Dolores (Dee) Sandonas Moore 1938 - 2020

Dolores (Dee) Moore died quietly in her home early on the morning of April 1, 2020, following four years of treatment for leukemia at the Center for Hematologic Malignancies at OHSU.  Her husband and family will be forever grateful for the caring and professional treatment she received under the direction of her treatment team, Dr. Elie Trear, Dr. Luke Fletcher and Nurse Jennifer Rohner.

Dee is survived by her husband, Robert (Bob) Moore, who is absolutely devastated but has promised the children he will recover and will return to a reasonably productive existence at some point. Dee’s four children were fortunate to have an always loving mother who at the same time expected evidence of high personal standards and academic performance. Melissa Sandven is principal at Pendleton High School; John Moore is a Senior VP for Educational Partnerships for The Agile Mind; Sarah F. Moore is an Operations Supervisor at the Bonneville Power Administration; and Amy Moore is a Behavioral Specialist for the Lane County Educational Service District. They all earned bachelor's and master level degrees from a variety of U.S. universities.  Dee was proud of them all, and they loved her to pieces. They never tired of talking on the phone and spending time together. She is also survived by her only sibling, Alexandra Thwaites of Eagan, Minnesota, and her seven grandchildren, Aubrey Milligan, Charlotte Moore, Kieran Sandven, Samantha Heffernan-Moore, Coleman Moore, Maddie Heffernan-Moore and Emerson Moore.
Dee was born in 1938 Clarksburg, West Virginia, to a mother who knew hard work from an early age and quit school after the seventh grade to help support her family. Her father was from the Greek island of Chios and immigrated to the United States with friends at the age of 12.  John Sandonas always claimed he started the first grade in his village but decided he didn’t like school, quit, and never went back. In spite of that, he was fluent in three languages. In West Virginia, he worked at a variety of jobs for several years and eventually started a sandwich stand and grew it into a very successful restaurant business which was well-known throughout the city. Just as Dee later had certain educational expectations for her children, her parents, with their limited formal education, expected both their children, Dolores and Alexandra, would have successful college careers, and they did. 

Dee entered the nursing program at the University of Virginia, a five-year program preparing graduates for department and administrative lead positions.  At UVA, Dee met a young medical student and, shortly after she graduated, she and Bob were married.  She supported the two of them until he graduated (at that point Melissa had been born and John was on the way). With the Vietnam War coming on and Bob’s military draft obligation to satisfy, there were moves to Rockville, Maryland, New London, Connecticut, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and back to Morgantown, West Virginia, for Bob’s pediatric residency.  Dee was busy with children and the multiple moves.  There was no time to work outside of the home and no time or money for additional schooling.
After the pediatric residency, Dee and Bob moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he joined a multidisciplinary group practice. Bob’s practice flourished and Dee was busy.  They built a nice home in a relatively affluent subdivision.  There were lots of community, school and church activities for Dee to participate in, but the generally affluent setting and the obvious racial prejudices didn’t fit very well with their own philosophies or what they wanted their children to experience.  So, after six years they decided to head west. Yamhill County in Oregon had no pediatrician, and Physicians’ Medical Center was willing to take Bob on. 
With the children in school most of the day Dee could go back to work and begin to think about how she would change her professional direction.  She had jobs as director at the Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan, with the counseling office at McMinnville High School, and with an early intervention program run by Yamhill County ESD.  She began a clinical social work program, first at PSU, and later finished at Western Oregon State University, graduating with her master’s degree the same year her youngest daughter, Amy, graduated from high school.  She had worked in a teen parent program in Salem during her training, and so Chris Johnson hired her to start a teen parent program for the Yamhill County Family and Youth Programs.  After years of supervising that program, in addition to one-on-one counseling and work in group settings, she became manager of the Family and Youth Program section of the Yamhill County Mental Health Department.  Upon retirement from Yamhill County, she ended her working career as a program manager for the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on Cascade Head. Shortly after leaving the Yamhill County job, the county decided to renovate an office building on Fifth Street to house the Family and Youth program. The new building needed a name, and her former county employees voted to name the building The Moore Building, honoring both Dee and Bob’s services to generations of Yamhill County families and children.

Dee requested no funeral or services be held upon her death. To honor her memory, we encourage all who knew her to reach out to and care for those in need in your community. She had high expectations, so we expect you will all do your best.



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