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Johanna Ellen Dorr
July 13, 1952 ~ May 16, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Johanna Ellen Dorr, 70, adoring wife and loving mother of five children and “Grammy” to ten grandchildren went to be with her heavenly Father on May 16, 2023, at Evergreen Hospice House in Albany, OR after a six-year courageous battle with glioblastoma brain cancer.
Johanna, name meaning “God is Gracious”, was the oldest of six children. She was born to Charles V. Olson and Patricia A. (Palmer) Olson on July 13, 1952, in San Francisco and grew up in Las Vegas and Seattle. As a child, Johanna was an excellent student, active in many school and church activities, synchronized swimming and achieved the highest rank in Girl Scouts.
When she was 14 years old, Johanna received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior on February 12, 1967, the most important event in her life. As a follower of Jesus, she introduced her high school sweetheart and husband-to-be, Mark Dorr, to the Lord in 1969. She also was instrumental in leading many others to Christ, including her sister and the five Dorr children.
In Girl Scouts, she backpacked 93 miles on the Wonderland Trail circumnavigating Mt. Rainier in 1968. She was later selected to represent the State of Washington in a national Girl Scout camp out in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness (Canada/Minnesota) in July of 1969. She was also active in her high school Pep Club, Honor Society, Girls Club Cabinet, Foreign Exchange Club and served as president of GAA (Girls Athletic Association). At one point she held the girls high school track record for the 440-yard run.
She met Mark in their high school German class during their senior year, where their first words to each other were German. They graduated from Mt. Rainier High School in Des Moines, WA in 1970. They married in 1973 while attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA where she graduated with a history major. After student teaching in Carpenteria, CA, Johanna began teaching first grade in Dayton, WA. It was there that Sarah was born in 1978 and Jacob in 1980. Her family moved to Seaside, OR in 1981. There she gave birth to Benjamin in 1982, David in 1984 and Hannah in 1987. Johanna was a gifted and dedicated mother to five wonderful children. She was committed to being a stay-at-home mom for many years, being sure to lovingly nurture the children in the Christian faith. Being a loving mom is what she did best. But she was also famous for her angelic smile! It radiated the love of God to everyone who knew her.
She was a beloved wife, mother, grammy, daughter, sister, aunt, a respected and popular substitute schoolteacher of 25 years, all in Philomath, OR schools. She loved the students and staff. As a faithful follower of Jesus, she taught the Bible to children in Sunday School for 35 years in Baptist churches. She was very organized, loved planning family vacations, a voracious reader, excellent speller, very proficient with English grammar and unbeatable in word games.
Johanna loved watching her kids participate in music concerts and compete in sports: soccer, football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, track, and cross country. Inspired by her children, she also completed two Portland marathons!
Her favorite saying was “God is in charge, no matter what.” Even though she struggled with brain cancer, tolerating six brain surgeries and many chemo and radiation treatments, she was determined to walk or hike every day, rain or shine. She hiked many local trails including her favorite, Woodpecker Loop Trail at Finley National Wildlife Refuge. Since her 2017 diagnosis, she and her husband hiked it 1,021 times! Her favorite beach location to walk was Seal Rock State Park and the sites around Yachats, OR. She also enjoyed visiting precious relatives at our family cabin in the Blue Mountains near Dayton, WA.
Johanna is survived by her husband, Mark, of almost 50 years, five children, their spouses and ten grandchildren: Sarah (Chris), Moses, Hazel and Zeke in Vancouver, WA; Jake (Beka), Will and Gabrielle in Portland, OR; Ben (Christine) in Essex Junction, VT; David (Nikki), Adelaide and Beckett in Aspen, CO; and Hannah (David), Clyde, John and Marigold in Portland, OR; her mother Patricia Olson and siblings Chuck Olson, John Olson, Doug Olson and Andrea Kulberg. She was predeceased by her father, Charles Olson and sister Willa Ray.
A memorial service is planned for June 3, 2023, at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church, 125 NW 10th St., Corvallis, OR 97330. Following the service there will be a reception for family and friends at the church.