JoAnn Dorrell (May 10, 1929 — July 22, 2017)
JoAnn Estes Dorrell was born to Jesse Boone Estes and Alma Place Boor Estes May 10, 1929, in Rifle. Many of her early summers were spent at the sawmill operated by her father on East Divide Creek. The Estes children, Mary Jane, Lee, JoAnn and Jim, carried their love for nature and animals throughout their lives and are passing it on to future generations.
JoAnn attended school in Rifle and began high school in 1944, the year the love of her life, Donald Dorrell, was a senior. They were married November 23, 1947, had a short honeymoon to Colorado Springs and began their ranch life together. Some, but not all, of JoAnn’s jobs were driving a tractor to feed cows, fixing fence, following in the truck with supplies when the cows were herded to the Bookcliffs (yes, right through town), sorting cattle, bookkeeper, and helping with haying and branding.
She loved gardening and especially yard work. In her later years she often commented how much she missed mowing the lawn. All of this along with keeping any animal that crossed her path cared for (with the exception of spiders), keeping a spotless house and preparing amazing meals! Having been part of two families which have been in the Rifle area for generations, JoAnn (and Donald) loved getting together for reunion picnics and holidays. These happy gatherings meant an opportunity see and visit with so many, whether a relative or not. She was a Christian and loved her church family, having grown up with several of them. She was one of those women that was at the church for just about every funeral, preparing her delicious food for the meal for the departed’s family. JoAnn loved music, especially the church hymns, and sang in the choir when she was young. She taught herself to play piano by ear. It was always a treat to hear her play.
Early in their married life Donald and JoAnn would take off in the morning for a rodeo every chance they had. Donald would ride bulls and broncs and they would have a chance to catch up with friends for a visit while there. Then it was back in the car to travel home, get a little rest, and get back to work. JoAnn was a member of the Cache and Beaver Creek Extension Club and helped make the Garfield County Fair exhibit hall dazzle with her beautiful flowers, home canned foods and baked goods. She said the best hamburger you could get was at the fair, served with mustard, lettuce and tomato! Once again the Dorrells took time at the fair and at Meeker’s Range Call Rodeo to visit with their many friends. I am sure the price of beef and the hay crop was discussed, as well as who was getting married, how the kids were doing and even hairstyles and fashion. Just because you live in the country didn’t mean you didn’t keep up with community.
JoAnn was preceded in death by her parents, her husband’s parents Claude and Sina Dorrell, sister Mary Jane (Norman) Mead, brothers-in-law Clinton and Richard Dorrell and nephews Bruce Dorrell and Loren Mead. She is survived by her husband of 69 years, Donald, brothers Lee (Darlene) Estes and Jim (Shelia) Estes, sisters-in-law Marge and Barbara Dorrell, and many nieces, nephews other family and friends.
At JoAnn’s request there will be no services at this time. Condolences may be sent to Box 187, Rifle, CO 81650.
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