Doralea Dorff Funeral – June 21, 2001
Sept 3, 1931 – June 14, 2001
Reginald Dorff, father of 6 and Whittier resident for about 41 years passed away early Sunday,
December 22, 2002, just 5 days shy of his 74th birthday. Born in Royal Oak, Michigan on December 27,
1928 to Lester William Dorff and Ruth Edith Tuck Dorff, he died of complications of a lung disorder
called Alpha 1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency. He is survived by his 6 children, David (Yoshie) of Whittier,
Ken (Lorinda) of Wellington, Florida, Diane (Ken) McGinnis of Duvall, Washington, Carrie Marcella of
Whittier, Ted (Viviana) of Santa Clara, John (Hiroko) of Tokyo, Japan, three brothers, Darryl of
Michigan, Tom of Norwalk, Bruce of Arizona and 19 grandchildren. He was anxiously awaiting the
birth of his first great-grand child due on Christmas Eve in Provo, Utah.
A retired Spanish teacher at La Serna High School in Whittier, where he taught for 25 years, he was
known for taking groups of students to Hermosillo and Guaymas, Mexico. Mr. Dorff was also known
for teaching driver‟s education in the summer time during the 1970s. Reginald was a self-taught
musician and became known for his organ music and missionary service in the Whittier congregations
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He touched the lives of many and leaves many friends behind in the community and his church. He
was graciously cared for in his last couple of years by son David, daughter-in-law Yoshie, daughter
Carrie, neighbors and hired caregivers.
A memorial service will be held at the stake center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints at 15265 Mulberry Drive, Whittier, CA at 10am on Friday, December 27, 2002. A viewing will
be held at the same location starting at 9am. Funeral procession to the Memory Gardens Memorial
Cemetary in Brea will immediately following the service.
Carrie - Eulogy
I'm Carrie, the 2nd daughter, and the 4th child.
On Sep 3, 1931, was a good day for Roy and Mary Davis. Their 7th daughter, 10th child, was born
in a small town called Spanish Fork Utah. When it came time for her to be blessed in the church, a few
of her siblings were sick so the neighbor took her to church. When she left her parent's house she was
going to be named Joy, but when she got home; her name was Doralea. I guess it was a good name.
And years later that same neighbor would baptize her one day before her 8th birthday. There were not
many boys in the family, so the girls got many of the jobs like milking and grazing cows, gathering
eggs, and doing loads and loads of laundry. My Mom grew up wanting a whole bunch of kids cause she
thot it would be fun. But she didn't realize all the work that went into it. Her favorite job was doing the
laundry, and she even would volunteer to stay home from school so she could help with the laundry.
And even this past year her physical therapist told her to help do laundry as it would help her in her
They didn't have much money so sometimes they would get an egg from their Mom to buy candy
with. Mom relates the story “I can just remember guarding that egg, of course it was raw, and we had to
walk or ride our bike very carefully the 2 1/2 miles to the store. You had to watch it very close, and if
you broke it - bad news. Not only did you lose your nickel, or whatever it was worth, but then you had a
mess”. They thought it was big stuff to get that egg, and to buy candy with it. They also had to haul
water 2 miles across the field and put it in a boiler to heat it for the bath. They all took a bath once a
week, and everybody got the same water. So Mom she liked to take the bath first, that's why she started
to like hot water, and she didn't have to take it with the all the other scum...In the winter they would take
their baths in the kitchen behind a blanket with two chairs. And many times someone would come into
the kitchen - and she was afraid to make noise so she'd be waterlogged before she'd get time to get out of
there. She loved to play games with her siblings and roller skate...and ...the mailman, and if you want to
know that story you can ask any of her siblings that are here. But she continued to say.......Mom liked to
play the piano so her mother would kill chickens to pay for her lessons, and she also took accordion
lessons for a little while.
After Mom was in the ninth grade, the Davis family moved to Salt Lake, and she didn't know what
to do in the big city. She always said she was a country girl. She graduated from Granite High School.
In 1949 and worked for a couple years in the area buying her ...and stereo, until she and a girlfriend
moved in 1953 to Detroit Michigan to seek their fortune. As Reg relates, “I walked into the church, in
Detroit - the ward matchmaker said she had a girl for me. I dated her red-headed daughter, until I met a
red-headed Utah girl, who had by chance decided to go to Detroit and work. My pigmy brain went to
work, and I saw the one. Thus we met. Doralea and Reg had something going. Somehow we felt we
were led by the spirit, we were right for each other. Our romance was basically done by
correspondence, as I was in the army - based in Puerto Rico.” ...in 1953 Reg had a furlough and flew
home for a whirlwind courtship which included talking and introducing Doralea to his family. Three
couples in their Detroit ward triple dated to the New Year's Eve dance. And Reg and Doralea escaped to
the Relief Society room for a proposal and ...ring was given. The completion of the Army in May 1954,
a wedding was planned for July. They purchased a 1948 .....convertible. and joined the Detroit youth as
chaperons to Salt Lake City where they were married by Harold B. Lee. Reg and Doralea just
celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary. Two years at BYU brought many experiences for the young
couple, including the first two boys, David and Ken. At graduation they put the down payment on a
house in Tooele Utah, and had two more children, Diane and Carrie.
In 1961 the family of 4 settled into a new home on Red Coach Lane. Along with this move came 2
more children, Ted and John. And now you know why they never moved (I guess). ....This year will
mark their 40th year in Whittier. Doralea and Reg have traveled the world to 23 countries. And even
though Mom couldn't speak the language, she seemed to communicate through the spirit. As one of her
friends recently told me, she was very shy, but she loved people. I guess...the many travels we did, the
one thing that I remember most is always fixing food on the road. And that was most of the time with 6
children. In between eating she had us singing songs and playing games. She probably wanted to keep
our mouths from moving so we wouldn't fight. Thus came the name of “Born on Roller Skates'. I
always liked going to our cabin in Mexico, even though Mom hated the trip down, she always seemed to
relax there. She would ...on the porch and find shapes in the clouds, play hop-scotch, jump-rope, and she
loved to play ......She even made doing the laundry with the washboard fun. And always fun to tease her
about mice. One thing Mom has always been is kind to everyone. She always had a smile no matter
how tough it got. She was always doing something for someone, and more often than not, she was
putting herself for others. For instance children, church callings, friends, in-laws, and grandchildren.
Mom had great talent for being a good friend.
She worried way to much about being fair, but the one she was least fair to was herself. She never
really took time for herself. And she always tried to be at the crossroads for her kids - even though
sometimes she got run over. Mom loved to shop, and there's a few of ....her siblings that do too. And
she was always looking for a bargain, and she always kept track of everything. I was kind of snooping
in their files the other day, and saw their budget book from like the 60's - and she could tell you exactly
what she spent on groceries, way back then. So she's always kept track of everything. When Mom had
spare time she would crochet, and make sure each of her children...grandchildren had a blanket made by
her. And the blanket that's on her casket is the last one that she made. She loved to watch old movies
and tell stories and she loved pillow talk. She had a favorite joke. I don't know if you can see
this.....two crooks holding up a joint. Mom's planted her feet firmly in the gospel. And always
supported the church leaders, study the scriptures, pay tithing first, and have little riches of the world.
But continued in faith and hope in their Lord Jesus Christ.
She frequently expressed her gratitude for responsible posterity being good examples, and all active
in the church. Of course no one can argue ...her influence to make that happen. And even though she
may have disagreed with decisions made, she always recommended fasting and prayer, and never......the
Doralea Davis Dorff is survived by her husband Reginald Ray, her children David William,
Kenneth Roy, Diane Marie, Carrie Lee, Ted Edward, and John Christopher. Her daughter in-laws
Yoshie Dorff, and Lorinda Dorff, Viviana Dorff and Hiroko, and her son-in-law Ken McGinnis. She
had 19 grandchildren. She has 4 brothers living, Gene Davis, Bert Davis, Lynn Davis and Don Davis;
and 2 sisters Nelda Tolsma and Dorothy Weight. She was proceeded in death by her parents Roy and
Mary and her sisters, Fern Davis, Bernice Begley, Florence Parker, Mildred Zobell, Wilma Jensen, and
So Mom, and Doralea, daughter of God and Sister, wife, Mother and grandmother, Aunt and friend
we honor you and thank you - until we meet again. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I'm gonna write a book some day. It is to be titled "Leave this chapter out". This was Mom's idea
when I was bugging her about the lack of her writing an inclusive personal history. It's been awhile
since she wrote me a letter. And with my being so organized, moving a few times, and not being home
much as of late; I was unable to locate any of her letters. I know that she wrote me a bit while I was at
the Y, and during my mission. I was so amazed when I received them because she came across so
different from the woman that I left at home. Some of you may know a different Doralea than the one
us kids grew up with. I'd like to try and fill in the picture a bit.
Pa was henpecked in many ways. Last Tuesday the handy boys put a door back on his bathroom.
Reg said he wasn't allowed to before. She was a very strong woman. We experienced some tough
moments but in time we all learned how she lived with her unwilling flesh. I think she started her
Kidney problems after she delivered her first child. After that she developed her diabetes and heart
problems. But in time she learned about diets and developed routines to try and control it. But this last
while; with 10 medicines 3 times a day, insurance companies and visits with Dr's who seemed to have
gotten their diploma from cracker Jax, then infections and ointments, dialysis and the pain of it all -
made her wonder what the Lord wanted her to learn from this experience. I never saw her faith waiver.
She always encouraged us to pray about things and whenever you told her that "the Lord wanted" you to
do such-and-such. That ended any criticism of your intended choice.
She did not want to be a burden to anyone. And she certainly didn't want to be the center of any
disagreements. The phone has been her lifeline.
I arrived on Wednesday night, and I never took the opportunity to really talk or even get a real hug.
It was odd having a nurse around so many hours of the day. And the wheelchair is an unfriendly
companion. I assumed there'd be time later. Let us all resolve to procrastinate less and touch more.
Ma was tired Friday night so we had prayer earlier than the normal 10:30p, and she was left to
sleep. As I joined them for prayer she complained of a pain in her side and was overly critical of many
petty issues that occurred throughout the day. I went out to Carrie's room to retrieve the wireless
doorbell receiver that had become the method of choice for summoning help. Then I went to P & M's
bedroom to verify its function by pushing the sender button. At that point mother was sitting up again -
which surprised me - because I had been led to believe that she couldn't erect herself. She asked if I was
there for pillow-talk as I pushed the button. As I walked away I said "no, just checking the bell". That
was the last I saw her normal - and 'Oh how I wish I had not sluffed off that opportunity'. During the
last year when I'd come visit, I'd sleep in my old bedroom - which is closest to the Master bedroom.
Sometimes Mom would be laying in bed while Pa was gone down the hall to take a treatment in the den.
This gave me an opportunity to steal his bed and chat with Mom a bit. I now have an additional regret
for the rest of my life.
As I watched her suffer the other night, while I lifted her out of the chair, and into bed; I wondered
how long we'd have to cater to her? I was then reminded that there were several years, maybe 40 where
she nurtured me with diapers and food and bat hand encouragement. I figured to be fair, I had a long
way to go.
Ma was big into fair. Give presents of the same value to each. Spend equal time with those you
visit - a myriad of issues that were apparently some lingering pain from her youth as she was #9 in the
clan. She told us stories of how her Italian father didn't fit in with the Mormon saturated farmers of
Lake Shore. If they'd just treat him like he belonged there - he probably wouldn't have waited to join the
church until he was 72 and had moved away.
For some reason in my youth I didn't want to go to Primary (I think it was on Thursday back then).
One of my earliest memories is of Mom forcefully dragging me out of the patio when it was time to go.
Even though I enjoyed those meetings, for some reason (on too many occasions) I was rebellious about
going when the time came.
One thing I'll really miss is Mom's memory. Of course some times she'd come up with stories about
me that I must have suppressed because I had no recollection whatsoever. But if there ever was a detail
like when did Ted go on his mission - she could keep it all straight. So as we go forward to write the
memoirs that she didn't have the desire to do herself, we will have a few audio recordings that Karina
made. But some of us will have the memories of laying in the bedroom, looking up at the water stain on
the ceiling, while she told us of herding the cows, or turning over outhouses. The headcheese guy, her
favorite joke, ant stories of her courtships.
Why did the Moron take his nose apart?
He wanted to see what mad[e] it run,
joined the church one day before turning 8
Pa could see through her complaints to the medical causes - so he suppressed a lot of his possible
remember some of her culinary specialties:
Helms donuts - neighbor bought from the truck, but we went to their bakery and bought a
whole burlap sack of day-olds.
Pigs in a blanket
Potato chip casserole
Cottage cheese on pineapple and lettuce.
Mom has been my employment agent for several gigs. She got me lawn care jobs, paper routes,
even the Job at Fed Mart she landed for me. I know she'll be manipulating in the near future for me too!
So many things she wanted to do but was trapped in her frail body. As we sat next to her bed a week
ago, and we wondered what to do, Pa had this little conversation with her that was not audible. He
thought to pronounce a Priesthood blessing on her. But she put her hand to Pa's face and pleaded 'Let
me go'. He conceded, then released her as he said Goodbye. He excused himself and then she expired
as soon as he left the room..
Many times over the next few days the song came to my mind. Mother dear I love you so. Your
happy smiling face. The smile has returned.
My Mom was a Southern-California-Utahn; always going to move back, but rooted too deep in 7th
Ward soil to feel comfortable anywhere else. From Lake Shore to Paris, to Buenos Aires to Tokyo; Mom
proved you can take the girl out of the small town, but you can‟t take the small town out of the girl. From
an impeccable memory of events that I have long forgotten, to the endurance of a long distance runner –
my Mom called things as she saw them. And you could never assume you knew more than she did.
Mom and Dad were a team, and were examples of the two great lessons I‟ve learned in this life. First,
to be willing to do whatever the Lord asks of you to do. Secondly, to support and sustain your spouse in
whatever capacity they are asked to serve – or trials to be bourn. This devotion has never been so evident
as it was in the last few years as Mom and Dad sustained each other through challenging physical
conditions. This they did with humor and pointed…a lifetime of devotion and ultimately limited to just
being there for each other. This eternal companionship will sustain them forever. Her life was lived for
him, and for us. She had no other ambitions than for us to succeed in this life. That was her goal, we are
I would like to thank those who gave so much to Mom and Dad over the years. For the past 40 years
(as has been mentioned) they lived, raised their children, matured with time, and now with Mom‟s
passing, died among friends. They have appreciated the love and support, and I express my personal
gratitude to many of you whose service I have come to appreciate only after having left the old 7th Ward.
There are many of you who are here who have served Mom and Dad. I cannot thank you all, but you know
who you are because you have now lost a friend.
I cannot overlook one person in particular who sacrificed more than we will know to provide comfort,
security, a watchful eye, and tender care to Mom during these last many months. To Carrie, my sister, and
to her daughter Karina, we owe a debt of gratitude. We all helped as much as we could, but Carrie and
Karina did so much more. There is no way to repay that kind of service. I know that to them having the
opportunity to do so is its own reward, and thank you will never be enough.
As many of you know, it is difficult to express and summarize the thoughts and feelings one has about
his or her mother. On the one hand she was responsible for giving you life and raising you with all the
inherent challenges. But yet, most recently became powerless to live her own life the way she wanted. To
me, her passing happens at a very interesting time. She lived to see the fruits of her labor materialize in
her grandchildren. Saw them go off to college, go on missions, and get married. She had time to receive
acts of service that allowed those who received so much from her, the opportunity to return a small
measure. She showed great acceptance of the Lord‟s will, and determined to do whatever and endure
whatever trial was hers. While at the same time believing she was here for a purpose; ready to go, but
willing to stay for as long as it was required.
Most recently she was prepared for another surgery. She‟d gotten clearance that she would be
physically strong enough to go ahead. But circumstances were such that the arrangements were postponed,
then she went to sleep and never woke up. To me it is though a determination has been made that her work
was done, and in a peaceful, eternal assessment, in respect to God‟s command, she was called home – she
obeyed. I believe she knew that the living had been taught what she had been called to teach; and that the
only way for us to continue to progress was in her physical absence. Her teachings now stand even taller –
sealed with her passing; a constant reminder of feeling, a perpetual echo of her in our lives; until once
again we are reunited.
As before, she goes ahead to prepare the way to welcome us back to our eternal home. This example
of my Mother reminds me of the greatest example of all – that of our Savior Jesus Christ. He who gave all
that he had for us – whose work and glory was to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life – if we
would choose to follow his example. I am struck at how at the prime of his life he would be called home.
How it seems that there would be so much more that he could have said if he stayed a while longer. But
yet his greatest work was to come at his passing – through the atonement – his death and glorious
Behold he offered himself a sacrifice for sin. To answer the ends of the law unto all those who have a
broken heart and a contrite spirit. And unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how
great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth. That they may know that
there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God save it be through the merits and mercy and grace of the
holy Messiah. Who layeth down his life according to the flesh. And taketh it again by the power of the spirit may
bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
…And the Messiah commeth in the fullness of time that he may redeem the children of men from the fall,
and because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever. Knowing good from evil, to
act for themselves, and not to be acted upon save it be by the punishment of the law in the great and the last
day according to the commandment which God hath given. Wherefore men are free according to the flesh and
all things are given unto them which are expedient that they maybe free to choose liberty and eternal life
through the great mediator of all men...I would that ye should look to the great mediator, and hearken unto his
great commandments, and be faithful unto his words and choose eternal life according to the will of his holy
spirit. 2 Ne 2:7-8, 26-28
The last memory I‟ll probably have of my Mom, and her relationship with good husband, my Dad, and
the Lord is their constant, diligent, obedient pattern of prayer. Before every meal, and every morning and
every evening. How they, after 70 years of life, were diligent in that little action and show of faith. I am
sure at this point, that Mom‟s spirit lives too. That she has gone to join her voice with the heavenly choir
that accompanies the voice and will of the Holy Spirit to lead us back home again.
Diane McGinnis and Family – Remembrances of Doralea
I miss her. She always wanted me to give her a hug when I came near her. I remember playing air
hockey with her last summer. (Aug. 2000)
I have always loved mom. I am grateful for the way she raised her family especially my sweet wife
Diane. Mom taught her to be thrifty, hard working, and a great mother. She helped her to have a strong
Testimony & Faith in God, and set a great example of supporting her spouse.
I feel bad for the hardships mom has had to suffer the last few years of her life. She truly had to
endure hardships most people would never endure. Even though there were hard times she always
seemed to have a smile on her face which would lighten the whole room. Mom has always been a hard
worker and has always spent her time serving others.
Even though things were hard for her the last couple years, I am grateful for that time because I was
able to give her a small amount of service. I did such a small amount compared to others in the family,
but it helped me grow to love mom more than ever before and I feel I have a true friend forever.
When I grew up I thought of her as just my mom. Not someone I could really talk to or that she had
any real interesting stories to tell. I did however enjoy getting to sleep in her bed with her when dad and
the boys would leave for a night or two. When I grew up and left home my desire to talk to her
increased and I found myself over the 20 or so years since I have left home that I longed more and more
to talk to her. To find out what her advice would be for me and to my surprise each time I found she
usually had an experience of her own somewhat similar to mine to share with me. This helped me a lot
and I feel bad that I wasted so much time and didn‟t learn more from her. I am sure there was much
more she had to share with me. I even talked to her, her last night and I still wonder if I told her I loved
I was happy that she got to come up to Washington a few times during my married life so I could get
to know her better. She was able to come up when I had my first child, and again when I had my second
child. She was there to help me through some tough times and fun times. Those again are fond
memories that will last a lifetime. She always wanted to have our family live in California and we were
able to for just 4 ½ years of my 22 years being married. Even a week before she died she said it was her
turn to have us live by her. I am sad that my children couldn‟t have lived closer to get to have more
memories with her and Dad.
Mom taught me to Love the lord and to serve him. She taught me how to be a good mom and good
daughter or God. To have faith in whatever challenges we were given. I noticed more increasingly as
she suffered through helplessness and pain especially in her last year of life her testimony of faith. My
parents also taught me to love conference. Faithfully in my younger years I remember coming home
from school on a Friday and hearing the conference on the radio, I knew then that Conference was
important to my mother.
She said she loved being a mom and I think that was shown by her always being there for us. She
taught me to be thrifty and giving. I didn‟t learn to cook too well as I think my mom wanted her space
in the kitchen, But I learned that she always took care of our physical needs and what moms were
expected to do. I know she always felt it was her duty to take care of Dad, her husband. She told me
just the week before she died that she felt it was her obligation to be near Dad. She always went with
dad on his traveling adventures, maybe not always with the desire to go but with knowing it was her
obligation to take care of the family and her partner. Even when the tables were turned and she wanted
to travel and Dad couldn‟t she stayed home to be near him. Recently she had said she felt bad that she
couldn‟t take care of dad, I had to remind her that she was doing all that she could do and that she has
always been there for Dad, and I told her that she could go home. That she had worked hard and
sacrificed a lot all these years and saved so well that they can pay to have someone to care for anything
I will miss my shopping buddy. We loved to shop and find a bargain. Even the week before she died
we headed off to the local thrift store and I can still remember her looking in the mirror and posing each
time she tried on a new hat, as we were shopping for a hat to keep the sun off her face. We laughed so
much it was like the best medicine we could give her. When we came home we found in her closet a
good selection of hats already waiting to be worn, but it made her have a little time to not think about
her pain, and a new memory for me and my son Zack.
The one saying I remember from her was “PITCH IT!” Just last summer when our family went
down to visit P&M and help do some things for them. We were cleaning out closets and drawers and
work cabinets and over and over mom would say just pitch it! And she loved all the stuff we were
getting rid of. She liked to clean up or organize things. As a kid I remember always having to help
mom pull out the ivy. Oh how I hated that job. I blame all that work on the way I now like to pick
weeds. Its not that I like to pick them but I like them gone and the yard clean. I also remember as a kid
always having to get up early even on Saturdays, which I didn‟t think was fair, to WORK!
Mom never wanted to do anything alone and never wanted to be in the spotlight. She always
thought she wasn‟t wanted from her mother as she was the 10th child and she felt like she was just a
number. She always said that‟s why she didn‟t have a good self-esteem and why she didn‟t know how
to give us one either.
Moms contributions to our Family Home Evenings was the final game at the end of “IGHTB” or in
other words “I go home to bed!”
I remember her stories she told of a youth having to walk miles to school and back and taking the
first and hottest bath to get the cleanest water, as they didn‟t have much water and they all had to share.
They had to haul the water and boil it on the fire pit.
I also remember her not liking us girls to laugh. She would say to “Stop that Tee-Hee and Ha-Ha-
in!” Later as adults whenever we are together there was always lots of laughter Mom being right in the
middle of it all. I didn‟t realize until I got older that she was a very funny lady. She really did have a
sense of humor.
Mom always had a problem with calling us the right name. Every time she called you your name
you got to be a few different names before she got to yours and if she went through three or fours names
before she got to yours she‟d say “Oh you know who you are!” At times it was annoying but I learned
to say “That‟s ok!” The sad part is that I now do the same thing.
I was fortunate to get to keep her wind chimes. Her ways of letting me know she needed something.
I always felt bad when in the middle of the night she had to ring the chimes longer and harder to get me
up. I learned to sleep with the door open so that wouldn‟t happen. It always amazed me that when I
would miss the call Carrie would hear it and vise-versa.
I am so grateful that I took the time to come down to see her more often this past year. In the past 6
months, I came to see her more than I had in the other 20 years combined. I am so grateful for the
opportunity that I had to return some service to her and return the favor given to me for so many years. I
cherish the lessons she taught of “Enduring to the End” I appreciate my life and her sacrifice in my
behalf and for her just being my mom! I can‟t hear the song “Time to say good-bye” from Sarah
Brighton without thinking of her. When I would stay the night with her in the hospital she would want
to hear that song over and over all night long, and we all know you don‟t get much sleep in the hospital
so I heard that song a lot.
I am glad that she is free from pain now. She endured many years of diabetes and most of all the
complications that can come from that terrible disease. No more dialysis. No more pills. No more
doctors visits. No more telling her what she can or can‟t eat. No more sleepless nights. No more pain.
No more worrying about her kids. No more blood pokes. No more shots. No more hospitals. No more
worrying about who will be coming today. No more dressing her legs. No more surgeries. She can
again “Stand on her own two feet” as she always challenged us to do. I am comforted to know that she
is with her loved ones on the other side preparing to greet us all on our return home. And hopefully join
her for the eternities in the Celestial Kingdom.
When I was younger she was just my mom, when I got older she was my Friend!
Love Diane Marie Dorff McGinnis
Less than 1.5 years ago, Dad was speaking at his mother's funeral. If you'd have asked me then, I'd
have said I would have been happy to wait 30 to speak at my mom's funeral. A lot has transpired in her
life since then. I think through the pain she really came to peace with herself and showed incredible
courage through her excruciating pain. Maybe that was just the way she wanted me to see her. She was
blessed to have a strong amily and dedicated friends.
She was very dedicated to her family. In fact, the highest compliment I can think of to pay her is that
she followed her husband in righteousness and she was completely dedicated to her family even to the
exclusion of her own needs. My earliest recollection of mom is her nursing John. I've joked that the
most important thing my mom taught me was to stay out of the way. Actually, I can never remember a
time when she wasn't willing do anything within her power to make me happy. Believe me, there were
plenty of reasons to give up on each of us. As a young teenager I was counseled by 80 something year-
old Albert Reinch to never give my parents
shame or grief. I know I gave her plenty of cause for shame or grief, but I don't remember her ever
expessing that to me. Even when I had put a whole in the side of our above-ground swimming pool or
when I called to say I was going to South America to marry someone I hardly knew, she didn't explode,
but she'd just say I don't know...what are you going to do? It'll work out.
The most prevalent, recurring theme she drummed into my head was that she repeatedly told me I
was special and destined to be someone extraordinary. I don't know if she said the same to her other
kids, but by the looks of things she picked the wrong kid. To that end, she's the main reason I excelled in
boy scouts, got a job at an early age, and so many things I'm proud of in my youth. She made me feel
like I had a sense of humor and she loved to tell funny stories and ones about her bothers and sisters. She
lived the principle of thrift. My parents provided truly amazing experiences in spite of what could be
considered meager means.
Imagine on a single teacher's salary managing to house and feed 6 children and their various
activities such as music lessons, scouts, road shows, having a cabin in Mexico where we could vacation
for several weeks a year, saving for their boys to serve as missionaries, send kids to college, have
multiple cars big enough to hold us all, including a camper to drive in from Canada to SA for 6 months.
That's amazing! It was all because of their thrift, priorities and most of all, faith in God. If nothing else,
she showed faith and compassion. She was uncomfortable with recognition and was terrified of the
spotlight but happy to make her kids look good or others she felt deserved it. Her favorite church calling
was to assist the bishop to send birthday and thank you cards for him.
She liked to make him look good and get no recognition for it. She certainly lived with very little
praise from us kids. It took very little to get her to show her smile but we didn't at often as we should
I'll remember her favorite sayings as "my land!" and "honest to Pete" which for a while I thought
referred to her father, an honest man named Roy Pete. Her favorite joke was 2 crooks holding up a joint,
which I never really got, and an icicle is a drip caught in a draft. She was a
really good sport about letting us kids make fun of her. I don't remember her ever taking offense at
that so long as we were having fun, even at her expense. Once while she slept in the camper on our trip
to South America she blurted out, "Get the rabbits and the cats off the table!" We teased her about it.
She didn't remember, but laughed along with us everytime we brought it up. We also made fun of her
Utahn accent even though we were proud of our pioneer heritage.
I used to think that if we left the door open a "giraffe" would come in instead of a draft. We ate
"sanreejis" for lunch instead of sandwiches, and people in Utah ate "carn on a harse with a fark while
riding to Lake Shar." She just laughed with us although she always loved Utah. We were critical of her,
and I won't stand today and say I agree with everything she said or did, but now that all has been said
and all has been done, she didn't leave much to be desired in the things that really matter: she was free
from major sin, she was faithful to her God, to her husband in righteousness (and perhaps beyond), and
unconditionally faithful to her children.
Before we proceed with the rest of the program, I would like to thank those who have had an
opportunity to participate so far. I am supposed to be one of those who participate also in the family
reflections. I am just having a hard time.
One of the funny things that Mom said (that Ted would concur with) was the one time - Ted and I
used to really get on Mom. We used to really tease her. Boy, I am surprised that she still loved us after
all we did - but one time Ted and I were teasing her. I don't even know what it was about - Ted maybe
you can think about it and tell me later - but we were teasing her and she got so frustrated, she said,
"You boys shut up and talk to me!" That just got us going because how can you shut up and talk at the
same time? And till this day I still share that story to my children hoping that I don't fall into that same
I remember also on that same trip to South America, she would sleep on the top part of the camper
over the cab of the truck and one night - we had had several flat tires over a couple of days there while
we were traveling - and one night she woke up. She said, "Reg...another flat tire, we have another flat
tire!" And she was pointing to her stomach. Ted and I once again never let her off the hook. But she had
a great sense of humor.
I had an opportunity - a couple of months ago - I was fortunate this year to have quite a few trips to
the United States. And each time I was able to have a layover in Los Angeles. I had an opportunity, back
in April, where I had the impression that that was to be the last time for me to say goodbye to Mom. I'll
just read a very small piece of my journal, if I can:
April 23 - "Today I said my final goodbye to Mom. I felt strongly that this was my last chance to sit
and talk with her in this life. All morning long
I felt like I was supposed to thank her for being my Mom, for being all that a child could ask for in a
mother. I missed the opportunity earlier in the
morning, but a private few Moments were spent - dad was on the phone with Ken - right before I left
with Carrie for the airport. I knew Mom knew this was goodbye. Words were not said but there was a
way of communicating there to each other. I knew, and I knew, that she knew that I knew."
As a family we had an opportunity to come a couple weeks ago to spend some time with her. But
there was never that same opportunity to say goodbye, and I never once felt the need to do so. It was the
opportunity for her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren - who loved her as well.- to say goodbye. And
I was grateful that we had an opportunity to do that with the nights we walked around the block and
through pillow talk.
One of the things that Mom said, when I talked with her in April - I said "what was the #1 thing that
you wanted to do in your life?" She said, "to
be a Mom." And as every Mom in this congregation knows, you never stop worrying for your
children - on either side of the veil. She is there to
prepare for us to get there when our times come. She had a testimony of the Gospel, and that is the
legacy that she leaves behind. We have been taught that we should be engaged in a good cause, and to
do many good things of our own free will and choice...because the power is in us to do that. The time
had come when she had run out of the power to do those things on her own free will and choice...
Mom we thank you, and we say we love you. And I share that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
[Afterward – John who was Conducting] We have a few of the grandchildren who are serving
missions or who are unable to be here today. But those who are here will be accompanied by Brook on
the piano and will sing two of Mom's favorite hymns: Love One Another and I Am A Child of God.
Cami will also be playing the flute. After that, a very close friend of the family - and I think the Bishop
who gave Mom that church calling to send birthday cards to the members of the ward - Jack Renouf,
will provide his remarks. We will then be pleased to hear from Bishop Joseph Waite, Bishop of the
Ken McGinnis – Family prayer
Our dear Father in Heaven, we gather as friends and family, and by the power of the Melchizedek
Priesthood I dedicate this grave, this ground, as the final resting place for the body of Doralea dorff.
That it might be a place of peace and rest until the glorious day of her resurrection - and shall come forth
in the resurrection of the just. I give a special blessing to her sweat husband, Reginald - that he might be
blessed with peace - with joy, and filled with love and memories of this sweet wife. That the veil might
be thin. That he might be able to feel her presence with him. That his life will continue to be full of joy
and love as it has been. That he might continue to enjoy life. That memories of Mom - and of his
sweetheart will be cherished by him and bring joy and fill his life with meaning still and not sorrow - but
that he will be blessed by thee. I bless all of his children, and grandchildren. That there might be Love,
and a renewed energy of belonging together as a family. That differences might be set aside that all
might have a renewed love and a companionship as Mom would want it to be. That their lives will
continue to be blessed because of Doralea. Bless all the grandchildren that they may live worthy lives
and be good kids, that they may continue to grow in the gospel. That they might remember their
Grandmother - that their lives will be blessed - (and) filled with purpose. And (that) all the friends who
are here that they be comforted and remember Doralea and the example she's given to them in their
lives. That they might come closer to thee Father. I pronounce all these blessings, and do so in the name
of Jesus Christ. Amen.
John - Graveside
The flowers on the casket have three colors of Roses. The white one in the middle is Dad's white
rose, and the red roses represent each of the six children. And then I believe the pink roses are for each
of the grandchildren. The pink carnations are probably for the great-grandchildren whenever they get
(Pallbearers take off boutonnières and place them on the casket.)
Reginald speaks at the after service dinner provided at the La Mirada LDS church.
I surely wish to thank all of you for coming. The Lord's blessings have been with us. We appreciate and
love you all. We appreciate the relief Society for preparing as they always do, such lovely things - so
that we could have these moments together this day.
I want to tell you a somewhat humorous..............check above for dup
Footnote from Pa.
Doralea's family is not represented here today by a person. But is represented by something else. Gene
Davis (who lives in Wisconsin) Doralea and I visited (stayed with) when we came to California. The
church met in a kawansit hut on Carmenita and Imperial Hwy. This church building which he was
involved in planning has his handiwork in it. And perhaps he didn't see it completed but he was one of
the first Bishop of the La Mirada ward. A few years ago the stakes and wards were realigned and now
the old Whittier 7th ward (now Granada) is part of this building.
Yesterday I visited one of my most
Favorite people of all:
I didn‟t even have to call,
And you should have seen her face-
Happiness all over the place.
She kissed me on the cheek,
Then said with a wink,
“You must have some magic power
To know I longed to see you
At this very hour.”
Then we found our favorite spot
By the warm and cozy fire.
We sat and read and read and read
To our hearts‟ desire.
That‟s right when I knew
I‟d always want her near.
Just about that time
She whispered in my ear,
“What wonderful thing did I ever do
To deserve a child a sweet as you?”
Then in her pocket she found
A scrumptious jelly bean.
She popped it into my mouth
And said, “For the dearest child
I‟ve ever seen.”
Tasting all the sweetness,
All the happiness we share,
I closed my eyes that minute
And said a silent prayer,
“Oh thank you, thank you,
Dear Father up above
For giving me a grandma
Who fills my life with love.”
Notes from David
Today we buried my mother. Several people told me that it was nice or that I had done a good job.
Actually it turned out fine with lots of heart tugs and fun remembrances. I sat next to Tom Dorff and
several times he patted me on the back and cried himself..
We didn't get I had X call the Mortuary on Sunday Morning to see what time was available for
services. A director (terry Lang) called back and Pa talked to him and in short order we were scheduled
for a 10:00 viewing with 11:00 service. Thus we were armed with the details to advertise at the 9am
Let me tell how it came together.
On Monday at 1p Reg, Carrie, Bruce and I went over to the Mortuary to finalize details that were
based upon a previous meeting, purchase of plot and burial annuity. Data was supplied for the death
certificate. It was determined that there would be no Obituary. They were not to do programs nor any
information to be fed to the minister. In time he realized that we were going to do a Mormon service
and then he became a bit concerned that we would have time constraints. We found that we did not
have a viewing room so all of our activity was to be in the Chapel. When they presented the bill there
was some surplus money although most of it was eaten by extra charges for the Saturday activities and
canopy. When then there started to be disputes; Bruce conceded that it was much easier when he made
all the decisions at Ruth's.
Now I had a previously arranged interview with Sikorski on Thursday so I had scheduled to return to
Seattle on Tuesday as Wednesday was a travel day.
I Returned on Thursday evening by which time Yoshie and John had arrived. Most of Friday
morning was lounging around except that Yoshie went to have a manicure with Carrie & Karina &
Diane. At 1 o'clock they went over to the Mortuary to dress mother. Yoshie reported that they had a lot
of fun and Doralea laughed with them all as they fought the awkwardness of the body. At first she
seemed to be saying '
What are you doing to me?' About 3pm Yoshie and I went to finally get in gear with my picture
assignment. We also got saddled with taking a 'make-up' picture to the mortuary and picking up a taco
for Mark who had dosed off during the lunch break. We ordered flowers "from Yoshie's parents" in
route. I found some hardboard material at the Office Max and then we bought some material to cover
them which I did after sewing them pillow case style. By that time we hit the road to get the flowers and
go to the Mortuary f ot the family viewing. Now this meeting was suggested by me on Tuesday
morning to Carrie in lieu of the separate dressing occasion, and to avoid the awkward concept of kicking
folks out of the chapel for the family prayer near the end of the viewing and prior to the actual service
on Saturday. Apparently discussions happened during my midweek absence regarding my concept and
what would be occurring. Ken was against the need and of course folks wondered what to wear. After
the dressing activity went as originally scheduled; I was unclear what the 6p show was, and frankly
didn't think it was happening when we arrived over there at 6:05. Right at that moment, Allen Don
Davis (with Darlene and Diane) arrived. Then as I pressured Yoshie to sew some pictures on to one of
the upholstered boards; lots of the family arrived - all dressed appropriately. For the most part they just
sat in the tiny consultation room with poor a/c. But I think it turned out OK even though Ted's
reconnaissance regarding Saturday's sound irked both a director and some other customers as we
invaded their sanctity of the chapel. Finally Pa called for the family prayer which bothered Ken because
his clan had not arrived (I didn't even know they weren‟t there).
By the time we got home Carrie had enlisted the Compos into catering our dinner with some flautas
and enchiladas and rice and beans and chips and guacamole.
Love to make them sweat.
Saturday after the morning fiasco of acquiring Krispy Creme donuts and getting a bunch of folks
through the shower we left at 9:30 to arrive before the 10 o'clock hour. Unfortunately the other service
was still going on. I imagine they didn't finish till 10:30. Then it was a mad rush to get the production
in order. Yoshie and Diane went into the inner sanctum to fetch the boutonnieres and Diane specifically
wanted to make Mom have a smile. There was hustle and bustle with the flowers, and pictures, and
chairs. Ken said 'he loves to see the directors squirm - possession is 90%'. So there was a concern that
we had more talk than time and then my some miracle Carrie decided to abort the 'make everybody get
out, have the family prayer and then let them back in' concept. So with a quick consensus it was moved
to the end of the service.
All the folks exited from the back to the from past the open coffin. Then the 2 sisters, Nelda &
Dorotha adjusted the veil and we exited to wait for the casket We waited quite awhile while the flowers
were moved then after the pallbearers loaded the box into the hearse we all walked behind up to the
crypt. A lot of people went up for a very short service where Ken McGinnis did the 'dedication of the
grave'. There was a canopy and about 20 chairs. There was a pretty good mingle afterward except aht
the grounds keepers were anxious to get set up for the next show. Just a couple rows down so all of our
setup was to be relocated (on Monday we were to have unlimited time as there was nothing else
scheduled in that area). By some magic it cleared out pretty quick so Yoshie and I were able to watch
the lowering of the white/on/white casket.
We returned Sunday night and apparently the process was complete (except for the marker. There
were plenty of well preserved flowers which were in much better condition than I expected.
After that we went over to the La Mirada Junior Sunday school room where the Relief society had
provided a nice spread of deli meats, fruits, cakes and ice water. I shared a few moments with Don
Parker in the restroom. There was a picture taking session until we all departed. Don went home and
got his daughter.
Perhaps the service started at 11:10 and went with out flaw until 12:15 with some very nice music
provided by Ted via his computer and a speaker package.
Tent from Tooele army surplus (made in 1951) probably new but it did have some blemishes.
Ken used it at when they built the log cabin.
Their plot is in a courtyard near the mausoleum. It is about the middle of the first row to the west.
Since Doralea died first, she is on the bottom of their new two story "condominium". This is a smallish
park that was deemed more intimate than the more popular Forest Lawn. After touring several
candidates Reg and Doralea as well as Joanne Luymes purchased space and services there in advance.
Reg Dorff Funeral – December 27, 2002
Dec 27, 1928 – Dec 22, 2002
John - Eulogy
A little over 16 years ago, my father Reginald Dorff was diagnosed with a rare lung disorder. The
doctors gave him 6 months to live. Today we meet for his farewell 193 months later. Over the years,
each of us has been directly touched by his kind acts of service. We have been blessed to know him.
Reginald Ray Dorff was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, near Detroit, on December 27th, 1928. Today
would have been his 74th birthday. He was always so proud of the season in which he was born, having
noted in a letter to his mother that “…for so many years the celebration of Christ‟s birth, and the
celebration of my own, have been close together on the Gregorian calendar, and in my own mind. These
facts, joined with the Prophet Joseph Smith‟s own [birthday] on December 23rd, become more
significant each day for me…” The special bond he shared, as a result, brought incredible strength to
him as he dealt with the challenges which beset him in life.
Born the 2nd child of Lester and Ruth Dorff, an older brother preceded him in death, having only
survived 3 weeks due to improper medical care. 3 younger brothers would later join the family. His
mother and father were not happy in their marriage. There was an enormous amount of stress and
displeasure between husband and wife. In 1939 at the age of 9, his father lost his job at Chevrolet and
the family lost its apartment. With 5 dollars down and a monthly 5 dollar payment, a lot was purchased
on the outskirts of Detroit. The family lived in 2 borrowed umbrella tents during the summer, until the
snow hit the ground at Thanksgiving. Dad remembered that on 1 stormy night a double 16-foot ladder
fell from the side of the house and crushed one of the tents. On that particular night the mosquitoes were
so bad that instead of Dad and his father sleeping in a separate tent, the family all slept in 1. Dad and his
father could have been killed, for the ladder crushed the tent and the bed in which they normally slept.
Also at the age of 9, Dad‟s mother sneaked him over to the Detroit Branch of the church to be
baptized. Of that day he recorded “…[my mother] will never know the depth with which I felt the Holy
Ghost that day. I was confirmed at the water‟s edges and knew the Gospel to be true. Never have I
doubted that testimony.”
In the summer of 1939 or 40, the family purchased an old piano for $15. Dad‟s father tied fish line to
many of the hammers and “trippers”, so that the keys would return to their proper positions after being
played. A piano teacher – who was a fellow member in the Detroit West Branch – was asked to teach
the young Reg. Because he was too short to reach the floor and sit, with elbows level with the keys, his
father built a 5-inch high platform for Dad. There would be a few opportunities to participate in recitals
and play the classic Ave Maria as a piano duet with a friend in sacrament meetings. However, sometime
in 1942, Dad‟s father asked him to play a piece for a “huge” family gathering. Refusing to play, even at
the threat of having his lessons cancelled, Dad refused. As a result, he lost his privilege for formal piano
Needing to put himself through high school, Dad worked two paper routes. His social life was
focused on the church, where he felt that all of his needs would be met. Dad did not believe in missing
church for regular work. Oftentimes, Dad would finish working the midnight shift and travel directly to
When the time to serve a mission came in 1949, Dad‟s Bishop called his father to obtain permission
for Dad‟s mission. Dad‟s father simply said, “It‟s his time and money. He can waste it the way he wants
to. I want nothing to do with it.” He had earlier forced a young 16-year old Dad to choose between the
Church or the home. Against his father‟s wishes, he went to church that night. His branch president
counseled him, “…to become a man and to go home and give his father a chance to throw him out. If
Dad did not do this, he was counseled that he would never be able to forgive himself for making such a
difficult decision, Dad‟s father let him in when he knocked on the locked door, greeting him by saying
“I was afraid you would not come home. Come right in. I‟m sorry.” Dad remained mindful and thankful
for the inspired church leader‟s counsel for the rest of his life. Dad‟s relationship with his own father
improved during the time served his mission. His father learned to respect him and his part in the
In 1952, Dad was drafted by the U.S. Army. After reporting to Camp Gordon in Georgia, he was
sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas. He served a 6 month mission while in Texas. In June 1953, the Lord
had a different mission for Dad. Traveling home for a 2-day visit to Detroit before leaving for his new
assignment in Puerto Rico, he met a beautiful and vibrant young woman from SLC, Utah. Doralea Davis
“had left her humble home against the wishes of her Catholic father to seek her fortune elsewhere. Dad
and Mom had 2 or 3, or perhaps nearly 1 continuous date during those days, introducing her to my
While on furlough in Detroit, Dad was set apart as the military group leader because “he [his
leadership] will be needed by the saints in [Puerto Rico].” Puerto Rico had not yet been opened for
missionary work. Once in country, Dad‟s most important task was to “…gather together the Saints who
had not contacted the church for years. On a bus the next Sunday, I met a Mormon from Idaho who at
that moment was looking for the church.” A Navy elder was searched out. This elder had heard of
another male member, who in turn had heard of a young couple named Tate. The Tates knew of a Hill
family. And not to be outdone, the Hills knew of a young couple living in town. Almost immediately,
the church group was started. Each was reactivated and Mrs. Tate became the 1st convert baptized in
Puerto Rico. The husband of the couple living in town became a General Authority of the church.
Taking advantage of another furlough for Christmas, Dad proposed to Doralea at the New Year‟s
Eve dance. Mom and Dad‟s courtship was mostly one of correspondence between Puerto Rico and
Detroit. Having not only served his country but His Master, Dad and Mom immediately married in the
Salt Lake City temple by then Elder Harold B. Lee in July 1954.
The newlyweds made their first home in a “lovely dark dirty damp cold basement, as Dad would put
it, where [Mom] did her best to live like a gopher in a gopher hole. [They] picked and canned fruit, went
to Detroit to work for a paper company for 2 summers, had 2 children – David and Kenneth, paid for the
medical bills, paid a full tithing, owed no money to anyone, and saved enough for a small down payment
on a house in Tooele, Utah. While in Tooele, Dad worked at Tooele High School. Diane and Carrie were
added to a growing family.
In 1961, Mom and Dad moved to Whittier, California. Dad was one of the first teachers hired for the
yet-to-be completed La Serna High School. The Whittier Stake was only 2 years old. The last 2 Dorffs –
Ted and John – were added. Together with Snow White, the 7 Dorffs were finally a complete family.
For 41 years, the Whittier Stake was home to Dad and Mom, for that matter. The last 16 years of Dad‟s
life brought a different set of trials. To each, he rose to the task and persevered. His church family was
always there for him. To each of you, I collectively and individually say thank you.
Changing gears, Dad was a firm believer that a sermon should be taught at funerals. In honoring this
desire, I would like to share with you a few thoughts.
You know about the trials that Dad experienced. We saw him struggle at times more than others. We
don‟t always understand what we are to learn from the challenges we experience in life. Sometimes in
our own private Gardens of Gethsemane, we wish that our own cups could be borne by another. Some of
you may wonder “why me?” We can easily be distracted by the natural inclinations for self-pity and
envy of the seeming trouble-free life of others. Regarding trials, an apostle of the Lord recently taught:
“…including of our faith and patience, there are no exemptions – only variations. These calisthenics are
designed to increase our capacity for happiness and service.” It can be difficult to find happiness in our
trials. Nevertheless, “we can be troubled on every side, but nothing can really separate us from the love
of Christ. As Peter urged, “we can and should cast our cares upon the Lord, because He surely cares for
us!” Each of us has a mission to fulfill in life. Being where we are now in our particular station in life
has a divine purpose like the new star that announced the birth of the Savior 2,000 years ago.
I have relearned this important truth by rereading Dad‟s Patriarchal Blessing in preparation for
today. Please allow me to share some very touching portions with you.
Dad was promised:
…that he would be an influence and a power for good among those of his own household as
well as those of his associates and those with whom [he] would be called to labor
…that he would have a way of winning friends as he imparts unto them the principles of the
…with increased health that physical disorders or disturbances shall pass him by
…to have the privilege to further cultivate his talents
…to rejoice in the opportunities of serving the Lord and keeping his commandments
…that by teaching the principles of the gospel, his posterity would bless his legacy
…through his righteous living many shall heed his teachings and counsel
…that he would be a Savior on Mount Zion
All of these wonderful promises were fulfilled in Dad‟s life.
He was an everyday member missionary. The number of converts is innumerable. They life all over
the world. Their families are growing and multiplying and adding generation upon generation of
righteous living. One of Dad‟s dear friends mentioned to me this week:
“3 months after I joined the church, I went off to BYU. I was single at 25. Your father was my
roommate. My 1st Sunday, he said: “it is time for priesthood. I was still thinking as a Protestant when I
replied, I don‟t think I need to go every week. Your father firmly said, „it is your duty to go to
priesthood meeting. I will wait for you.” He stuck with me and got me going straight in the Gospel. He
helped fill in the gaps for a newly baptized member to become truly converted to the Gospel.”
Yet another card received had this touching message‟
“The time has really flown by. It will be 50 years next year since I joined the church. I have been
blessed with such wonderful experiences in the church. I have done things I would never have done if it
had not been for my membership in the church. Please know that I love you, my special missionary.”
In a letter received this week from his missionary grandson I quote:
“I love you grandpa. Thank you so much for your good example and everything you‟ve done for me.
I‟m proud to bear your name.”
In closing, from a letter Dad wrote to his own mother a few years before her death, I quote:
“Your stamina, faith, drive to survive, and attempts to guide, bless, and be happy, are worthy and
beautiful examples to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Surely, Heavenly Father points to you as one who has kept the faith, will endure to the end, shed
tears of joy, as you anticipate the eternal nature of your journey through life. May God bless you.”
To this Dad, I add may God bless you too. This same wonderful tribute can be said of you.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dad received the usual multitude of Christmas cards this season. Of course he had a little assistance
in getting his addressed, but they got out early as customary. Ours are still waiting to go out. Perhaps
by the date of the real Christmas. You know it would be impossible to get through this season without
my Dad pointing out that our Savior was actually born in the spring. But we have other things that we
can celebrate as well. Birthdays and anniversaries and especially the birth of our beloved prophet
As I left the hospital 10 days ago, I wondered what day he would pick to leave this frail existence.
And who would it be that would get the assignment to come and show him the way home? A week ago
Wednesday he was talking in a slumbering state. He said “push the bottom button to go home. Later he
asked me to take him home. I knew what he meant, I told him I didn‟t know the way; he‟d have to wait
until someone came for him.
He said he didn‟t want to wait.
As I drove back and forth to the Brea so many times, over and over would pass the song – I‟ll be
home for Christmas. Perhaps it was time, he had professed a desire to go for a long time, but never
readiness. But on previous occasions I‟d always tell him that we don‟t get a vote. We have to stay until
someone on the other side comes. I wondered who would draw that assignment? Would it be his
grandfather Walter, his mother - Ruth, or perhaps some great leader of the church like Hugh B. Brown.
Or maybe his wife Doralea. So many new nuances of the workings of heaven that he is learning about
right now. I think of the apostle Paul saying “now we see through a glass darkly. Now many more
things will be clear to him. I also think of Paul when I reflect on the zeal that they shared for missionary
work, and were never ashamed to witness for Jesus Christ and his glorious gospel.
From my Patriarchal blessing I am told that there flows in my being that precious believing blood
which is willing to obey the commandments of the lord. Flowing from where? From goodly parents. A
great heritage. Now from his blessing we read “thou shalt receive the blessings of knowledge and
wisdom and understanding”. Thou shalt rejoice in the opportunities of serving the lord. But the best
part to me was this…thou shalt be instrumental in teaching the gospel to many…and they shall bless
thee for thy influence in their lives. Yes he has been blessed and will undoubtedly continue to be
blessed as he joins the heavenly hosts to reach those who could not or would not before accept the
gospel of repentance and sacrifice.
Even though it is impossible to count the Apples is an Apple seed, we have tried. In one Christmas
card a dear Friend thanks him for “getting her going in the church”. He asserted himself and asked for a
cottage meeting with her nearly 50 years ago. Today she not only counts a posterity of over 50 but 6 of
them have been on missions. The stone carved out of the mountain without hands – continues to roll
forth. There are many other instances. There was an Argentine family that now lives here. It‟s a
special story in our family about the one baptism that he had on his 3yr. mission for the church over
there. That particular spark plug turned into a dynamo and probably affected hundreds to come and
follow the ways of righteousness.
Sometimes he was sly. In his classroom he‟d hang a church calendar on the wall with it‟s requisite
temple pictures. When the student instigated the discussion by asking about the building, his foot was in
the door. There are at least 6 of his students who came into the church and of course their numbers have
multiplied so that we now estimate that he has had direct involvement in hundreds of souls who have
come out of the world to seek this Jesus who the prophets and apostles have written and who he has both
taught about and testified of.
I read some of his Christmas cards to him last week. A long time friend from Detroit wrote: “The
Dorff family was a credited family to us, and we used you and your mother as exemplary people…You
and Dora raised a noble family, so your missions here have been well served. Whenever the good lord
has a special job to be done, he will call you home.
I think I finally got it this week. The fear that he has had for so long of dying was not the fear of the
unknown, nor fear of the judgment. It was that he would not be here to teach and assist his loved ones in
their challenges. Father did not like unfinished business. He loved to be organized and get the list clear
as soon as possible. For him the deadline for completing his home teaching was the 1st, not the 31st.
Somehow he got the idea that the way to live was exactness and honor. Would you ever catch him
parking in a zone marked Doctor‟s only? When Joseph Fielding Smith wrote that he would not have
caffeinated drinks in his house, that was sufficient for him to comply 100% without hesitation.
So his testimony was firm, his example was firm his desire for others to become partakers of the
word in similar fashion, was undauntable.
My Dad, Reginald Ray Dorff was born Dec 27, 1928 near Detroit, Michigan, a future member of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. He died December 22, 2002 a few days shy of his 74th
birthday. It is important to mention these things in the same breath for there was nothing more important
in his life than the life sustaining and eternally inspiring teachings of the church in his life. If I said
nothing more than this, you would know all you needed to know about his life, because, if it was
consistent with the teachings of the church he would do it, if it was not he would shun it. That doesn‟t
mean he was perfect. It means he was always working towards eternal goals.
My Dad was not a rich man,
My Dad was not a Bishop
My Dad did not walk among the famous
He never aspired to a title or position
He found the gospel in his youth and never lost it
Married in the temple
He was a teacher who loved to teach
He loved to work
He traveled extensively
He was a student who loved to learn
He loved to share what he learned
He lived and taught righteous principles
He lived his dreams
He knew more about the church than anyone else I knew personally
– not only about its doctrine and history, but about its administration
He loved the Lord,
And most importantly, he was my friend.
The Church would define his closeness to his mother and brothers, his early commitment to church
service, his choice of a lifetime and eternal companion, his desire to raise a family unto the Lord, a
lifetime thirst for knowledge, his choice of friends and his never ending enthusiasm to share its truths
with them, and faithful endurance through the difficult illness and departure of his wife, and final days
of anxious desire to be reunited with her.
My Dad taught me the first of two great tenets I have learned during my life and that was to Love the
Lord and to be willing to do whatever you are asked to do by him or one of his servants. He showed this
is his own life by converting to the church while in his youth. At the right age of he accepted the call to
serve a three year mission to Argentina He was committed to finding a wife who believed as he did and
on July 24th 49 (?) years ago he was married to Doralea Davis in the Salt Lake temple. He would go to
BYU and begin a tradition of graduating from college that has now reached the third generation.
He would serve many missions as a Seventy, and had many opportunities to influence the
development of young people through his teaching and led many to the gospel and continued to do so to
the end of his mortal days.
He was a fearless, courageous adventurer. Every summer or Christmas vacation, it wasn‟t a question
of where we were going, it was for how long, as we enviably ended up south of the border. My fondest
childhood memories were bouncing along the Huerfanito road, the oranges spilling out the back of the
Ford as we pushed the truck up Devils slide, the hole in the head board of the Dodge power wagon, the
ease of the four door, four wheel drive International, and the comfort of the Jeep Cherokee and always
the lazy days of seemingly endless summers.
He enjoyed traveling and exploring the lands of the Book of Mormon and associating with the
descendants of Lehi and Nephi. In 1978 he would do something that few have done which was to drive
to Argentina and back. The trip itself was a church tour as we visited many wards and saints between
here and there. The highlight no doubt was being able to locate and converse with the one and only
person he had baptized on his mission, Sister Quiriquino.
He had an enviable life. He worked hard and played hard. We never had any extra money, but
through a mutual frugality practiced unitedly with mom, we never knew any want and we traveled more
extensively by the time I was 22 than anyone else I knew. He taught if you have the Lord in your life
then you have obtained the greatest possession attainable in this life as all blessings become eternal,
never to be lost, through faithful obedience.
In his later years, I enjoyed debating church policy, his selective memory of church history, hearing
the same jokes over and over again, even as I watched the steadiness and firmness leave him breath by
There are many who should be thanked for there quiet loyalty to him and my mother over the years
but particularly to their continued support more recently. I will not mention you now as I am sure to
forget a few, I will try to do so personally. I would like to particularly thank David and Yoshie for
shouldering the burden of his care in recent times and for sacrificing their privacy for his care for which
no earthly thanks would be sufficient. A sacrifice that must come with its own reward.
My Dad was a non-replaceable friend and I will miss his accepting, steadying influence.
I would like to say something about how caught up we are with the concept of time in this life. How
it marks our entrance and exit and just about everything in between. Understanding time is a great
motivator. Events like this remind us that it is a scarce resource, it is something that should be used to its
fullest – my father exemplified this in his life.
But there is a larger plan than that contemplated within the bounds of time. I would like to testify
that we have a loving Father-in-heaven that loves us and has been there for us before this world was and
will be there once we leave here, and he is there for us in-between…
For those who don't know, I'm Ted, his 5th child, 3rd son. When I got the news of Dad's passing, I
immediately started thinking of experiences & terms that would describe him. What was important to
him? What was he about? I had at least one experience in mind for every term I came up with, but
there's only enough time for me to share a few experiences that will cover several at once, and just read
my list of words & phrases.
We read in scripture stories about wicked men who have righteous children and vice versa. I'm
always amazed at people who can buck the trend to make a drastic improvement from one generation to
the next. I feel he did this in many of the areas I'll list, but most particularly in commitment, education,
morality and spirituality. This concept gives perspective to his weaknesses in my mind. If, in my life I
manage to ever surpass him any of these, it will be in a minor way compared to how he has improved
and excelled in the face of his obstacles.
"Reggie" - He used to say that name was 'only for friends & dogs'. I guess that was because loved
ones & teasers both called him that in his childhood. He also considered it an atomatopeia of barking.
Apparently he used this phrase as self-defense in his youth. I heard him a few times as an adult.
He had a good sense of humor, but didn't like teasing. Here's my list of "telling words" in no
Dora Family decisions
witness excellent son
commitment vocabulary - never foul language
exactness disresgusting - disgusting & disrespectful
patient La Serna High School
loving anxiously engaged
gentle on time
basketball hoop in the tree word of wisdom
strict in doing what he thought was right polite
fan : baseball, boxing, basketball observant.
one fear was technophobia Obedient
proud of his family butcher - ducks, rabbits
liked to find connections with people. serious
Pack rat paper routes
color-blind paper mill
music-piano, organ. teacher - profesór
missionary not ticklish
Vicks Mentholatum in a sock around his neck
prunes, nuts, dates, figs, olives, oranges, oatmeal
healing-tell story of healing me in Chile.
camping : Featherly, Silent Valley, Mt. Whitney, Washington, Arizona, Big Bear, ruins, San Onofre
rescuing : stranded vehicles, people,boats, down & out relatives
early riser, but always awake enough if we needed to talk.
home teacher - always tried to visit every family every month with a companion
Little formal training. hymns-largely, how he learned piano & what he emphasized. Also Warsaw
resourceful-schooled in the fine art of mickey mouse
Spanish: Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cubá, Olvera Street Huerfanito, Guaymas,
Hermosillo, Yukatán, Mexicali, Tijuana.
world travel: South & Central America, Canada, Japan, Middle East, Europe, Hawaii
bold - on several occasions he walked with me to confront neighborhood bullies & their fathers.
studious, reader, notes, corrections, letter-writer
Father. You did good. You did well too! Perhaps the best compliment I can pay is that I have the
same testimony as he does, independent of his. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives and restored
His church. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Messages from Friends – Compiled by David
Jack Renouf – Dear family and friends,
You probably have heard by now that Reg Dorff passed away last week and his funeral as yesterday.
He was suffering from a rare hereditary lung disease and was given six months to live sixteen years ago.
He had been suffering a great deal the past six months and really gave out last week. Last week he was
struggling mightily for breath until he was sedated and then rested more peacefully and then passed
away. Barbara and I saw him a few days before he died and had a lucid conversation and prayer with
him and then I saw him again a few days later and it was obvious that he would be returning home soon.
The funeral service was excellent. All four sons spoke along with two brothers with Bishop Waite
and President Walburger both giving some very brief closing remarks. The talks by each one of the sons
were really beautiful tributes to their father. John gave the Eulogy and then David, Kenny and Ted gave
some special thoughts and reflections about their father. They all came from a different perspective and
were equally eloquent in their own way. Services were held at the Stake Center and all the hymns were
previously selected by Reg.
Also a special organ solo also selected by Reg "Though Deepening Trials." It was a magnificent solo
played superbly by the stake organist, Greg Rister. Reg was a very unique individual who accomplished
many great things in his life. Certainly his children and grandchildren are a testimony to Reg and
Doralea both. All are faithful in the church with many grandchildren who have served or are now
serving missions. Kenny has been a Bishop three times and John is serving as Bishop in Japan (Greg
Greer formerly of the old ward is his counselor). That are quite a family and I am sure they have touched
each of our lives in a very positive manor.
I am grateful for their family friendshiping Barbara and our older children while I was in the process
of investigating (sorry to say I was a very slow learner and more than slightly standoffish) the church.
Reg was a great help to me while I was Bishop because he knew so much about the church and I knew
so little and had so much to learn. I was always appreciative of his counsel and never felt he was trying
to show off because of what he knew. He was also a great help with the Stake "Green Book," which
included monthly thoughts printed in the calendar section that originated with Reg. Also he liked to
make sure we were proofing the draft copy of the Green Book and would list our birthday in the
proposed calendar section hoping that we would not catch it. Fortunately I think we caught all of those
"special dates." He had an immense knowledge about the Church's history, administration, leaders, and
keep tabs of people that he had met through the church in an unbelievable manor. We shall all miss him,
I know I will especially. Enough said. Hope all is well with each of you and your families. Loveya all,
Paulina Quiriquino For those interested, here's a translation of the Christmas Card (his only Argentine
convert) sent to dad. Note, the first sentence is kind of long as is typical speaking style. Viviana called
and talked to her after she sent this to inform her of Dad's passing. TED
Venado Tuerto. December 2002.
Every year when December rolls around, I anxiously await your letter and I'm happy to receive it,
but this time in reading what you said about your health, I've been sad for your suffering and since then I
plead and ask with all my heart that God and His Son Jesus Christ, who are merciful and can do all,
perform a miracle and bless you with spiritual and physical strength for a long time and have a Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year along with your beautiful and beloved family and great-grandchild.
I thank with all my heart that my Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ have blessed and
protected me with health.
I'll spend Christmas with my nieces and nephews because my sisters that lived in Venado Tuerto
have already gone to the Spirit World.
I'm still faithful and active in the Kingdom of God.
With Love, Paulina.
Sharon Simoneon – received a card for Pa. I sent her a copy of the obit and an apology that she was
not notified. I understand that there are other cards that came so I'd like the sentiments transcribed so
that we can all have a good cry.
Dear Mr. Dorff –
I think of you and pray for you often, dear teacher and friend. I don't know if you can understand the
impact you've had on my life, but I need to tell you again how grateful I am for you! Thank you for all
you taught me - about Spanish and about life. You are so precious to me! I've enjoyed this year since
our playhouse closed. I've had time to care for my mom after her cancer surgery, and she & Dad are
both doing well. Mark's still in the area and we see him often. He always speaks of you fondly, as I do!
I'm still teaching Bible study & loving it. Blessings & love to you always.
January 27, 2003 John & Janice Gute
...Paul and Cathrine are living in La Mirada; they are both doing wonderfully well in the CA
sunshine. They had a magnificent opportunity in September to tour Italy with Catherine's parents,
homeland of Catherine's Mother's family. They also went to Switzerland and visited the 2 towns where
Grandpa Gute's parents lived prior to emigrating to the United States...we are counting our blessings and
recognizing more and more with the passing years. The greatest of our blessings is knowing that God
loves us and that Jesus Christ is His Son, Our Savior, THE LIGHT to whom we look for direction. Love,
Sandy Singleton, AlphaNet
I really look forward to talking with you each month. Thank you for making 2002 such a rewarding
year for me!
How can I tell you how precious your friendship has been to me all these years? Thank you for
writing to me faithfully every Christmas and for all the wonderful memories from long ago - delightful
days in class, in Spanish Club, at Olvera St. & Padua Hills, my first opportunity to teach a class, and as a
result of your teaching & confidence, the inspiration to go on to earn my B.A. & M.A. in Spanish! Even
now as I speak Spanish, in my heart I thank God for you! Now I teach only the Bible, but I first knew I
really could teach when I was a T.A. for you! Thank You again!
I have so much to thank the Lord for, and it is a joy to thank Him for you!
Love and blessings always.
Rose Walton – Thank you so much for the wonderful example you set for all.
You are truly a "special" spirit.
Larry and Dot (aureha?) Tate
It is a miracle that your card got to us. Some how it was sent to our sons address, and he had moved
from there. Our son called and said he had a card for us. I am so glad we received your card. You are
very special in my life. I often relate the story of how I joined the Church. Every year I bear my
testimony at fast meeting closest to Oct 31. I relate my story and tell them about you and how you were
still on a Mission even though you were in the Military.
What a spiritual experience.
The time has really flown by. It will be 50 years next year since I joined the Church. I have been
blessed with such wonderful experiences in the Church. I have done things I would never have done if it
had not been for my membership in the church. Reg, I am so sorry that you are so ill, and that you lost
your beloved companion. Please know that I love you, my special Missionary!
Mr. & Mrs. Earl Sherratt
It is evident that as Christmas approaches, out thoughts are turned toward the little town of
Bethlehem and the infant child who has made such a difference in lives all over the world for centuries.
We were delighted to hear from you. You said something that caused me to have a great concern
about you. I asked Neal to explain what your problem was and he was kind enough to do it - he said you
had a lung condition. Could it be cancer? I lost Raymond to lung cancer even though he hadn't smoked
for 42 years - he quit before he joined the Church. A lung problem is certainly not an easy thing to deal
Words can only hint and the sadness I feel because of it. You see, you have always had a special
place in my heart. Raymond felt the same about you. The Dorff family was a credited family to us, and
we used you and your mother as exemplary people, illustrating what can be done with faith as the two of
you had...She was truly a jewel.
You and Dora raised a noble family, so your missions here has been well served. Whenever the
good Lord has a special job to be done, He will call you home, because he knows what a valiant servant
you are.Remember you are a special person to me.
We now approach the season
When we turn our thinking
To Friends and to Family
Who touch our lives.
Isn't it funny
How it all affects us?
By turning thoughts towards others
And thinking just their pleasure
Instead of wanting for ourselves,
Our joy is increased.
Hi - Thinking of you and yours. How wonderful to have family with you. We appreciate all you did
for us - thinking of Sis Crosby's. Even teaching me about 35mm cameras & many other things about the
gospel, home teaching etc.
Dear Friends. Our families have shared many special times over the past 37 years. Some happy,
some filled with sorrow, but always a feeling of respect and love between us.
I loved your Mom & Dad each in different ways; but they were parents you can be proud of. And I
know you honor them, each in your own way.
Bill & Charlie Shields
Hi Reg! We sure think about you when our thoughts go down Whittier way. We know the Lord
will continue to strengthen and support you with his spirit. As Job said (and may we say the same),
"Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."
Mel Locke, Principal, La Serna High School, (1960-1982)
(front) Heart felt Sympathy, (leftI) Take Care
(rightI) There is so little one can do, so little one can say
To bring you consolation in the loss that's come your way,
But may it help you at this time and bring some comfort, too,
To know that others truly care and share your grief with you.
With SYMPATHY on the loss of your Father
Thank you for notifying me of your Fathers deah. I considered both of your parents to be good
friends of mine.It gives me a quiet feeling to think of your parents and your grandmother at this time.
May God be with you at all times, Love
Dear Dorff Family
Thinking of you and hoping special memories comfort you in this time of sorrow. Sincerely
To All of Reg's Family
Our Father walks beside you to enfold you in His care,
and loving friends are with you too, in thought, and love, and prayer.
Reg was a very dear man, I will miss him very much
Kathy (Shields) Wylie & family
Diane & Family
My folks told us about your Dad passing on. We have many good memories of him and your
family. Please accept our sympathy and know we remember and care! It would be great to hear from
you again Diane. Take care all - Love,
Bob & Billie Dewey & Family
Thank John for informing us of Reg's passing. Sorry we couldn't be there we were out of town.
We will always have a special place in our hearts for Reg & Doralea. Love,
Doralea & families
Our prayers are with you Karen, Jim Michael & Brian
inc another printed note: Doralea, This was a prayer my Mom had with her always.
I am home in Heaven, dear ones; And with Jesus' arm to lean on,
Oh, so happy and so bright! Could I have one doubt or dread?
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light. Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still;
All the pain and grief is over, 'Try to look beyond earth's shadow,
Every restless tossing passed; Pray to trust our Father's Will.
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last. There is work still waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Did you wonder I so calmly Do it now, while life remaineth -
Trod the valley of the shade? You shall rest in Jesus' land.
Oh! but Jesus' love illuminated
Every dark and fearful glade. When that work is all comleted,
He will gently call you Home;
And He came Himself to meet me Oh, the rapture of the meeting,
In that way so hard to tread; Oh, the joy to see you come!
Frank & Barbara Ruekert
Dear Family of Dora Lea & Reg Dorff
Frank & I moved from the Granada Ward in September '02 and found out last week that your Father
passed away in December.I have the greatest respect for your parents. Reg and I had many great
telephone conversations that I cherish.
I was told that your Dad was going to be with his beloved wife at Christmas. I am glad that this was
so. Your parents are wonderful people and at this time of loss may you all feel their love for you and be
greately comforted in knowing that they are together again. Sincerely,
Chuck & Lila Rouintree
To the Dorff Family,
We want you to know we love you all, and are in our prayers. Chuck has been your Dad and Moms
home teacher for a long time and he'll miss them terribly. He's not doing well either, so sorry he
couldn't come to show his love for Reg and his family. He will be greatly missed by us amnd all his
friends. Love to you all,
Jack and Barbara
Dear Yoshie, David, Diane, Ted, John, Carrie and Ken.
What a wonderful gift to recieve from your family. I feel I will always owe your parents so much. I
can never repay them for their kind friendship and love. Your family with all their little children sitting
around the dinner table or all playing games together made me want a family just like yours. We will
enjoy the book and it will be a treasure. I'm so glad you were able to give your dad a warm family to
love and care for him - I lnow that meant a great deal. With much appreciation -
Stopped by the house on December 29th. She had not gotten the message on her machine
Thank-you for E-Mailing the news of Reg‟s death. He had been suffering for a long time so it is no
doubt a blessing and I am certain he would want to be with Dora.
I knew Reg since we were small boys in Detroit in the 1930‟s. We were close friends. On many a
weekend, I would go to his house which was on Southfield Road and we would roam the vast wooded
area behind his house. We played many “adventure” type games together. Many times Reg came to our
house which was on Rutland Road, off Southfield, several miles from his house. We played basketball
on the church team. We both travelled by bus to Utah where we worked all sunmmer [sic] for Roy Park
near Orem. We climbed Timpanogas Mountain together. We hitchhiked to California and then back to
Orem. In 1945 we were attempting to drive from Detroit to Utah in a 1926 Hudson that Reg had bought.
The car threw a rod near Council Bluffs, Iowa; Reg sold the car for what it would bring and we caught
the bus the rest of the way. We also worked for Roy Park that summer and it was while we were there
that the atomic bombs were dropped and World War 2 ended.
We kept contact through the years and I feel fortunate to have seen him several times in the 90‟s
including the time Ralph Christensen and I were there in the 90‟s including the time Ralph Christensen
and I were there visiting on Red Coach Lane.
Reg was true gentleman, a man of great integrity. He was true to his friends and to his own high
ideals. He dearly loved his sweetheart Dora and his family. He was courageous and had a cheerful heart.
I will always have great respect for Reg. I would also comment that Reg‟s Mother, Ruth, was one of the
sweetest women to be on this earth. She was very kind to me on many occasions.
Would you please send to me the Service Program. I would greatly appreciate that. Address as
follows: 780 Sierra View Way, Chico, Ca 95926-4047
I wish I could be there. At the present time I am with my son Rob and his family in Arlington,
If any of the family ever had any questions about Reg‟s early life that I might be able to answer, I
would be more than happy to do so.
May your family find peace and solace at this time. Neil Andrew.
6/16/03 – David
Carrie was kind enough to pass on to me a tape wherin Pa plays on the Piano and Organ dated Oct
1988. I‟ll keep it unless someone else has a better idea. He does a bit of narration, song names etc. At
the end is this exonerations:
Well, I hope that in some small way I may have been able to teach you to walk in the light, the love and
the teaching, as the song says unuttered or unexpressed, is still there for all of you. May you have a happy
and lovely life as you walk in the light of your Heavenly Father and be able to share with each other the true
and sincere and loving concern which all brothers and sisters and family members should have for each
other. Will you embrace each other in the Holy love of God, and be able to keep that love in your lives until we
meet again. Is my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
It was kind of appropriate that we had a mtg to discuss Pa‟s home on Father‟s Day. Earlier that
morning he awoke me to tell me that I wasn‟t working hard enough to resolve the Carrie thing. I
wondered how do I get my Sister back? How did Diane get her sister back? After the conference call we
had a few words. She said we will always b at odds. Maybe it‟ll take 10 years.
1/1/04 – David
A card received for Pa. I sent her a copy of the obit and an apology that she was not notified.
I think of you and pray for you often, dear teacher and friend. I don‟t know if you can understand the
impact you‟ve had on my life, but I need to tell you again how grateful I am for you! Thank you for all
you taught me – about Spanish and about life. You are so precious to me! I‟ve enjoyed this year since
our playhouse closed. I‟ve had time to care for my mom after her cancer surgery, and she & Dad are
both doing well. Mark‟s still in the area and we see him often. He always speaks of you fondly, as I do!
I‟m still teaching Bible study a& loving it.
Blessings & love to you always.
3/4/05 – Diane
I was wondering if anyone remembers what kind of callings Mom had when we were younger.
When she was older I don‟t think she had much besides VT and sending birthday cards. I never
remember her being anything. Maybe a primary teacher but I‟m not sure.
Ted – I think Mom also had some part on the scout committee for a while and assistant den mother
or something like that. It‟s hard to believe that any active LDS Woman would never have a job in the
R.S. or YW! Wasn‟t she RS secretary at one point?
7/1/05 - David
I met Tom Dorff for dinner at Andresons Pea soup restaurant in Buelton on Sat June 3,2005. I ate
the soup but missed the ham. A report....Tom worked at a throughobred racetrack in Detroit before
leaving at 16. After hitch-hiking to SLC for P & M's wedding, he went to Jackson hole to work at the
White Grass Ranch. Proprietors Frank & Inga Gayly allowed P&M to stay in a bungalow for free after
Tom had worked there about a week.
Tom acknowledged that he had some pictures that Ken had sent and hopes to get around to
describing them now that his school centric work has let up. He was suprised to find pictures of Doreen
Fye, Pa's first fiance (he thot Mom would have destroyed them long ago).
Pa went with chums to pick fruit near Provo during 2 summers. After the 2nd one he started BYU.
The set up for the relationship was that Pa had met her at the BYU during his first stint. He took her
back to meet the folks, worked at Scott Paper via a referal from (Bro. Leslie Larson). Got mission call
while back at BYU for the 2nd year.
Went on Mission via Boat. Got dear johned. Came back by plane and was met in NY by whole
family who spent a week there touristing including torch of Lady liberty.
Pa got drafted while on mission so he had to enter as soon as he got home. He met Mom while on
leave. Bruce and Tom knew her and her roomates Maree & Carol Davis and went places together.
Reg had A 26 touring Hudson, that failed to make the complete trip west. It was junked in Nebraska
for bus fare.
P&M had reception at Don Lassig house. Brigham Young planted an Apple tree at the Don Lassig
house (about 13e 48s SLC).
Very low odds to have 2 sets of disimilar sex twins. Of 1st set (Walter Edward TUCK Jr) died by
eating rat poison. (Maria LANGLEY Tuck) couldn't forgive herself but prayed that if they were
replaced she'd feel forgiven.
Ruth & Twin were that replacement. She started driving at 12.
Bob, when at Al's funeral, said his dad had married a prostitute.
Donny about 8 when he went to Mexico. TOM, Eileen, Jess, Lana to mexico in Studebaker. Pa to
rescue when Rock gashed Oil pan and killed engine - then dragged it back to be junked.
Tom Dorff's family trip in Yellow rambler - Maria suprised by high level of Jenifer & Michelle's
Isset by BMW, front door car (I remembered seeing this at his house with Mary Gwen). It was in a
Tom told me to verify his stories with Niel & Ralph.
7/2/05 - David
The way I remember it, Mom had a date with someone and Pa showed up, proposed and then left as
she continued with the original suitor.
We had intended to go north through central southern Utah but there was a huge line to take that
route so we aborted and went west & up through St. George. Kichan is still waiting to visit 4-corners.
Our lateness also meant that we only went to the Sunday services at the Davis reunion. We heard that
we missed Lorinda on Sat but she was in good company with our other misses of Karina, Diane, Ralph,
Molly, etc. We did meet Yoshie's missionary as well as Steve Goldsmith. The kids were bored to tears
except for the refreshments.
Our fast was a bust but the mtg was great as AllenDon directed each family represntative to tell of a
family unifying experience. I told of how Pa always found us a church when we were traveling. It was
quite the cryfest. Gordon was depicted as a staunch reunion supporter and Jill recounted of his
cohersion for his family to participate in order to make their mom happy.
I was disappointed not to see Larry and Mike who were both occupied in Bishopric duties. Dortha
said that at the time Mom was married, only her and Lynn were active and she didn't know why the
Lynn's weren't at the wedding.
I was happy to see the Burton's represented in some of the decorations.
Steve recently surfaced through Jeff Rock. He lives in Sandy near his folks in Layton. The folks
have been there 8 years since he retired and sold out. We met them both at the folks house. Steve
married a girl, Janet, from that area so he has lived there since he graduated BYU in finance 26 years
ago. He has 5 Kids-Boy 24, Daughter 22 just married in May, Boy 19, Boy 16 & boy 13. He has
greyed up nicely and looks much like his dad who looks the same except a little whiter. The 3 boys we
met were all substantial (similar to mom). They told of how they had just returned from a ward trek at
Martin's Cove. Sounded like the trip of trips, and wouldn't that be nice reunion activity????
8/24/05 – David
I have several boxes of mission stuff. Some slides, souvenires, and yes some letters. I know that
enlisting my kids help is going to be painful. Of the letters, I recall the gentleness and positive nature of
those from Mom. I was amazed at the time. I thot - boy she has changed! When I got home I found the
same woman that I left, so I realized that she had different faces.
I also have letters while I was at school or the service or even a couple from Dad when he felt a need
later on. I don't have a clue how to turn all the mentioned material into something of lasting value. I
have no answer for you Ken. I can say that I spent many hours trying to copy some letters from Pa
home to Ma during his Spain excursion. Some ink bleed, very thin paper (reverse shows through to
front), aging, and then wondering the same question - what was to be the end product?
Last sunday a couple of speakers committed to do better on their journals - asserting that they had
sinned by their poor efforts. As we read the scriptures we typically wade through a lot before we glean a
kernal. If everyone gets everthing in some kind of scanned and burnt DVD then they can make their
own end product or glean as to their needs. But I am afraid that the sheer volume will just intimidate.
Who will actually spend the time digging? Can an editor abridge 8 mo, 3000 slides, and hundreds of
journal pages into a 50 page facinating testimony - I hope so.
9/19/05 - Carrie
Mom went to Utah least every other year, with or without dad until dad's illness, and a few times
after that. They hit either the summer reunion or the dec. one., (which is women only now) but they
went every year until grandma Dorff moved to CA. Dad did not like the playing of cards, and he had
other places he wanted to go, like boys missions and mexico. Dad would not take a turn hosting the
reunion as they would not come to CA. Nelda and I couldn't remembeer any of the weddings mom went
to and only a couple of funerals she happened to hit besides her parents. I know that mom was very
sad if any Davis would come to town and not visit. But she did keep close contact by phone to all of her
sisters and brothers.
I know that even though I lived out of state for 12 years I made it home every year, and talked with P
& M twice a week.I think it is a matter of priorities and habit since we havn't had a family get together
since 1995, it is neither for us.
10/26/05 – Carrie
Just to let you know: Ken Flath has sold his house and will be moving to a house on a golf
course. Also, The French lady has movede into an assisted living home, and her house will be up for
sell soon. The Hannahs are still there, with Greta delclining, but Bob will not put her in a home until it
is absolutly necessary. She does not remember me, but remembers John and his scout pizzas. She
says he was such a good salesman that she always bought from him but NEVER ate them, they were
BTW: Bro Merservy told me the other day, that a man came up to him in the LA temple (which is
closing until April) and asked him if he was from the Whittier Stake. Royal replied, yes, and the
Brother asked him if he knew Reg Dorff. He told Royal that Elder Dorff taught and baptized his mother
and family in Argentina, and they will never forget his gift. Bro Merservy could not remember the
gentlemens name. sorry.
10/27/08 – David
I know I have asked before but maybe this is a good time to catalogue all these folks. Do they show
up in the journals? At one point there was a expanded tree of 400 from his efforts, but I was unable to
have the calulation explained.
12/9/05 - David
How did the BYU dream fruish anyway? I know he picked fruit in the summer on a previous trip to
Utah but when did he determine to go to college or BYU or that any place was even financially an
12/26/05 - Marilyn Richart
I Just wanted to write and let you all know that our Aunt Delvene (also Uncle Burton's Wife). Passed
away On December 25th, 2005 (Christmas Day) She had alzheimers for several years and that kind of
thing. I wanted to write and let you know and ask that you please forward and let and inform your
family know. Don't know when the funeral will be as she just passed away yesterday!
will keep you posted!
2/1/06 - David
Pa started masters work but didn't finish due to several events including the death of his 2 faculty
Pa was charter staff at La Serna High School. He had maybe 2 classrooms during the _______ years
he was there. He also taught Driver Training during the summer both in the car and in a trailer that was
automated with driving stations interconnected with a film. During the fall he also did chaperoning at
the evening football games which I believe were held at Sierra High School since it had a stadium. He
got us into a game for free.
Later after his official retirement in [Feb 29, 1988] and after he had started the drug that TomD
sleuthed out, he returned to work for the district part time as a truant officer. As a non teacher he
became subject to Social Security taxes. The time spent in that vocation proved invaluable as it gave
him enough credits (augmented with those prior to teaching), to qualify him for the minimum dole a few
TomD remembered Pa sold magazines, so either that was in conjuction with the greeting cards; or at
a different time. One of the deepest talks I ever heard in a Sacrament meeting was during my first stint at
BYU. Tom Nibley still lived at home and was in our ward. I don't know if I ever mentioned this to Pa -
and I certainly don't recall his home teaching role to that family. If Tom N was 25 at the time (77) then
he would have been maybe 2 at the time.
2/3/06 – David – talking of their time renting an apartment at BYU
I remember him mentioning an "upgrade". He also bootlegged an additional thermostat to the single
system. This helped them to warm up a bit but the landlady/owner living on the 1st floor subsequently
comlained that it was always too warm regarless of how low she turned her control.
2/24/06 - Carrie
Mom was still med- heavy in 2000, when she got gangrene (?). But as the pain intensified she did
not eat as much. Especially in-between meals, which was mostly why she gained weight. Also she was
not cooking either, which helped in the loss of weight. As Dad also ate very littlehe continues to lose, as
food laid heavy on his lungs. If anyone has Dad's calender he wrote down mom's weight and sugar. C
David: I saw some not too old picture of P&M where she was the normal (a bit chubby) look. I
wondered when did she start losing weight and why? Seems like she was quite thin when we started
doing the oxigen in the bag on the legs thing - and she was still intact. Will you kindly write a bit about
4/6/06 – John – Homestead for sale at $589,000
Alright gurus. My #1 claims that GrandPa reg stated to him that 'he > didn't support the scouting
program'. He has twisted that to mean > that it is a gay thing to earn the rank of Eagle. Since I don't
recall hearing such sentiments, what do the rest of you guys remember?
That doesn't make much sense since he supported campouts,etc. and two sons to eagle.
12/11/08 – Karina started off a thread asking us to share our memories of P & M, she started it off:
One of the first summers that I ever went to stay with Grandma and Grandpa happened after they
had made the trek to Washington to visit us as well as the McGinnis family. It was the end of the school
year, or almost and however the conversation went, I ended up in a car with them on my way to
California . Their health was so much better than it was years later that its funny for me to think about
this now, but we stopped at the Portland Oregon Temple b/c it was having an open house, as it had just
been completed, and got special treatment on the "handicapped tour." Being little, I thought this was the
coolest thing ever. I felt like we were sooo special. And tried so hard to remember everything the guide
told us! I have no idea how long I stayed in California with them after that, but I remember knowing
how special it was to be in the temple and how good it felt to be there with my Grandparents.
Ken: Great idea – except I can‟t remember anything!!!
Actually, I say that because that is one of those things I do remember, was Mom‟s phenomenal
memory. I could only wish I had the grasp of people, places, things, and time frames that they could
recall. Dad‟s ability to remember people he had met or known, or heard of was amazing. He could just
as well have been the inventor of that game where you try to connect yourself with others by “who
knows who”. They seemed to be blessed with a “clear recollection of all that has happened” before they
David: 3 things come to mind.
1) Following on with Ken's - often when he heard of my going somewhere he knew someone in that
vicinity that I needed to go visit. I don't recall if I ever followed through on any of those requests, but I
do remember that I was reluctant - and yet more and more I realize how amazing it was that he kept
those contacts alive. Someone asked the other day who was my oldest friend. Depending on how you
define that term, I wish I had some, and - I wish I could meet up with Billy Angel and/or Kenny Spense.
2) Even though I was mostly a perfect angel - once, I was going to be punished 'when Dad got home'
(from work). On that occasion (the specific infraction is long gone), he apparently didn't quite buy-in to
the gravity - yet he had to tow so we went out to the side workbench area and amazingly he hit the fence
with the belt and instructed me to yell so that I could put on the appearance of having been brought into
line. Domestic tranquility is a wonderful thing.
3) One Friday as he was preparing to head to the cabin, out of the side yard came a small outboard
motor. He said 'don't tell your mother'. I don't know the rest of the story nor whether I ever asked either
of them; but from this vantage I have to wonder how he paid for it and when she found out about it. I
can't imagine there were many financial secrets.
Btw. Anyone recall what happened to it? Btw2. I was against the torching of that nice homemade
boat which served so much fishing (which he and Tom built in the Patio with marine glue and brass
Karina: David: I can't believe this! My whole life I got the "My dad only hit me with his belt once, after
that I learned to behave" speech so many times!! So, was this pure bluff or fiction, or did anyone else
actually get this punishment inflicted on them?
Ted: I got belt a few time when I was little, but mostly watching Dave and Ken get it was a deterrent
enough. Incidentally, the "scotch blessing" threat was enough to keep us in (and quiet in) Sacrament
Meeting. I wish more kids in my ward knew about the Scotts.
Karina: K, what is the "scotch blessing" is this the official name for the belt?
Ted: Yep, or whatever is available (switch, hand, etc.)
Ken: I actually think it is more of a stern reprimand or scolding.
Now being taken out to the wood shed was clearly a whipping. In fact though I don‟t remember
being hit with the belt. I‟m sure I was but I am blessed with a short-term memory. Actually, maybe
that‟s why I have a short-term memory.
Ted: Maybe I didn't know the real meaning because I don't remember ever actually receiving one when
the term was used. Maybe I assumed it was what I had had or witnessed you having.
Interestingly, I was a book review a week or so ago of a disaffected Jehovah‟s Witness who wrote a
book to expose a secret room in Kingdom Hall buildings called the "spanking room". He alleges that all
of those buildings have such a room near the women's restroom where children would be taken if they
made noise in church or even appeared to not be paying attention. He says there was a line of parents
and children there all of the time. I wonder if he confused it with our "cry rooms" which I wish more
buildings had (only one in our stake).
I don't remember getting up to leave church for a drink or bathroom more than a few times because it
was instilled in me that I could live without it if I planned ahead. I only remember going out once with
Dad because I was in trouble and I don't remember details of the conversation nor if I was hit, but I
remember knowing he was upset and that was enough. Why did I care if he was upset? I see kids in
church that seem to like to frustrate their parents.
12/19/08 – Ken
Certainly one of the seasonal, tastiest and renewable memories is that of snowballs.
Some younger, sheltered readers may think I am referring to the white, crystalline variety made by taking a
handful of snow and packing it tightly while looking around for an appropriate target – anyone seen Viviana?
Alas, no, these are even better, and are even more satisfying than the taste of fresh, white melting snow on
Of, course Snowballs were trademark treats along with the tasty pies made by Grandma Ruth, made primarily
at Christmas time.
As much as the treats, was where we ate them, usually at Grandma’s house in Pasadena. I remember
arriving and heading into the kitchen immediately to make sure we could find a cookie sheet or two full of them. I
have wondered when the tradition started - whether they were a staple of Detroit festivities. That would probably
be a good question for Tom or Bruce.
We are looking forward to enjoying them this year – under Carrie’s tutelage.
For those who don’t have the recipe, this is from a handwritten copy, signed by ‘Doralea Dorff’ – as an original
second generation copy, it is no doubt worth a small fortune. It was given to Lorinda at her bridal shower. I have
since confiscated it for the memory book – Lorinda doesn’t know that yet.
I noted that there was no instruction for adding the red hots, which added color and taste. I wondered if that
was a personal addition to the base recipe or just an assumed fact. I would assume there are certainly other
colorful, tasty possibilities too.
Snowballs Doralea Dorff
1 Cup sugar
1 pkg – Nilla [Vanilla] Wafers
½ Cup Margarine (or butter)
1 #2 can [20 ozs] well drained crushed pineapple
1 Cup finely chopped nuts
1 small container cool whip
Cream sugar and margarine add egg – Mix well –
Add pineapple and nuts –
Spread mixture on wafers using three per snow ball,
(Do not spread on top of wafer)
Cover and let stand over night in refrigerator
Next day, cover top and side with cool whip
And roll in shredded cocoanut.
Makes about 28 to 30 snowballs –
Use large vanilla wafers (Nabisco Nilla wafers the best)
[Add other accessory – red hots or other decoration]
Can be frozen
David – A lady in our ward in Massachusetts gave us snowballs. She was from Tennesse so I'm
guessing the origin was due to one the many trips Ruth made down that way.