Mom and DadAl Dorr
Earnest Albert Dorr
Estelle Boswell Dorr
Percy B. Zerby
Ora Million Zerby
The Dorr Family
1. Edward Max DORR, son of Albert Edward DORR and Maxyne C. ZERBY, was born on 15 Feb 1942 in Stillwater, OK.
Although I'm still living, I am writing a summary of my life as my father did a few years before his death. During my genealogy research I have often wished I had more information about the lives of our ancestors instead of just names and dates. Also I hope this will help my grandchildren know me in the event something happens to me in the next several years. This has become more lengthy than I had planned, but since it is mainly for my grandchildren others can skip over the following.
I was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma. My father had just graduated from Oklahoma A&M and he was in a training program with Phillips Petroleum in Fairfax, Oklahoma. Mom stayed in Stillwater for my birth. Complications at birth resulted in cerebral palsy for me. While Dad was in World War II, Mother, Dana and I lived with my grandparents in Perry. In 1946, Dad took a job with OG&E and we moved to Oklahoma City. I attended kindergarten with the other kids in the neighborhood but my parents put me in a special school for the handicapped for grades 1-4. They thought that I needed the physical and speech therapy that this school provided. The school was more geared to meeting physical needs instead of academic needs, so my parents transferred me to public school in the fifth grade.
I had a very good family life as a child. I ended up having four younger brothers, Dana, Pat, Jon, and Kent. I believe this was the best thing my parents could have given me. I do not remember being "protected" or needing any special care. I believe holding my own with four brothers helped me to have the initiative later in my life when I needed it. We had five boys in a three-bedroom home until my sophomore year in high school. Dad had worked as an engineer for an air conditioning and heating company. He had an opportunity to buy the company with Lewis Carter and they started Comfort, Inc. and did very well. Mom designed a six-bedroom home in the Wildwood neighborhood in Oklahoma City. Dad even put in a swimming pool.
Although I realized I was handicapped, I really did not see myself as different from other kids. My biggest problem has been
trying to convince people I can do what I feel I am capable of. One of my first disappointments was not being able to play Little League baseball because the officials thought I might get hurt. This was the beginning of a way of life for me since people assumed I was not capable of doing most things. I was told I could not drive, but my parents always supported me and insisted that I be able to take drivers training in high school. It was questioned if I would be able to succeed in college, and Dad even thought of setting me up in a small business. I was determined to attend college and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics in 1964 from Oklahoma State University.
After graduation I was unable to find a job even though I had good grades and experience working in the OSU computing center. I was lucky that Dad had a successful air conditioning business and I was able to work there until I found something. I interviewed with the people on the governor's committee for hiring the handicapped. After several weeks they said that they had found a job for me, but it turned out to be a janitor's job at Tinker AFB. I remember telling them something about not needing this type of help and walked out.
After a year I got a job through an employment agency with a local automobile parts remanufacturer, Unit Parts, Inc. The owner of the employment agency was in a breakfast club with Dad and the owners of Unit Parts lived in the same neighborhood as we did. Dad said he did not have anything to do with me getting the job, but I never quite believed it. At least it was a start and this was just the beginning of God using people in my life.
One weekend I went to Dallas with several of my college friends for a wild weekend. For some reason at the end of the weekend I stopped to visit a cousin of my mother's whose husband I really liked, Bob and Gloria Keefe. Bob asked if I was interested in a job at LTV Aerospace. He took me over to a friend of his that afternoon. I ended up taking a job with LTV as a mathematician developing equations that described the surface of the tail assembly of the 747 aircraft. I was not unhappy at Unit Parts, it was not a real challenging job and I thought this would be a chance to get away from OKC and would be interesting. Again God used someone to help.
At the time my best high school buddy, George Poe, was working for a company just 10 miles from LTV. He tried for months to convince me to accept a job with Fritz W. Glitsch & Sons as a computer programmer. I was not a mathematician at heart and really wanted to get back in the computer field. I finally accepted the job at a considerable increase in pay. Mike Glitsch, the son of the owner, always enjoyed using the latest technology and I ended up working with IBM to develop one of the first online engineering design tools. I played a significant role in the system programming part of this project. This opened my eyes to a whole new area of the computer field, systems programming. I enjoyed developing ideas of my own instead of programming some engineer's formulas. Again God used someone, George, in my life.
I ended up leaving the company and took a graduate assistantship at Purdue University to work on a master's degree in computer science. This really upset Dad. After all the problems I had in finding a job he was not comfortable with me leaving a good job. I received my degree from Purdue in 1970 and took a job with Control Data Corporation in Sunnyvale, CA.
A year later while attending a singles class at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto I met Margie. Actually it was on a ski trip to Heavenly Valley ski resort and I spent the whole weekend trying to talk to her. We later got to know each other at the Sunday evening services. We were married in 1972 in a small church in Los Gatos, CA. All of the Dorr and Brooks families flew out for the wedding.
After six months we decided to move back to Texas and I took a job with Texas Instruments in Richardson. We wanted to live in a small town so we moved to Plano, population 25,000. The only problem is that when I retired 26 years later it had a population of over 200,000. While I was with TI we had the opportunity to work in Amsterdam for several months and lived with a Dutch family. Margie was pregnant with Tim at the time. Tim arrived in 1973 in Richardson since Plano did not even have a hospital at that time. Diane arrived in 1976 at the new Plano General Hospital.
I enjoyed the work at TI, but it was not an ideal environment. It was truly a manufacturing complex and dirty. While in school I always dreamed of working for IBM, a top company doing state-of-the-art work. A friend of mine from church convinced me to interview with Electronic Data Systems. EDS was similar to IBM and was one of the leading companies in the management of computer systems. EDS was very conservative and required its employees to dress in dark suits with white shirts. I did not think I had much of a chance of fitting in although I always wanted to work for this type of company. Back then you had to go through three different interviews and they even interviewed your wife. They wanted to be sure that the wife realized the commitment they were looking for from her husband. They ended up offering me a job and I stayed for 22 years.
We originally moved into a small house at 2 Westlane Place in Plano. We later moved to a larger home at 2604 Briarwood Drive. The house was on a creek and I built a two-story fort for the kids down by the creek. Diane and Tim rigged up a pulley system to get our dog, Smokey, on the top floor of the fort. It was during this time that I bought Dad's sailboat and we enjoyed sailing until we moved to Pennsylvania.
In 1983 I took a position on a contract that EDS had with the Navy and we moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania for six years. We had a couple of acres out in the country. The kids learned to ski while we were there. We lived thirty minutes from a ski lift and the school would take them up there on Fridays after school during the ski season. We got into camping while we were there and even took two camping trips to Canada.
In January of 1990 EDS moved us back to Plano. We bought a large five-bedroom home on an acre lot that the kids enjoyed, and it was ideal for teenagers. It had a large playroom with a pool table and there was a nice swimming pool with plenty of room for volleyball and other things. Tim and Diane both went to Plano East Senior High. Tim was on the wrestling team and Diane on the cross country and track teams. I bought another sailboat and we sailed until the kids left.
When we first moved to Plano in 1973 we were active in a very small church, Plano Bible Church. Dave Reimer was the pastor and we developed friendships that lasted for the next 26 years. The church eventually merged with Fellowship Bible Church, which was led by Gene Getz. We had been lucky over the years to be led to churches with great teachers. This began in Palo Alto where Ray Stedman was the lead minister of PBC. One of the main thrusts of Fellowship Bible Church was to start new churches. Margie and I with about four other couples started Bethany Bible Church in Plano.
After the kids left for college we decided we did not need such a large home. We built a small home in Mt. Vernon in east Texas and built a garden home in Plano. After a couple of years in the garden home, we bought a larger home in Plano. Going from 3600 square feet to 1700 was just too much; I always felt that I was in an apartment and I missed a nice yard.
I have always enjoyed having a building project going. I think this is one thing I inherited from Dad and the following are some of my projects: My first major project was building a greenhouse at our first house in Plano. When we moved to Briarwood Drive, I built the kids a two-story fort by the creek in the back yard. I helped Tim and a friend build a skate ramp while we were in Pennsylvania. My pride and joy was a 12x14-foot workshop that I built at our lake home in east Texas. It even had a porch on the front so that it would look similar to the house. I have installed two underground sprinkler systems and helped Dana and Jon install a small system in Mom's back yard. I always enjoyed working in the yard when I had nothing else going on.
In 1999 EDS offered early retirement which I took. We stayed another year in Plano to try to decide where to go. We didn't like all the people and traffic in Plano and wanted to move to a smaller community. Margie wanted to be close to the grandkids, but I had no desire to be in the Atlanta area; it was too much like Dallas and it has high humidity. I always wanted to retire to a college community because I wanted to return to school and study history. I have always been a big OSU Cowboy fan. In 2000 we moved to Stillwater. We moved my mother to assisted living in Stillwater in 2002, thus I was able to be of some help to Pat and Kathy. It is unbelievable how much care they both gave Mom in her last years. Although I enjoyed taking history courses at the university, Margie never enjoyed Stillwater.
In 2006 Diane's husband, Brian, was transferred from Georgia to Fort Worth by Lockheed. They had three of our grandchildren and Tim had married while we were in Stillwater and gave us another grandson. We moved back to Texas to be with the kids and grandchildren. We bought a home at 8905 Trails Edge Drive in North Richland Hills. I miss all the OSU sports, but became involved with the White Chapel UMC, the Southlake Kiwanis and the Grapevine AMBUCS organizations and having the family together again.
I also became involved with a group of guys at a local bar near the house called Beef O'Brady. Over the years I became good friends with many of the guys and women. After Beef O'Brady's shut down, we went to Chili's, then to a new bar in the area called Chef Blythe's Bistro.
I started going on trips with the church which include Nova Scotia, Israel, Greece and Turkey. Also went on a number of trips with members of my Sunday School class which included Charlotte, NC, Savannah, and Destin. When Eli turned 16 I came up with the idea of taking each grandchild on a major trip when they became 16 and took Eli on the church trip to Greece and Turkey. Bre and I went to China in 2017. After two weeks Bre went home. Then one of my best friends from Chef Blythe's Bistro met me in Hong Kong and we partied there for a week.
In 2017 we sold the house and moved to Atria Senior Living. I was really thankful for my friends at the Bistro. The people at Atria were nice, but most of the men at Atria were older and not very active. The Bistro group gave me a chance to meet with friends most days and we did a number of activities. We took a trip to Mexico and went to an Ohio State football game in Columbus.
Edward married Marjorie Jane BROOKS, daughter of Robert Raymond BROOKS and Bernadine Mae Leavitt BROOKS, on 26 Aug 1972 in Los Gatos, CA. Marjorie was born on 17 Jan 1945 in Wheeling, WV.
Children from this marriage were:
+ 2 M i. Timothy Bryan DORR was born on 25 Oct 1973 in Richardson, TX.
+ 3 F ii. Diane Elizabeth DORR was born on 12 Jun 1976 in Plano, TX.