Dorys Crow Grover

September 23, 1921 ~ March 13, 2023 (age 101) 101 Years Old


Dr. Dorys Crow Grover

September 23, 1921 - March 13, 2023


Dr. Dorys Crow Grover passed away at a local retirement home on March 13, 2023, at the age of 101. She was born Sept. 23, 1921, in Pendleton, Oregon, to Mildred Bowman Crow and John W. Crow. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, Leroy Crow; sisters, Dorothy Crow Doane and Lois Roberta Horton; nephew, Dean Withey; and niece, Tonya Crow. She was a member of the pioneer Bowman family, and her grandfather, Oliver Purl Bowman, built the Bowman Hotel in 1905-06, now a National Heritage site.

Dorys was a graduate of Pendleton High School and received a bachelor's degree from Oregon State University in 1951. She was vice president of the class of '51, managing editor of The Barometer, the university newspaper; president of Theta Sigma Phi, women's journalism honorary; Phi Kappa Phi, academic honors society; 1950 OSU Homecoming chairman, editor of “Fusser's Guide,” president of Snell Hall, women's dormitory; and a member of Sigma Kappa sorority.

She taught one year at Albany High School and one year at Griswold High School, Helix, before joining the editorial staff of the East Oregonian, where she worked as a reporter/photographer. She received several awards for her writing. Before pursuing a graduate degree, she worked for KUMA Radio and was editor of The Pendleton Record.

She attended a Fine Arts School at Penticton, Alberta, Canada, in 1961 and received a fellowship to the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii in 1961, where she did research on Central Asian History. In 1982, at Palm Springs, California, Dr. Grover received the prestigious Colby Award which recognizes Sigma Kappa sorority members who have accomplished outstanding career achievements. 

Dorys received her Ph.D in British and American studies from Washington State University in 1969. After teaching English and American folklore at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, she became an associate professor of literature and languages at East Texas State University, now Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she spent the remainder of her career. In 1991, she was appointed full professor and retired as Distinguished Professor Emerita in 1993. Her academic specialties were Colonial American Literature, The Expatriates (1920s), and World History and Literature. 

She was a talented, respected and dedicated teacher who maintained high academic standards for the benefit of her students. The Texas A&M University flag was flown at half-staff in her memory following her death.

During her academic career, she was named an emeritus member of the International Modern Language Association; president of the American Studies Association of Texas and editor of “Kalki,” the journal of the James Branch Cabell Society. She served on the editorial boards of the American Literature, Sherwood Anderson, Social Science Studies, Western American Literature, Modern Language Associations and other academic organizations.

Dorys was a charter member of the International Wine & Food Society of Northeast Texas, and at Pendleton, she was involved in various Round-Up and Happy Canyon events. She was a pennant bearer in the Westward Ho! and Main Street Cowboys Dress-Up parades; rode with the cavalry and square dance groups in Happy Canyon, and helped with the Round-Up queen and courts.

She was a life member of the Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame, where she was a volunteer. She served for 12 years as vice president of the Pendleton Friends of the Library, was a volunteer at Heritage Station Museum; a member of the board of directors of the Pioneer Humane Society and a member of the Pendleton Travel Club.

During the World War II years, Dorys was employed as a civilian intelligence aide at Pendleton Air Field and was working in the advocate general's office when assigned to write the secret orders sending the Doolittle Raiders on their mission.

One of the high spots of her life was being director of the Junior Mustanger drill team in the 1950s and director of the Mustanger 4-H Riding Club. 

Dorys was adventurous and loved to travel. For her university, she delivered conference papers at the University of Bremen, Germany; the London School of Economics, London, England; and Oxford University. Many of her travels were in Great Britain, Ireland, Wales, Germany, France, and other European nations with her friend, the late Dr. Johnye Sturcken.

Dorys is survived by her brother, Dale Crow (Cathy Lonsberry), Sun City West, Arizona; nephew, Thomas Doane, Pendleton; her brother's children, Jon (Sandi) Crow, and their children, Hillsboro, Oregon; her sister's daughter, Rhonda (Eli Sr.) Walker, and their children, all of Sparks, Nevada; her sister's son, Bruce (Shan) Wattenburger, and their children, Redmond, Oregon: and many friends in Texas and Washington state, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Tuerk, Plano, Texas; Dr. and Mrs. Keith McFarland, Commerce, Texas; and her personal assistant and property manager, Louise Hay, Olympia, Washington.

Burial is by cremation. There will be no funeral nor memorial service. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Pioneer Humane Society (PAWS), Heritage Station Museum, Pendleton Foundation Trust or charity of choice. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in care of arrangements.

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