Olivia "Doreen" Dunlop Armstrong
Olivia "Doreen" Dunlop Armstrong, born 9-16-1928, died 1-3-2021 after a brief illness. A native Houstonian, Doreen was born to English immigrant parents, George H. and Edna Gosling Dunlop. She was the eldest grandchild of the David and Ruth Dunlop family of Liverpool, England that resettled in Houston, TX after WWI. Devotion to family was ingrained in her, and family was always her top priority. She grew up in the Houston Heights with her sister, Vivian, and attended Harvard Elementary and Hogg J.H.S. The family moved to their home on Park Place Blvd. in 1942. She graduated from Milby H.S. in 1945.
Doreen was a 1949 graduate of TSCW, Denton, TX, now Texas Women's University. Her college years were transformational. Playing the piano since the age of six, she also learned to play the organ at TWU.
Doreen was hired as a secretary at Shell Oil Deer Park MC after working summers there prior to graduation. She met and fell in love with fellow employee Ray M. Armstrong. They married 4-17-1953. Due to Shell's nepotism rules, she left to go to work for Ethyl Corp. After 3 years there, she paused her career to raise their 3 children in Pasadena, TX. She returned to work at Shell in 1979 until her retirement in 1992, having completed 17 years of perfect attendance.
Ray and Doreen were devoted to each other until his death after 48 years of marriage. Ray carried her over the newlywed threshold into the home where for 67 of her 92 years she would live a full, healthy, independent life. Doreen was a Proverbs 31 wife and mother. She became an excellent seamstress as the result of sewing her daughters' many dance costumes. "Moderation in Everything" was her motto, except when it came to the limitless sacrificial love and attention she poured into her children. Never one to direct her children's life choices, she guided them into independence with a constant, listening ear and affirmation.
Doreen testified to her faith in Jesus by living a Christ-centered life of service to others. A devoted Elder of Faith Presbyterian Church, she was a member for 60 years. Her ministry was faithfully serving as its organist for the last 40 years. She played her final church service Dec. 13, the day before an intestinal illness forced her into Methodist Hospital. Since resulting complications were non-recoverable, she chose palliative care at Houston Hospice.
Since 1992, she participated in the Women's Health Initiative longitudinal research study to improve the health of women for generations to come. Her social memberships included leadership in the Houston Chapter of the TWU Alumnae Association and the Shell Retirees Club. Industrious, dedicated, loyal, humble, compassionate, and generous, Doreen was loved by all who knew her.
Left to cherish Doreen's memory are her children Linda (Tom) Duke, Ray Michael (Janine) Armstrong, Patricia (Scot) Cherry; grandchildren LaShay (Jason) Groendyke, James Ray (Jen) Duke, Brian (Kristen) Duke, John Paul Carinhas, Ryan (Emily) Armstrong, Connor Cherry; 7 great-grandchildren; nieces Glenna Garcia, Suzanne Hamilton, nephew Stuart Shaw; Dunlop cousins Anne Holley and Diana Cramer.
Private interment at Forest Park Lawndale. Celebration of Life on Sat. Jan. 9, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at Faith Presbyterian Church, 2301 S. Houston Rd. Pasadena, TX 77502. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe, Houston, TX 77030; Faith Presbyterian, Box 4146, Pas. TX 77502; or A New Dawn Pet Adoption, 202 W. San Augustine, Deer Park, TX 77536.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Jan. 8, 2021.