Doris Adkisson: Who Is the Mother Of Von Erich?

Doris Adkisson is the heart and soul behind the legendary Von Erich wrestling dynasty. As the mother of six wrestling prodigies, Doris holds a special place in the world of professional wrestling. 

Her unwavering support for her sons has made her a revered figure among fans globally. Known as the matriarch of the Von Erich family, Doris’s influence on the sport extends far beyond the wrestling ring. 

In this article, we’ll explore Doris Adkisson’s life as a mother, her impact on wrestling, and why people are curious about her story.

Quick Bio

Full NameDoris Juanita Smith Adkisson
Date of BirthNovember 18, 1932
Place of BirthLouisiana
NationalityAmerican
Marital StatusMarried
HusbandJack Adkisson (Fritz Von Erich)
ChildrenJackie Adkisson Jr., Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike, Chris Von Erich
Surviving SonKevin Von Erich
ProfessionFamily matriarch, supported her sons’ wrestling careers
CareerSupported her sons’ wrestling careers in World Class Championship Wrestling
Famous ForBeing the mother of the Von Erich wrestling family
LegacyMatriarch of the Von Erich wrestling family
Personal LifeDesired a quiet life but became part of the public eye due to her family’s fame in wrestling
EthnicityN/A
Zodiac SignScorpio
GenderFemale
Sexual OrientationStraight
Net WorthN/A
Date of DeathOctober 23, 2015
Death LocationHawaii
Burial LocationGrove Hill Memorial Park, Dallas

Early Life & Background

Doris Adkisson was born in Louisiana on November 18, 1932. She grew up with her siblings, including her sister Nancy Joe Smith Boettcher and brother David Eugene Smith. 

She went to Crozier Technical High School. Growing up in the southern United States, Doris probably learned important values like resilience and the importance of family, which would later help her in her role as the head of the Von Erich family.

Doris Adkisson’s Career & Professional Life

Doris Adkisson’s career isn’t widely known, but she’s famous as the heart of the Von Erich wrestling family. 

She’s the mom of wrestlers like Kevin, David, Kerry, and Mike Von Erich. Doris focused on supporting her family, especially during their wrestling days, instead of seeking her own fame. 

She was a guiding force for her children, helping them in their wrestling careers. Doris’s role was vital in shaping the Von Erich family’s legacy in wrestling.

Doris Adkisson Was Married To Fritz Von Erich

Doris Adkisson married her high school sweetheart, Jack “Fritz Von Erich” Adkisson, on June 23, 1950, while he was in college at Southern Methodist University (SMU). 

They had six sons together: Jack Barton Jr., David, Mike, Chris, Kerry, and Kevin Von Erich. Their marriage had its challenges, especially with the tragic deaths of some of their sons. 

Despite these hardships, Doris remained a strong support for her husband and family as they dealt with the ups and downs of professional wrestling and personal loss.

Who Is Fritz Von Erich?

Fritz Von Erich, originally named Jack Barton Adkisson, was a big name in American wrestling. He was not just a wrestler but also a promoter and the head of the famous Von Erich wrestling family. 

Who Is Fritz Von Erich
PHOTO: HISTORY OF WRESTLING

He was born on August 16, 1929, in Jewett, Texas. Jack became a star in different wrestling leagues like the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). 

Here he even won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship in the 1960s. He played important roles in the wrestling world, including being the President of NWA and later WCCW when it moved to Dallas, Texas. 

In Japan, he was known as “Tetsu no Tsume” (The Iron Claw), and he helped bring life back to wrestling after the death of another famous wrestler, Rikidozan.

Doris Adkisson’s Divorce from Fritz Von Erich

Doris Adkisson and Fritz Von Erich’s marriage faced tough times because they lost several of their sons tragically. 

This led them to separate and eventually get divorced. Even though they started as high school sweethearts and built a family together, the pain of losing their children was too much to bear. 

Doris decided to leave Fritz, and they officially ended their marriage on July 21, 1992, after being together for 42 years. Though we might not know all the reasons for their breakup, it’s clear that the sadness and stress from losing their kids played a big part. 

Despite their split, Doris stayed close to her surviving son, Kevin Von Erich, offering him love and support during tough times.

Doris Adkisson’s Children

Doris Adkisson, also known as Doris Juanita Smith, was the mother of six children. Her kids were Jackie Adkisson, Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike, and Chris Von Erich. 

They all became professional wrestlers and competed in their father’s wrestling organization, World Class Championship Wrestling.

Doris Adkisson’s Childrens
PHOTO: THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

Jackie Adkisson Jr.

Jackie Adkisson Jr. was born on September 21, 1952, to Jack and Doris Adkisson. Sadly, he passed away at just 6 years old, leaving behind a deep sadness for his family. Despite his short life, Jackie’s memory lives on within the family’s wrestling legacy. 

His brothers went on to become well-known professional wrestlers, thanks in part to their father Fritz Von Erich’s promotion, World Class Championship Wrestling.

Kevin Von Erich

Kevin Von Erich, whose real name is Kevin Ross Adkisson, is known for his wrestling career and is the son of Doris Adkisson and Fritz Von Erich. 

He was born on May 15, 1957, and gained fame as a wrestler, especially during his time in World Class Championship Wrestling. Kevin is the only surviving son of Doris and Fritz. 

Despite the sadness his family faced, Kevin had a successful wrestling career and has now retired from the sport. He left behind a memorable legacy in wrestling history.

David Alan Adkisson

David Alan Adkisson, also known as David Von Erich, was born in 1958 to Doris Adkisson and Fritz Von Erich. He became a famous wrestler, especially in World Class Championship Wrestling. 

Sadly, David passed away in 1984 when he was just 25 years old. Despite his short life, he’s still remembered in the wrestling world as part of the famous Von Erich family.

Chris Von Erich

Chris Von Erich, born on September 30, 1969, was one of Doris Adkisson and Fritz Von Erich’s sons. 

Sadly, he passed away on September 12, 1991, at just 21 years old. Chris was a professional wrestler, but he found it tough being part of a family of high achievers. 

His death was a result of suicide, as he shot himself in the head with a 9mm handgun. Chris’s life and tragic death are part of the sad story of the Von Erich family

Mike Von Erich

Mike Von Erich, born on March 2, 1964, was the fifth son of Doris Adkisson and Fritz Von Erich. He was known as the “Inspirational Warrior” and joined the family’s wrestling feud against The Fabulous Freebirds after his brother David’s death. 

Mike got married to Shani Danette Garza on February 14, 1985. During a wrestling tour in Israel, he injured his shoulder, leading to surgery and toxic shock syndrome. 

Despite trying to return to wrestling after recovering partially, he had to retire due to his weakened state. Sadly, Mike passed away on April 12, 1987, in Denton County, Texas, after taking a fatal dose of tranquilizers.

Kerry Adkisson

Kerry Adkisson, also known as Kerry Von Erich, was one of Doris Adkisson and Fritz Von Erich’s sons. 

Born on February 18, 1960, he became a famous wrestler in World Class Championship Wrestling. Sadly, Kerry’s life ended tragically on February 18, 1993.

He took his own life by shooting himself in the chest in the family’s yard in Denton County, Texas. His death, along with other family tragedies, led to the belief in a curse surrounding the Von Erich family.

Doris Adkisson’s Sister – Nancy Smith 

Nancy Joe Smith Boettcher, born in 1929 and passing away in 2005, was involved in a wrongful conviction case with Joseph Allen. 

They were wrongly convicted, leading to appeals for their release. Nancy Smith, a single mother and school bus driver, was given a tough sentence in 1994. 

But after legal reviews, they were both declared innocent by Judge James Burge in 2009. This case highlighted problems like unreliable evidence and police misconduct, resulting in their exoneration.

Doris Adkisson’s Brother – David Smith

David Eugene Smith, a notable American mathematician and educator, was born on January 21, 1860, and passed away on July 29, 1944. 

He hailed from Cortland, New York, and showed academic promise early on, graduating from Syracuse University in 1881. Despite initially studying law, Smith’s love for mathematics led him to become a teacher at Cortland Normal School in 1884. 

Throughout his career, he held various educational roles, including principal at the State Normal School in Brockport, New York. 

He also worked as a math professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, until his retirement in 1926. Smith made significant contributions to mathematics education and is considered one of its founders.

Doris Adkisson’s Tragic Death

Doris Adkisson’s life came to an end on October 23, 2015, in Kapaa, Kauai County, Hawaii, USA, at the age of 82. She passed away due to complications from emphysema, a condition she had been battling for some time. 

Doris had moved from her home in Dallas, Texas, to Hawaii to live with her son Kevin and his family for almost ten years before her passing. Surrounded by loved ones, she found peace in her final moments. 

Doris’s death marked the end of an important chapter for the Adkisson family and the wrestling community. Despite the sadness of losing her, Doris’s strength, resilience, and love continue to inspire those who know her. 

Where Is Doris Adkisson’s Grave?

Doris Adkisson, the heart of the Von Erich family, passed away in Hawaii on October 23, 2015. Her funeral happened on November 11, 2015, in Dallas. 

She was buried at Grove Hill Memorial Park next to her husband Jack and their sons Chris, David, Mike, Kerry, and Jack Jr. The public was invited to her memorial service at First Baptist Dallas downtown.