Obituaries » Stephen Carl Dorr
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September 9, 2020
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On September 9, 2020, Steve Dorr, loving husband and father of three, passed away at the age of 76. Steve was born on January 4, 1944 in Le Mars, Iowa to Arnold and Fern Dorr. His father was a dairy farmer and he spent his early years on a farm outside of Marcus, Iowa. After his mother passed away in November of 1952, his family moved to a farm outside of Primghar, Iowa where his days started as early as 5am so he could milk the cows before heading to school. While in high school, Steve was a standout member of the football team as well as a member of the track team and a trombone player in the school dance band known as “The Stardusters.” After graduating from Primghar H.S. in 1962, he attended Iowa State University where he graduated with a degree in Materials Engineering in 1966. While in college, during breaks and over the summer Steve taught swimming and worked as a farm surveyor for the federal government in addition to working on the family farm.
Steve began his career in Fostoria, Ohio working for Union Carbide. As he moved up the ladder, the family relocated first to Niagara Falls, New York followed by Clarksburg, West Virginia and finally to Cleveland, Ohio where he ended his career as a Plant Manager for General Electric. It was in Clarksburg that he met and married his second wife, Susan, in July 1985. They retired to Smith Mountain Lake in 2003 and built a beautiful home with views of the lake and the mountains that he cherished.
Music was Steve’s true passion. He was a member of many church choirs, always anchoring the bass section. While in Cleveland, he was a member of a barbershop quartet called the “Four Decades.” He also appeared in community theater musicals such as “Music Man” and “Little Mary Sunshine.” But Steve was most proud of being a member of the choir that performed the world premiere of “Christ, Son of God” at Trinity Ecumenical, Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.
Steve was also an accomplished carpenter and handy man. He helped all of his children over the years with various building projects- adding on side porches, finishing basements, and building fences. He was the first phone call his children made when they needed guidance on any and all household repairs and projects.
Steve took such delight in everything his children and grandchildren did. He never missed a choir performance- always showing up in a suit and tie. During football season, he made certain to get to the games for the half time show so he could see his son, Bob, and eldest daughter, Barbra, perform in the band and on the drill team, despite the football team’s dismal 0-12 record. And he proudly cheered for his youngest daughter, Courtney, as she charged down the soccer field. He rooted on all of his grandchildren through swim meets, soccer games, piano recitals and band and orchestra performances. No one was a prouder father and grandfather. The last trip he took was to San Antonio, TX in January to watch his granddaughter, Lydia, play the bassoon in the school orchestra.
During his retirement, Steve volunteered with a number of organizations, including Lake Christian Ministries, where he worked on remodeling their facility to better serve local families in need.
Steve is survived by his wife, Susan Dorr, two daughters Barbra McLendon (Michael McLendon) and Courtney Channell (Jeff Channell) and his son, Bob Dorr (Susan Dorr) as well as five grandchildren: Sara and Lydia Dorr, Ian and Andrew McLendon, and Reese Channell. He is also survived by his brother Stan and his sister, Roberta. In addition to his mother, he was predeceased in death by his father, Arnold Dorr; step-mother Florence Dorr and his half-brother Allen Dorr.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Cancer Society or to Good Samaritan Hospice.