All who knew Nathan Doctor, Jr. would agree that there was no one quite like him. He was a hard working man, but he also took the time to enjoy life along the way. Nathan was blessed to share the majority of his life with his true love, and together they saw so many of the most amazing places around the world. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind and could even be a bit stubborn at times, but he was also one of the kindest and most generous people around. Nathan will be deeply missed, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
The 1930s were some of the hardest days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. As the 1940s dawned things still had a long ways to go to recover, and the eyes of America were keenly focused overseas as WWII raged on. It was as August arrived in 1940 that Nathan and Irma (Matzen) Doctor were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby in Antwerp, Ohio. The big day finally arrived on August 6th when the baby boy they named Nathan, Jr. drew his first breath on the family farm. Their farm dates back to 1822, and he was the fifth generation to live there from the time of his birth until the time of his death. Nathan was the second of four children as he was joined in his family by his older sister, Carol, his younger brother, George, and his younger sister, Mary. His parents were hard working farmers, instilling within Nathan a strong work ethic he echoed in his own life.
In many ways Nathan was a young man of his generation. He attended local schools and held many track records at the Antwerp Local Schools. In fact, Nathan was so good at track that he missed going to state by the flip of a coin. As a teen he loved hunting, fishing, and trapping. Nathan didn't learn how to swim until he was forced to when in the water with his best friend, Ed McCreery, on vacation. Nathan and his friends loved hot rods and once made the cops chase them to the Indiana state line! He graduated from local schools and earned a degree from Ivy Tech while also working two jobs.
New and exciting changes were in store for Nathan when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Carol Rose, and they met at the Antwerp Skating Roller Skating Rink. It was as simple as asking Carol to skate one night, and the rest is history as they say. Nathan always said she was a cheap date because they spent many a date going from the roller rink to the A & W Root Beer stand. It didn't take the couple long before they had fallen deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Nathan and Carol were married on September 24, 1961, in her church basement. They had a reception with cake and punch afterward, which was just fine with Nathan as the only thing that mattered to him was marrying his sweetheart. He went to great lengths to marry Carol as he took classes at her church of Latter Day Saints in order to be able to marry her in the church.
There was never anything of greater significance in Nathan's life than his family. He and Carol were blessed to welcome two daughters, Tammy and Cindy, and one son, Kent, into their hearts and home. He was a fun-loving father who loved startling his kids, often surprising them when they came home from school. This trait even spread to his son Kent, who scared Cindy so bad that it made Nathan laugh for hours. He was also quick to defend his family. On one occasion he killed a rooster that kept pecking at Kent. To support his family, Nathan worked in mechanical maintenance at Phelps Dodge in Fort Wayne throughout the majority of his career.
Someone who was active and liked to keep busy, Nathan was always on the go. Travel was a major part of their lives, and they traveled all over within the United States and also abroad. They went anywhere from California to see Carol's grandparents to many other countries to visit exchange students from Japan, Germany, Peru, Finland and South Africa who had stayed with them in Antwerp. Their travels took them overseas to places like Germany, Ireland, the Carribean, Mexico & Russia. As his family and friends can attest, Nathan always looked for a funny photo opportunity on vacation, and he wasn't necessarily quick about it. He once made the kids stand in the cold with the snowy mountains as a backdrop wearing only tank tops until he got just the right shot! Nathan loved watching his daughters play softball and his son play baseball. He loved woodworking and even had a hammer named Bertha. He loved Bertha, but she was often thrown when things didn't go right including the time the Christmas tree wouldn't fit in the stand! Despite being known for his love/hate relationship with Bertha, Nathan was meticulous in making furniture as well as the way he put tinsel on the tree one strand at a time. He loved IU basketball when Bobby Knight coached and never kept his opinion to himself while coaching from his living room. Highly competitive, Nathan enjoyed playing games like Aggravation and Pinochle, but he played to win! When he wasn't holding a hammer, he was usually holding a fishing pole. Other favorite pastimes were documenting local and family history and as an avid gardener he raised a huge garden every year for the benefits of family and friends.
Kind, generous, and fun-loving, Nathan Doctor, Jr., made life so much fun. He wasn't afraid to do things his own way, yet he was always looking for ways he could lend a hand to those around him. Known for his strong work ethic, Nathan was one to say, "If you got enough energy to fight, you've got enough energy to work." An amazing family man, he treasured each and every moment with his loved ones. Deeply loved, Nathan will never be forgotten.
Nathan C. Doctor, Jr., of Antwerp, passed away at home on Friday, April 7, 2017. Nathan's family includes his wife, Carol; daughters, Tammy (David) Bradtmueller & Cindy Resor all of Antwerp; siblings, Carol Smith of Logansport, IN, Mary Peffer of Virginia Beach & George; grandchildren, Ashley & Anthony Bradtmueller, Jennie (Joe) McCoy, Nicholas & Amanda Resor & Charleen Ritchie; great grandchildren, Brionna Resor, Mercedees McCoy & Maxx Reith. Nathan was also preceded in death by his son, Kent. Nathan's memorial service is Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 7 p.m, with visitation 5 - 7 p.m. at Dooley Funeral Home, 202 W. River Street, Antwerp. Nathan will be laid to rest privately at Diehl Cemetery. Memorials are to the American Heart Assoc. Condolences and fond memories may be shared at www.dooleyfuneralhome.com