Cover photo for Merle Marie Doering-Keeton's Obituary
Merle Marie Doering-Keeton Profile Photo
1935 Merle 2023

Merle Marie Doering-Keeton

January 21, 1935 — December 18, 2023


Merle Marie Doering-Keeton, 88, a resident of Loveland, OH and formerly Ft Wright, KY, departed this life on Monday, December 18, 2023. She was born on January 21, 1935 in Dayton, KY, and was the beloved daughter of Edward and Marie Wintzinger. Merle was raised in Bellevue, KY, attended St Anthony School and LaSalette Academy in Covington, where she excelled academically and enjoyed being a cheerleader. Her creative talent came naturally, and her parents fostered a lifelong appreciation of the arts. She was an accomplished seamstress and developed her own sense of style, and made all her beautiful clothes, including her prom dress. She loved carrying on her family’s cooking and baking traditions and was a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur, having grown up in a home where creating fine chocolates was the profession. Merle cherished her lifelong friendships and was always up for celebrating and being the perfect hostess, whether it was her 5 o’clock happy hours, birthdays, holidays or her all-time favorite, The Kentucky Derby.

Merle embraced motherhood and created a special bond with each of her 5 children she raised with her husband, Fred. As her family grew and changed, she welcomed all new additions with love and open arms. She cherished all of it, but her grandchildren especially brought her great joy.

Merle was a dedicated administrative assistant, spending most of her career with Horan Associates, and after retirement worked at the NKU Law School and an additional decade for the IRS.

Over the last several decades, Merle lived a wonderful life with her husband, John. It was full of travel, memorable family moments, music and dancing, their shared love of reading, ushering at the Aronoff Center, being members at their church, Mother of God, and their much-loved dogs Teddy, Joey, and Jilly. She bravely fought and won a battle with breast cancer that briefly took her well-coiffed hair and vivacious spirit but leaving those around her inspired by her strength and dedication to her health. The most recent two years were spent surrounded by the special staff and friends at Deerfield Springs in Loveland, creating precious memories and enjoying time together.

Preceding Merle in death were her son, Kevin Schmitz, second husband, Donald Doering, and her grandson, Josh Keeton. Surviving to carry her legacy are her loving husband, John Keeton; children Stephen (Linda Zimmermann) Schmitz, Greg (Tonya) Schmitz, Dawn (Rick) Saalfeld and Christa (Kent) Lineberger; stepchildren, Deb Richardson, Mark Keeton, Sandy Manley and Donna Doering; grandchildren, Abigail Schmitz, Zac Schmitz, Samantha Schmitz, Kevin Schmitz, Deanna Saalfeld, Chandler Saalfeld, Alex Saalfeld, Miles Lineberger, Madeline Lineberger, Connor Manley, Irelynn Manley, Lily Hilvers, Amber Keeton, Brittany Doering and Courtney Bowmer; great-grandchildren, Natalie Fahey, Rhiannon Bowmer, Anthony Vancepreghy, Ronan Vining, Quinn Vining, Damian Gemmer and Emily Jamison; as well as many other friends and family.

Merle’s celebration of life will begin with a visitation held from 10:00 AM until 11:45 AM on Thursday, December 28, 2023, at Mother of God Roman Catholic Church, 119 W 6th Street, Covington, KY 41011. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 12:00 PM at the church. Merle will then be laid to rest at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 5336 Old Taylor Mill Road, Covington, KY 41015, and a reception with friends will immediately follow the burial.

Our family would like to express our deep appreciation for all the support and loving care Merle received through Suncrest Hospice and The Wellington at North Bend Crossing. It was truly a blessing to have such a dedicated team of nurses and caregivers assist us in providing her with such comfort and dignity over the last 2 months of her life. Memorials may be made in her honor to Parish Kitchen, 1561 Madison Ave, Covington, KY 41011, a ministry founded at Mother Of God that was very meaningful to her.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merle Marie Doering-Keeton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 28, 2023

10:00 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, December 28, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, December 28, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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