Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Tribute To Roberta's Very Own David

Learning of a father I never knew...
by: John Dorr

We as children of men and women of days and generations gone by, often come to know our parents at the middle of or near the end of their journeys with God.  We often see them in their overcoming state and are not so familiar with the mighty struggles, personal battles, faith challenges or physical obstacles they had to surmount to arrive at this state.  And so it was with my father, David C. Dorr, MD a quiet, highly disciplined and principled man of courage, faith and tenacity.

Dr. David Dorr

I recall an incident at the nursing home my father was recovering in after a heart attack while struggling through the later stages of Parkinsons.  A man from the Middle East called the house and asked if he could come to see "Dr. Dorr" as he heard that he was in the hospital and not well.  He said he was passing near by - which happened to be 600 miles away.  As a family we decided to let my father rest in dignity and not have to struggle with visitors who were not aware of his condition or why he might not answer them or recognize them.  But this gentleman was insistent and was a family friend and so we relented.

The man arrived with a bouquet of red roses so large we almost could not see who it was that was carrying them. He bound in with his usual effervescent energy, greeting everyone and asking where Dr. Dorr's room might be. He came,  put the flowers in the vase on the bedside table, sat next to my father and quietly thanked him for coming to his people, for serving them and caring for them as no one could. He prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing and left the room with a tear in his eye.

On the way out he stopped at the nurses station for a moment. "Do you know who you have in there? Do you know who this man is and what he has done?  He is a highly skilled doctor who graduated from one of the top medical schools in the United States, John's Hopkins.  He is a Board Certified surgeon of amazing skill. He could have taken any job he wanted, earned much money, had houses, yachts, and honor here in his country. But he came to my people, the Palestinian people of Gaza, a broken and hopeless people who could not pay him, who could not give back to him what he gave them, a people that the world had given up on – he came, served, blessed and brought his family and children to live among us and love us with the love of God.  This man is one of God's saints and you should take great care with him in his latter days here with you." 
At this point, of course, all those at the nurses' station had tears streaming down their faces realizing that they had no idea who this man was, what he had done with his life or what their own personal service as nurses could mean in his latter days.
So let us honor our fathers today, let us honor all fathers regardless of how they now appear – for it may be that they brought the image of our Heavenly Father before our eyes and that of countless others we will never know about.  We love you Father God for your goodness in giving us Fathers.... 


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  2. It's been 13 years to the day that our father passed away. It was Father's Day, June 18th, 2000. It was a peaceful passing, as peaceful as death can be. The family gathered around his bed and sang hymns and praise songs for a half an hour before he departed and then stayed by his bed and sang for another 45 minutes afterward. I'll never forget him opening his eyes and looking at me for the last time...I watched him depart as his pupils dilated and he was gone. A life lived to the glory of God is a wonderful blessing. I love you, Dad. - Philip

  3. Thank you for sharing your family with us! Please know that the world needs to hear their story. Keep writing, we never get tired of hearing about Roberta and David and others of their generation who have inspired us. Thank you!

  4. Dear Dorr's,
    Thank God for the wonderful life and great service of your father Dr. Dorr, to our people in Gaza, I know him personally, he was our neighbor who served in the Baptist Hospital as a kind and faithful servant to our Lord Jesus Christ, I still remember when he was with Dr. Young speaking to us, as group of young Palestinian boys saying something like that: The drop of rain water come down and penetrate the soil and disappear, but later on, one day the earth will produce good plants!
    We will never forget Dr. Dorr honest serves and his blessed memory as we know Christ love though him in a practical scarifies way.
    Thank you for sharing your family memory publically.
    Sufian Sayegh
    Gaza Palestine - Boston