85 years, of Fish Creek, passed away Thursday, February 22, 2024, in De Pere.   

     He was born April 2, 1938 in Richland Center, WI, the son of the late Dr. Quincy and Winifred (Zimmerman) Doudna.  He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife Cheryl D. Ruengert of 45 years where they met at Eastern Illinois University and married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Charleston, IL.  Other beloved members of Gary’s family are his daughter Alicia Doudna and fiancé Andrew Kratzat of Ann Arbor, MI, his daughter Melissa Doudna and husband Adam Tietz of Grand Junction, CO, his brother Lon Doudna and wife Mary of Stevens Point, WI, and many other extended family and friends. 

     Gary graduated from Stevens Point High School in 1956.  He received his undergraduate degree in Music Composition from Indiana University and also completed an advanced program for tuning, repair and rebuilding pianos. 

      Gary was a member of Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay, a proud 50-year member of the Piano Technician’s Guild, a long-term member of the Charleston Library Board, Charleston Rotary Club, and faculty advisor to the Men’s Music Fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at Eastern Illinois University. 

     Throughout Gary’s lifetime he was a well-respected jazz pianist and overall musician. He spent several of his younger adult years in San Francisco perfecting his jazz piano skills.  From 1973 through 2003 Gary was employed with Eastern Illinois University Music Department as their piano technician.  He also maintained a private piano tuning business for over 50 years serving his faithful customers.  Gary took such pride in bringing out the full potential of every piano he approached with his masterful musical skills and ear. 

     Family was his life, loving his wife and raising his children were his everything, including all their beloved family dogs.  He and Cheryl raised their daughters in Charleston, IL where he was a coach and their number one fan of their many sports and musical endeavors.  As retirement approached Gary and Cheryl wanted to retire in Door County where many family summers had been spent.  In 2003 they moved to Door County full time to Bailey’s Harbor and recently Fish Creek. They were fortunate to enjoy their winters on Anna Maria Island, FL.  

     Gary had shared and expressed how grateful he was for his new friendships with Holly Rundquist and Amanda Chaney.  They had become very special to him. 

     Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 1, 2024, at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay, WI with Rev. James Honig officiating.  

     Friends may call at the church Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m.  A light luncheon will be served in the church fellowship hall after service with burial to follow at Little Sister Cemetery. 

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Shepherd of the Bay Music Fund, The Doudna Fine Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University, or to donors’ choice.  

     Casperson Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements, and they welcome online condolences, shared memories and photos at

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