Muehlig Funeral Chapel

403 South Fourth Ave, Ann Arbor, MI



February 3, 1931May 16, 2020

Dorene passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on May 15, 2020, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dorene was born into a farming family in North Dakota on February 2, 1931 to Fred and Lottie Poppe. Called to help those in need, Dorene obtained a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Loma Linda University, and worked as a registered nurse, most recently at Hoag Memorial Hospital in California. She was a most caring person, gracious and generous to all. She saw many friends and family members through dire illnesses, she was always there for you in time of need, and she never gave up hope on the forlorn. She truly loved the Lord, and her neighbor.

A passionate skier, she conquered slopes the world over, leaving many behind in her powder. She got her first taste of skiing in 1959, and took her last run in 2012. Along with her dear friend and business partner, Barbara Schmidt, Dorene spent thirty years operating a medical / dental conference series centered in Snowmass and Vail, Colorado, which allowed them nearly two months of skiing each year.

Dorene was bitten by the travel bug and traveled the world over with her closest friends, visiting every continent except Antarctica. Dorene loved motorcycle touring and spent more than four weeks every year exploring a region of the U.S. on a Harley-Davidson or a Gold Wing. She compiled over 100 photo albums of her travels.

Always an adventurer, Dorene earned her pilot license in 1967, and enjoyed flying her own airplane for many years. She competed in air races, including two appearances in the “Powder Puff Derby” (a/k/a All-Woman Transcontinental Air Race). She made her first appearance with her sister, Amy Koning, where they finished seventh overall among hundreds of racers and finished first among first-time contestants. She later teamed up with her daughter and co-pilot, Jan, for a second successful Powder Puff Derby appearance.

While studying nursing at Loma Linda University, she met her future husband, Duayne Christensen, a union that produced three beautiful children, Janice Boswell (Fox), Duayne, and David (Leslie). She was preceded in death by daughter, Janice. Grandchildren include Alicia Boswell (Aaron Gidding), Morgan Boswell (Kayla), Jennifer Engelhardt (Chad). Great grandchildren include Janice Jean Gidding, Victoria and Riley Engelhardt, and more are on the way.

Due to the pandemic, a private graveside committal service will be held. A Zoom livestream or video recording of the service may been seen by request to DavidChristensen@comcast.net. In lieu of donations, Dorene would be pleased if you simply enjoyed a box of See’s chocolates, her favorite.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.



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Vernell Kaufholtz

May 20, 2020

Aunt Dorene was the cutest, tiniest, kindest, most thoughtful and joyful lady! We looked forward to that great ear-to-ear smile, and those warm hugs. She always made sure everyone felt comfortable and was included. And she always had something good to eat to share with us!

Our condolences to Dan and David and all those who loved Dorene. We look forward to that blessed morning when Jesus returns to get all those who have loved Him and to take us all home to be with Him forever. And we'll never have to say "Good bye" again! But for now, Good Night, dear Dorene. We'll see you in the morning!


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