Doris Firnkes

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We are sad to announce the death of Doris Martha Firnkes, nee Neff, 79, of Smithton, IL, born August 24, 1944, in Belleville, IL, died Friday December 8, 2023, at home surrounded by family.

Doris was an exceptional student who graduated from New Athens Community High School with many accomplishments. She worked as a dedicated broker’s assistant for AG Edwards and Wells Fargo and later retired after 20 years of service. She was a member of St. John the Baptist Church, Smithton, IL.

Doris had a liver transplant on June 17, 2010, due to Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a rare liver disease of the bile duct that causes liver failure. She became a member of the liver transplant support group and was a mentor for liver transplant patients at Barnes Jewish Hospital. Doris was an active co-chairman and chairman with the American Liver Foundation, where she organized walks for liver transplant patients.

Doris loved going to Branson to see shows and shop. She was a true extrovert who adored spending time with friends and family, and even total strangers. Most precious to her was time spent with her granddaughters and children. She enjoyed bingo, doing word search puzzles, crocheting, playing cards, and watching Hallmark movies with Terry.

Doris was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma Pancreatic Cancer in August of 2020 and fought a courageous fight.

“Thank you to my special friend Joan Rickert for all the help and fun through the years. Thank you to everyone who helped through all my trials and struggles. Thank you to the Liver Transplant Division at BJC, Siteman cancer Center, Shiloh, IL, and especially, Dr. Oppelt and all the chemo nurses.”

Doris was preceded in death by her loving parents, Raymond S. and Margaret A., nee Wittenauer, Neff; her siblings, a sister, Kathleen Neff; her two brothers, Richard and Dennis Neff.; and her nephew, Nathan Neff.

She is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Terry D. Firnkes, whom she married on July 24, 1970; two children, Sherry (Robert) Hamilton of Smithton, IL, and Timothy (Elizabeth) Firnkes of Turner, ME; three granddaughters, Bridgett (Zach Spitz) Hamilton, Chloe Hamilton, and Madeline Firnkes; five brothers and one sister; Donald (Rosemary) Neff, Virgil Neff, Michael Neff, Gary (Kasey) Neff, Raymond D. (Lizz Isenhardt) Neff, and Lori Ann (Clifford) Thompson; a sister-in-law, Joyce Neff (Dan Haskenhoff), and many wonderful nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the Liver Transplant Patient Care or to the Alzheimer’s Association. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

According to Doris’s wishes, an anatomical donation was made to Washington University School of Medicine.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, December 16, 2023, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Paderborn IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 16, 2023, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Paderborn, IL, with Father Jim Voelker and Father Stan Konieczny concelebrating.



6 Comments on Doris Firnkes

Jason Vahle said : Guest Report Dec 18, 2023 at 2:30 AM

Tim, Liz and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Your mom, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • O'Fallon
  • IL
Mindy Harmon said : Guest Report Dec 14, 2023 at 10:18 AM

Doris was one of our favorite patients and made friends with not only the staff but a lot of other patients when she was here. She will truly be missed. Thinking of her family during this difficult time and through the holidays.

  • Illinois
Ashley B. said : Guest Report Dec 14, 2023 at 9:23 AM

It was a great pleasure helping Mrs.Firnkes here at Siteman's. Sorry to hear of your loss she was a sweeet woman.

  • Ofallon
  • IL
Steve Knefelkamp said : Guest Report Dec 13, 2023 at 9:40 PM

Deepest Sympathy to you and your family Terry for the passing of your wife Doris. My prayers and thoughts are with you and may God give you strength to get through this most difficult time.

  • Belleville
  • Ill.
Chip and Kathy Gray said : Guest Report Dec 12, 2023 at 2:02 PM

Terry and family, We are so sad to hear of Doris's passing. She was such a good person. God bless and comfort you all.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Peggy (Mory) Creek said : Guest Report Dec 11, 2023 at 8:04 PM

I worked with Doris many, many years ago and am so sorry to hear of your loss. Doris was truly a good person. RIP, Doris.

  • Lee's Summit
  • MO

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