Johnny Dorrell

Obituary of Johnny Dorrell

John Dorrell, a veteran of The Vietnam War and resident of Surprise Arizona, passed away on September 10th surrounded by his close family. John was born on May 1st, 1949 to John and Louise Dorrell in Stockton, California. He is lovingly survived by his wife of 17 years, Patricia Dorrell; his five children: Llywellyn Dorrell, Jake Olds, Shannon Stidham, Shelley Olds, Matthew Dorrell, and 3 fur babies. He has 5 grandchildren that will dearly miss him: Gregory Hagio, Giavanna Hagio, Kaitlynn Dorrell, Owen Olds, and Wrenynn Olds.


John voluntarily enlisted in the United State Army in April of 1967. John took on many leadership roles once he arrived in Vietnam and was promoted to Staff Sergeant in the US Army. John was moved to an Infantry patrol instead of being a Mechanic which he went to AIT for.  John was qualified as an expert Marksman on the M-14 and the M-16.  John served until April of 1973.  He was honorably discharged.  John was very proud of his Military service and over the last 30 years he has helped many soldiers learn and understand what VA benefits they qualified for. 


John was a dynamic, generous, and charismatic person. You couldn’t go to a coffee shop, grocery store, or Walmart without several employees greeting him by name. He would always stop and acknowledge them and bequeath them with a “Dad joke” that would leave them laughing or rolling their eyes. His heart was larger than life and he was always willing to help out those in need. He would often have someone call to ask a question about their car, instead of answering he would grab his tools and just come over and fix it himself. His notorious sweet tooth overflowed as he “forced his diabetes” (quote by Ron Stidham) on every office staff and household he came into contact with. He always knew where to get the best cakes, donuts, and cookies.


His love for his wife Pat was inspirational. John was sent to the physical therapist in the beginning of 2005 and he was immediately besotted with his therapist Pat. They were immediately inseparable, and enjoyed every moment together. They loved to travel together and see all of the National Parks. They also enjoyed working on their home together and creating a place where everyone was welcome. John was a foster failure and ended up adopting the animals that Pat brought home, that they were supposed to rehome.


As a father he was always there if we needed him, and he was there for us even when we didn't think we needed him. He was constantly washing and filling up our cars, telling us new inflammatory jokes, cooking for us even when we’re on a diet and have restrictions, and giving our children ice cream and candy before handing them back to us. He helped our sister Shelley train for the Olympics, but more importantly he made sure that all of our weddings were special, from the princess dresses to the ease of mind that we wouldn’t have to pay for everything. Thank you Dad for being such an amazing Father.  


Please join us in person or virtually. We will begin at 12:15 at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix for a military funeral. This will be followed by a memorial at VFW Post 1433 in Glendale Arizona from 1:30 to 4:30. You can access all of the memorial information at the following link;

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Johnny
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Regency Mortuary
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