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Her Life
July 5, 2012

Doris (better known as Dee to many) Surta was born and raised in Clifton, Tennessee, a small, close-knit community located on the banks of the Tennessee River. Dee had an active childhood — making a name for herself on the high school basketball team — and spent much of her time with her mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. 

After high school, Dee left Clifton and tried her hand at big-city living in Chicago. There she settled in to raise four children — Tony, Chris, Paula and Kathy. Dee dedicated her life to ensuring her children had the support and resources they needed to succeed in their own lives.

For more than 20 years, Dee enjoyed a career in the catering and food service industries. She loved to entertain, and she especially loved to share her culinary talents with family and friends. Most notable was her Christmas Eve dinner of beef tenderloin, crab legs, roasted tomatoes and asparagus.

Dee and her husband, Paul, lived a life of adventure. From African safaris to Hawaiian sunsets to Alaskan cruises, Dee and Paul saw the corners of the world and everything in between. In their later years, they slowed things down a bit, exploring America on the road. Eventually they parked their RV for good and settled down in Mesa, Arizona. 

In her final days, Dee took comfort in spending quality time and sharing treasured moments with her husband, children, grandchildren, daughter-in-law, and sons-in-law.

Dee’s charismatic personality left an impression on anyone who met her. She was always the life of the party; in fact, she's probably best remembered for her love of dancing — nobody could cut a rug like Dee Surta! She lived her life courageously and passionately, and she will forever be admired for that.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 14, at Batavia United Methodist Church in Batavia, IL. Visitation from 1:30 p.m-3 p.m. Service at 3 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, donations (checks only, please) can be made to Hospice of the Southwest, 450 N. Dobson Road, Ste 108, Mesa, AZ 85201. We appreciate your generosity.

Doris is survived by her devoted husband of 23 years, Paul Surta of Mesa, Ariz. (formerly of St. Charles); sisters Brenda Rainey of Anchorage, Alaska, and Melissa Wood of Newark; children Anthony (Miko Nishi) Hassan of Los Angeles, Calif., Paula (David) Porter of Elburn, and Kathy (Rick) Walden of North Aurora; stepsons Todd Surta and Craig (Leslie) Surta of St. Charles; grandchildren Christopher, Nicholas and Andrew Hassan; Ulysis, Abraham and Isabella Hassan; Rowan and Felicity Walden; Adams, Wesley, Colton and Miles Surta; Meghan and Emily Surta; and Ben Cook. Doris is preceded in death by her mother Dorothy (Ricketts) Rainey and son Christopher Hassan.