We celebrate the life of Lt. Col. Maria Renee Doria, M.D., mother, wife, collegiate athlete, physician, military medical officer, educator, and entrepreneur. She had a truly wonderful and adventurous life. She was taken far too early from us by cancer. For more than a year, she battled carcinoma of unknow primary origin. On Saturday, September 29, 2018, her fight ended. Through all of her accomplishments and accolades, she always considered being a mother her most important role.
Maria began life in Bethlehem, Pa., where she played volleyball for Liberty High School. She attended college at the University of Scranton, where she was an honor student and played varsity volleyball. She graduated from University of Scranton with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Master of Science in biochemistry. She attended the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine, graduating with a Medical Doctorate. After completing her internship, she was assigned to Germany, during which she deployed to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor.
She married her one true love in life, Jeff, in May 1998. The following year, she was blessed with her first son, Christian Joseph “CJ.” Shortly afterward, she was selected for family medicine residency training at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. Her first duty assignment after residency was at Blanchfield Army Hospital in Ft. Sill, Okla. During this assignment, she was blessed with her second son, David. Her follow-on assignment was as teaching staff to the family medicine residency at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Ga., to teach future generations of family physicians.
Throughout her military medical career, she was known for her passion for patients, her professional bearing as an officer, and her ability to lead. She left active duty military service having attained the rank of lieutenant colonel and the following awards and decorations: Meritorious Service Medal (Second Award), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, and NATO Medal.
In 2007, the family left military service to move to Winona, Minn. Maria was a staff physician at Gundersen Health Systems in the department of occupational medicine. She also began working part time in Vighter Medical Group LLC. She was an active member at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church and School where she attended services and the children attended school. She was accepted into the occupational and environmental medicine training program at the University of Pennsylvania and was board certified upon completion. Her role as a partner in Vighter continued to grow and she served as Vighter’s president and chief medical officer. During this time, Vighter grew over 5,000 percent. Maria was an innovator, leader and mother to all of us at Vighter.
Maria is survived by her husband, Dr. Jeff Lee; her two sons, Christian and David; her parents, Joe and Ginny Doria; her brothers, Joe (Tammy) Doria, Steven (Lesa) Doria, and Jon (Kelly) Doria; her stepchildren, Rebecca (Terell) Lee-Moultrie and Andrew (Francis) Lee; her step-grandchildren, Antonio, Corey, Rebecca, William, and Michael; and her nieces and nephews, Angelica, Julia, Kaitlyn, Madelyn, Angelina, Angelo, Anne, Erin, and Frank.
Maria will be deeply missed by all of us who knew and loved her. At home, she was the glue that held us all together. At Vighter, she was the best part of us.
Her viewing will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 7, 2018, at Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 201 Mankato Avenue, Winona, Minn. Pastor Moore will do a closing service at 3:30 p.m. at the funeral home. An additional viewing will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Monday, October 8, 2018, at St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, 328 East Broadway, followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, 506 West Lake Boulevard, will follow the funeral service. After interment, a luncheon will be held at St. Martin’s. Flowers may be sent directly to the funeral home. Vighter has a block of rooms at The Plaza starting Sunday evening available for reservations for those traveling from out of town.
Online condolences or memories may be left for Maria’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com