October 8, 1925 - December 12, 2005


Our dear friend Doranne lost her battle with lymphoma cancer shortly after sunset, the evening of December 12th, 2005. Her last months were spent with us (Dona & Fred) and they were wonderful.

She had her great laptop with wireless everything, a wall mounted TV over her bed (though she never quite got the hang of the remote), and a phone she could call anywhere, anytime. We were able to create a private area for her in our home with huge windows that overlook the City of Camarillo, as well as her beloved ocean. The weather was generally ideal, so we were able to leave doors and windows open for her to enjoy the wonderful fresh air. She truly loved it here. We celebrated her 80th birthday in October with friends and family. It was a joyous celebration and she even went into the hot tub!

Her last days were fascinating to us. For the most part, we were successful in controlling her pain, a real blessing. On the Thursday before she passed, we were told that her death was imminent. While she was losing her battle, she was, nevertheless, conscious of her surroundings and what was happening to her. She told us that she saw 2 white angels around her and a hand that kept reaching out for her. We told her that everything was taken care of, and if she was ready, to take the outstretched hand. However, she informed us that she wasn't ready yet. She continued to stare off with her eyes roaming about the room. She described the people she was seeing; those that have passed before her. She saw her pets that have passed. They had visited quite often over the last 30 days. She even shared with us that she was actually playing cards again with Martha Raye, a dear old friend who passed some years ago. She even chewed Maggie out for cheating at cards, as Maggie had that reputation. Doranne seemed to be quite happy to see all these dear, old friends. She told us she wasn't scared and that she wasn't hurting, which gave us peace as well.

The next morning, Friday, around 5 a.m. mind you, she awoke and called out for Dona. She said, "I'm still here, although I'm not sure why!". It made Dona smile. Everyone then went back to sleep. On Saturday, some family members came by and said their final goodbyes to her. She was vaguely aware that they were here. On Sunday morning, she slipped peacefully into a light coma and remained that way until she finally let go, Monday evening. We continually spoke to her, held her hand and stroked her hair. She was never alone. We told her that if she needed to go, it was okay. We reminded her that everything was finished and Holly was going to be taken care of. Though we are sad that she is now gone from us, we are at peace that she is no longer suffering and is on her way to be with those that she loves so dearly. She asked that there be no formal memorial service, and that her ashes be spread at sea at this buoy, just out side Port Hueneme, Ventura County, California:

Please know that she loved each of you. We thank you for your support of her, and us, during this time. God bless you and we pray that you find peace in your hearts with this loss. Please keep in touch if you wish, we will do our best to do the same with all of you.

With our love and thanks,

Dona and Fred Dunlap, Holly, Jasper and Brandy (the 3 dogs that shared our house with her)

P.S. Doranne maintained a site that she updated regularly over the last 5 years or so. If you'd like to see it, click here.