Doris Sorrels was born on July 27, 1923, on a family farm near Story City, Iowa, which her Norwegian ancestors had homesteaded before the Civil War. Sorrels died on Jan. 4, at the age of 91 years, at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. Her maiden name was Ryan.

Doris grew up on a farm with corn, cows and chickens, along with other critters she all tried to turn into pets. The bull was a special challenge. Her school house had only one room. She saw her male classmates disappear into World War II.

After graduating from high school, Sorrels worked in a bank, and then moved to southern California to join her older sister, Marguerite, where Sorrels worked as a school secretary.

Doris met and later married Earl Sorrels while he was attending Cal Aero Technical College and was also employed as Howard Hughes personal airplane mechanic. They married in Seattle in January 1949, while Earl was working for Boeing. Their marriage lasted until Earl’s death in December 2012.

Doris Sorrels had several other jobs while moving with Earl during his careers with the USAF, Civil Service, and the aerospace industry. The job she liked the most and held the longest was with NASA Ames Research Center, where she worked in communications and spoke with all the astronauts and Jacques Cousteau on a regular basis.

Doris and Earl moved to the Key Peninsula in 1977. They are now at rest together in the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Doris is survived by her sister, four children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Feb. 21, at Agnes Dei Lutheran Church, 10511 Peacock Hill Ave NW, Gig Harbor

Lynn Ann Higgins
Helen Davis Skahan