Doris Elaine Lance

Doris Elaine Lance, 87, known to her friends as “Dodi,” passed away Monday, May 15, 2017 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City following a heart attack. Familiar to many as a local artist, massage therapist, exercise leader for seniors, dancer and choreographer, Dodi was an energetic and creative force for more than 50 years in Alpena.


Doris was born to Jessie (Granger) and J. Duane Fowler in Cadillac October 6, 1929, and married Leslie Lance February 4, 1950.  Les and Dodi came to Alpena in 1965 when he served as executive vice president of First Federal Savings & Loan and subsequently as the owner of Northern Abstract & Title Company. Les served as an Alpena County commissioner in the early 1970s and passed away in January 1981, leaving Dodi to manage Lakewood Mobile Home Park on Long Lake for the next 15 years.

When she moved back into town, Doris was a Vista volunteer tutor for the READ program at Alpena County’s George M. Fletcher Library and served as president of the Friends of the Library.  She was a volunteer massage therapist for Hospice of Northeast Michigan and a member of the Northeast Michigan Artists Guild and the Association of Lifelong Learners (ALL) at Alpena Community College.  Dodi led morning exercise classes at the Alpena Senior Center three times a week for decades.

Dodi is perhaps best known for her 32 years as choreographer for Alpena Civic Theater, 18 years dancing in Red Stocking Revue, 11 years for Besser Male Chorus performances and as one of the Hot Flashes.

Doris is survived by one brother, Dave (Nancy) Fowler of Char

levoix; and five children, Ronald (Linda) in Kalamazoo, Paul (Patty) in Alpena, daughter Leslie in Kalamazoo, Ralph (Kathi) in Murnau, Germany and Sky (Linda) in Concord, Massachusetts; as well as six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband; and her brother, Steve Fowler of Cadillac.

A memorial service for Doris will be held Saturday, June 10, at 3 p.m. at the church where Dodi has been an active member for more than 50 years: First Congregational UCC (201 S. Second Ave., downtown Alpena), with her son, the Rev. Dr. Paul A. Lance III, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given in memory of Doris to the charity of your choice from among the many groups listed above.