Doris Svoboda Vavak

Vavak, Doris (Svoboda)

Age 92, died on Thursday, March 1, 2018.  Born and raised on a farm in Bruno, NE, Doris graduated from David City High School and married her sweetheart, Ray. They moved to Lincoln to enjoy 51 blissful years together raising four children with their Catholic faith as the foundation of family life. She was proud to say, “I was a graduate at 17, bride at 18, and mother at 19.”

A stay-at-home mom, she contributed to her children’s future college education by working as a phone Sales Manager for Arthur Owens Studio for 30 years. Even now, the children can still recite her sales pitch from hearing it so many times. Doris also enjoyed volunteering at area hospitals and at her children’s schools as well as their outside activities like Scouts and Campfire Girls. She was also an active member of her church Altar Society.

Her exquisite flowers and vegetable gardens were admired by all and she paired her green thumb with the aroma of wonderful cooking and mastery of baking pies and kolaches.

Ray and Doris enjoyed going dancing and taking family vacations and business trips. In later years, they played pinochle with friends, and traveled to Arizona during winter. A true joy to them was having each of the grandchildren over for special weekend visits that always included a clothing shopping spree.

For the past 6 years, Doris was a resident at Brookestone Village in Omaha, where she enjoyed an active lifestyle, traveling the hallways with her walker, riding the stationary bike, playing Bingo 5 times a week, attending Husker tailgate parties and social hours as well as weekly Mass in the Chapel. Her social nature, caring manner and enthusiasm for life at Brookestone were an inspiration to all. She continued to share her love of gardening and decorating by gracing her room and adjacent patio with flowers and seasonal decorations.

To our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, we want you to know you meant so much to us. Our memories will always be filled with your laughter, love, grace and gentle smile and soft voice greeting us with “hi honey” every time we came in. You loved us unconditionally and supported and shaped each of us into the unique individuals as well as large, close family we have all become. We will always remember your zeal for life grounded by a solid faith life which gave you the strength to handle any adversity, even during your last weeks in the hospital. We were fortunate the Lord blessed us with so many years with you. Now with Jesus close by, and reunited with the love of your life, Ray, keep dancing in heaven. We love you “a bushel and a peck.”

Preceded in death by parents, Frank and Bessie Svoboda; husband Ray Vavak, Sr.; sister, Mildred Coufal; brothers, Albin and Clarence Svoboda.  She is survived by daughters and sons-in-law, Sharron and Dan McKenzie of Lincoln, and Dr. Christine Vavak and Dr. David Cates of Omaha; son, Ray Vavak, Jr., of Tulsa, OK; son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Lu Vavak of Omaha; 5 grandchildren, all of Omaha: Jamie Konopik and husband Zach, Karen Brink and husband Ryan, Stephanie Ridpath and husband Josh, Craig Vavak, Jr. and wife Radiance, and Leah Cates; 7 great-grandchildren: Makenzi, Kaleb, Hadley, Emerson, Graeme, Kohen, Aunaleigh, and another blessing coming in July.

A private Rosary and Funeral Mass were held on March 3rd in Omaha, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery in Lincoln. No memorials requested. Condolences or personal reflections can be left online at






  • gordon hrnicek Posted March 11, 2018 12:36 pm

    I remember your mom so well. My father loved to dance with her. My prayers are with you.

  • Barry and Dianne Glass Posted March 12, 2018 7:01 am

    We were sorry to see that Doris passed away and would like to offer our condolences to all of you. We had so much fun running around with her and Ray in Phoenix and also here in Nebraska/Iowa. She was always playing jokes on us and keeping us laughing. We wanted to send you this message just to say that we have many warm and wonderful memories about Doris and Ray and our sympathy goes out to you. Barry and Dianne

  • Mary Beth Barmettler Posted March 15, 2018 10:03 pm

    Craig and Lu, I am so sorry to read about the passing of your mother and mother-in-law. My prayers and sympathies are with you and your entire family. May your trust in God and the gift of our Catholic faith help you find comfort during this diffficult period.
    Mary Beth (Michael) Barmettler

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