Virginia A. Doran

pic #3 cropppedVirginia (Vi) was born January 16, 1925 to Seattle Fire Department Captain Walter Murphy & Margaret (Dalton) Murphy in Seattle, Washington. She passed on peacefully, with the grace and dignity that distinguished her life, on Monday evening the 25th of March 2013.


Virginia was raised in Seattle, Washington in the Wallingford area and graduated from the Holy Names Academy in 1942.


She was introduced to her future husband, John P Doran, in San Francisco in 1942. The couple announced their engagement on August 18 of 1942 and were married June 12, 1943, starting a lifetime voyage that spanned 69 years.


Following the end of World War II and Jack’s return from the Pacific Theater, they came back to Seattle, making a home in the Wallingford area before moving to the Wedgewood neighborhood in the early 50’s.


With the births and raising of 4 children, Virginia was the consummate homemaker and Mother. One cannot reflect on her achievements and duties and involvement with each of our lives with out taking a deep measure of qualities that were as natural to her a taking a breath. She was the most accommodating and accepting person we will ever know. Gracious, warm & embracing. Not one to complain or draw attention to herself, she always sought to comfort, encourage and send us back on our ways feeling better and stronger.


Mom was an active person who preferred to share her interests at all times with family and friends. She was a boater, baseball coach, golfer, tennis player, fisherman, beachcomber and camper. I recall fondly her water skiing (Slalom) at age 60 on Lake Chelan. Virginia went thru the water effortlessly, like the dolphins in Hawaii that she was so excited to swim with.  Her talents were many. She made the best Apple pies.

Mom in ocean

Boating was a large part of her life, as they launched their first boat in 1961 and that continued through a series of “Dorphy’s” that included two live a boards at Shilshole Bay Marina.  She was proud of her Certificate from the United States Power Squadron for completing the course in Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling and was accomplished in competing in Predicted Log Races.  It is an impressive list of bodies of water that she boating on; Puget Sound, the San Juans Islands, the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Inside Passage to SE Alaska. Let us not forget Hong Kong Harbor. She loved eating fresh caught crab & shrimp on the stern of the Dorphy with family and friends. Of course, if John Wayne was in port, she would find chores to do on the bow so that they could exchange some seafaring chat!


Along with the boats they had camper vans. Driving through out the western United States they visited national parks, forests and many trips to the coasts of Washington and Oregon. As was their custom, they always included close friends and family. As the song goes,” On the road again, making music with our friends, can’t wait to get back on the road again”.


Virginia and Jack retired to Olympia Washington in 1985 and maintained a home there for the next 27 years. Here they continued to enjoy travels in the van and visiting with family and attending many Thanksgivings, Easter egg hunts, weddings and special occasions at Nancy Murphy’s home in Olympia.


The past year, 2012, was a challenging year for Virginia. She had hip replacement surgery in March of 2012 and made a determined effort to rehabilitate and continue living with Jack at their home in Lacey. It was seldom easy, but she persevered and we can all appreciate every day that we had to share with her. Her quiet, deep strength is an inspiration to all that knew her.


She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years Jack (John P.) Doran, and her brothers Ray and James Murphy. She is survived by her sisters (In law) Pat Holm and MaryEllen Unzelman, children Carol (Tom) Masters of Issaquah, Dennis (Kathy) Doran of Idaho, Mick Doran of Bothell and Jeff (Erin) Doran of Snohomish. Virginia was blessed with 11 Grandkids and 11 Great Grandkids who loved her dearly.


Please share any memories or testaments about Virginia by posting online with this notice. Your thoughts will be treasured by her family and friends for years to come.

Memorial will be private at a later date.

7 Responses to “Virginia A. Doran”

  • Jeff Doran says:

    Think of you everyday and they are always warm memories.
    Love you,

  • Nancy Murphy says:

    When I think of the people in my life you have helped me become the person I want to be, Aunti Vi is at the top of my list. Her grace, humor and unconditional love has inspired my life. I am grateful for every hug, kiss, shared wisdom and recipe I have received.

  • Emerson Murphy-Hill says:

    Her chocolate pie was what I looked forward to on Thanksgiving. I have many warm memories of visiting her frequently in Olympia.

  • Michelle Randall says:

    I miss you so much. Not a day goes by that I am not thinking of you. I am forever grateful for your unconditional love and the many memories that we shared.
    I love you Grandma!

  • Kim Acacio says:

    “Grandma Vi” will always be in my heart. I was fortunate to grow up with Michelle and the Master’s family, and Grandma Vi was at every BDay Party and Special Event, and always made me feel like her own family. Love you Grandma Vi, thank you for being my “Other Grandma”.

  • Larry Langhans says:

    Tough year for the Doran family. Wishing you all better times. I remember your mom mostly as a very calming person. Never one to get excited over things that didn’t matter too much. The picture of her that comes to me is of her driving the yellow 61 Ford convertible up and down 89th street probably coming or going to the grocery store. I hope your lives can return to normal soon…Larry

  • Sharon says:

    I miss my Auntie Vi every day. Whoever wrote that amazing description of her did a wonderful job of describing the person she was. A true angel on earth who has brought me much comfort and love over the years.

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