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Dr. Doris A. Jesch, treasured pediatrician devoted to the children of Marion, Indiana died on November 10, 2023, at the age of 84. Dr. Jesch was faithful to her life’s work as a doctor, her community, and to Christian fellowship at the Liberty Baptist Church. Exceptionally gifted, Dr. Jesch went far, without leaving her hometown.
Doris was born to Walter Jesch and Shirley (Bovinet) in Marion. The middle child, she was close to her sisters Jan and Ruth. Many Sundays the three girls would be found singing the B-I-B-L-E as loud as possible as a trio at the Immanuel Baptist Church. They loved playing with paper dolls, and survived polio together in 1952. The disease left Doris’s older sister Jan partially paralyzed, an experience that inspired both Doris and Jan to dedicate their lives to medicine.
After training and working as a nurse, Dr. Jesch graduated from medical school in 1966, one of the first women to earn an M.D. from Indiana University. She was a quiet pioneer, a perpetual caregiver, and never fussy. She was married to Victor R. Molnar for 28 years until his death in March 2001. He called Doris his greatest treasure.
Dr. Jesch had no children. Yet, she had so many kids, each of them genuinely known and treasured by her. You’re probably one of them. Children spoke to Dr. Jesch and trusted her, because Dr. Jesch knew, in both heart and mind, how to keep children safe and cared for. She also understood that caring for a child is also caring for their parents, and many families knew Dr. Jesch was there for them, whatever the ailment or challenge they faced. She will be long remembered for her calm confidence and utmost competency. Doris was an excellent listener yet tolerated no nonsense. She drank black coffee all day, and approached her life’s work with children tirelessly, and with devotion and integrity. Dr. Jesch dedicated her life to her patients, colleagues, friends, and community. She held many small hands through hard times as a pediatrician for 53 years and in December 2022 Marion Health named the Pediatric Unit at Marion General Hospital the Dr. Doris Jesch Pediatric Unit. Dr. Jesch died in the pediatric unit named after her, transferred there from the ICU to receive hospice care, so she would feel the love and relief that she had brought so many others in that unit.
Doris loved Indiana. A fervent Colts fan, she followed politics and loved her church community, her family, and her friends, many of whom felt she was family, and lovingly called her Grandma. She is survived by her sister, Ruth Elias and four nieces, Kristen DiCicco, Karin Lindstrom, Anna and Barbara Elias. She is preceded in death by her remarkable sister, Jan Lutes who died in December. We miss them both.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov 14, 2023, at Raven Choate Robinson Funeral Home, 1202 W. Kem Road, Marion, Indiana. Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Liberty Baptist Church, 517 Church Street, Sweetser, Indiana, with 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. open for visitation prior to the service. Burial will immediately follow funeral services in Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Huntington County, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Liberty Baptist Church, the American Cancer Society, or Samaritan’s Purse.
Online condolences and memories for the family can be shared at www.ravenchoate.com