Ima Elizabeth Dorrell


Ima Elizabeth Dorrell, affectionately known as "Tootsie" by those who loved her, passed away on May 11, 2019 in Marble Falls, TX. Born on July 10, 1935, Tootsie is survived by her brothers, Thomas W. Dorrell and wife Bea of Brackettville, TX, and Don H. Dorrell of Mackay, ID, nieces Rhonda Youngblood and husband Tom of Livingston, TX, Kristal Whitted and husband Billy of Spicewood, TX, Donna Dorrell of Conroe, TX, nephews, Ryan Stubbs and wife Cecile of Kingwood, TX, Thomas Dorrell II and wife Patti of Corpus Christi, TX, and Donald Dorrell, Jr. of Angel Fire, NM, as well as 14 great nieces and nephews, and a host of cousins and friends.
Tootsie was preceded in death by her parents, Guy F. Dorrell and Selma G. Dorrell of Huntsville, TX and her sister and brother-in-law, John and Martha Stubbs of Livingston, TX.

Tootsie attended Huntsville High School in Huntsville TX, graduating in 1953. She spent her first year of college at Texas State University before transferring to the University of Texas in Austin to receive her Bachelor's Degree in liberal arts. She taught High School English in Houston, TX before moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts where she attended Harvard University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Extension Studies in 1965. She then moved on to Columbia University in New York City where she received her Masters of Arts degree.

Tootsie had a prolific career as a technical writer and editor, making important contributions to her field. Working for Houston Lighting & Power in the 1970's, she saw the burgeoning demand for technical writers and editors in Silicon Valley in California. In 1978, she left her native Texas to forge a long and successful career at some of Silicon Valley's best known companies, most notably, Sun Microsystems. Her success in this area is all the more extraordinary by the fact that she was entirely self-taught in the complex content of computer programming and other IT manuals for which she was responsible. In addition, she wrote fiction and poetry and was a lifelong writer.

Tootsie enjoyed the arts and culture, including fine art, opera and classical music. One of her niece and nephew's favorite memories is of the night in the 1970's when she served and taught them the Chinese tradition of the "1000 year old egg" at her home, followed by a Chinese dinner with friends and then a performance of the Japanese-themed "Mikado" at the Houston Grand Opera. This love for culture and appreciation of the arts was one of the greatest gifts she bestowed on her nieces and nephews. Even today, one of her nephews is one of the top chess players in the US because "Aunt Tootsie" taught him to play.

Tootsie loved her brothers and sister dearly and enjoyed spending time with them, much of it in laughter, as she and her siblings all had a gift for humor. Her love of family led her to do genealogy work, following her family roots back to Alexander the Great. She also loved traveling, photography, the outdoors, hiking, camping and the beauty of nature. In addition, she was a life-long cat lover and pet owner.

Tootsie was baptized at First Baptist Church in Huntsville, TX in 1948 and confirmed into the Catholic Church in 1985, where she served as a Eucharist minister, lay reader and aid to the elderly. She was a strong supporter of women's rights as well as the civil liberties of her fellow Americans. The scattering of her ashes will take place in Idyllwild, CA in June. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kids Alive, a Christian faith mission dedicated to rescuing orphans or the Christian lesbian group, OneBodyOneFaith.
Published on May 31, 2019
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