In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Doris M. Blattner, 86

Doris Blattner, 1933-2020

Doris M. Blattner, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among Southeast Asian Affinity Peoples in the Philippines and Indonesia, died April 13, 2020. She was 86.

She was born Aug. 22, 1933, in St. Louis, Mo., to the late Roland and Clara Blattner.

Blattner earned the Bachelor of Arts from Harris Teachers College (now Harris-Stowe State University), St. Louis, and the Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

When seeking missionary appointment, Blattner wrote that she had long been involved in church activities and during college began to feel God leading her to a church-related vocation, probably missions. For two summers while in college, she served as a summer missionary with Spanish-speaking people in Texas and French-speaking people in Louisiana, which gave her the opportunity to see missions first-hand.

While teaching third grade in St. Louis, she spent three summers working under the direction of the Missouri Woman’s Missionary Union in their camp programs for girls and boys. There, she became acquainted with several foreign missionaries, whose lives made a strong impression on her.

After seminary, she worked as educational director at churches in Belzoni, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn. Her interest in missions was put on hold until the Week of Prayer for Foreign Missions in 1962 at her church in Memphis.

“It began as one of the women prayed the closing prayer during the first program,” she wrote. “I felt strangely moved, and wondered, ‘Could this be it, again?’ …  After several more days and nights of not being able to concentrate on my work nor sleep at night, and after more prayer and soul-searching, I felt it was definitely God’s will that I go ahead in the procedure toward foreign mission appointment.”

The Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Blattner in 1963 to serve in Indonesia, where she worked in religious education, evangelism and student work in Kediri, Surabaya, Jogjakarta, Semarang and Surabaya. She also served several years in the Philippines, completing 36 years of service with IMB.

Most recently, she lived in Bradenton, Fla.

A memorial service was held April 29 at St. Peters Cemetery, St. Louis.

Read an obituary here.