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Lore M. Dormer: Professor, world traveler, grandmother

Professor, world traveler, loving grandmother

Lore M. Dormer, a longtime Claremont resident, died on July 2, 2014. She was 89.

She was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1925 and earned a master’s degree from Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany. In 1954, she met Major Thomas L. Dormer, then a captain in the US Army who was stationed at Rivers Barracks in Giessen, Germany as part of the 331st Communication Reconnaissance Company. They were married soon after and moved to Claremont in 1961. 

Mrs. Dormer taught part-time at several of the Claremont Colleges and in the Claremont public school system. She received her PhD at UC Riverside in 1973 and taught European studies and German there until her retirement in 1987.

Mrs. Dormer was active in promoting her areas of expertise, especially turn-of-the-century Viennese culture and literature. In 1975, she published a biography of Viennese novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist and essayist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. A number of her articles on subjects like Austrian author and critic Felix Salten were printed in journals such as Major Figures of Turn-of-the-Century Austrian Literature. In 1976, while serving as visiting professor at Claremont Graduate School, Mrs. Dormer arranged a three-day seminar called “Vienna and the Modern Movement.”

Mrs. Dormer was a gourmet chef who was especially fond of French cooking and enjoyed oil painting, with flowers as her preferred subject. She was an avid gardener who took particular pride in her fine roses, and a cat-lover who always had a feline companion over the years. Mrs. Dormer loved to exercise her sharp mind. She invested in a PC long before any of her friends and enjoyed playing computer games with her grandchildren, who she adored. Along with reading books voraciously, she regularly pored through the Los Angeles Times and the COURIER, writing letters to the editor when a particular subject caught her interest.

She had the opportunity to travel widely, including many visits to Hawaii, which she loved, one memorable trip to China, and yearly trips to Europe that always included a stop in Germany. Mrs. Dormer was very social and enjoyed visiting friends across the globe, from the Pacific Northwest to England, Switzerland and Austria.

After retirement, she threw herself into volunteer work at St. Ambrose Church, Joslyn Senior Center, Claremont High School and the Claremont library. She was a longtime supporter of many local nonprofits, including Pilgrim Place and International Place of the Claremont Colleges. Mrs. Dormer was a devout Episcopalian and cherished her prayer group, her book group and her many friends in academia, Claremont and in Germany.

Mrs. Dormer is predeceased by her beloved husband, Major Thomas L. Dormer, who died in 1988. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Ken and Danuta Dormer of Huntington Beach; by her daughter and son-in-law, Claudia and Buck Snyder of Claremont; by her stepdaughter, Michelle Wright of Palm Springs; and by her grandchildren, Adam and Heather Snyder of Newport Beach and Aaron Snyder of Claremont.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 2 at 10 a.m. at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church, 830 W. Bonita Ave. in Claremont. A reception will follow. Mrs. Dormer’s ashes will be inurned at the Oregon Trail Memorial Cemetery in Bridgeport, Nebraska.

With respect and gratitude, the family suggests that donations be made in Lore Dormer’s name to VNA Hospice and Palliative Care of Southern California, www.vnasocal.org.

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