October 20, 1929 - September 13, 2021
Doris Holland Andrews
October 20, 1929– September 13, 2021
“I have considered the days of old and remembered the years that are past.”
Blessed from birth with a light that shone from within, our beloved mother Doris Holland Andrews left us late on Monday, September 13, 2021, to join her cherished son, and our adored brother, Joe Scott Andrews in Heaven. The wealth of spirit, sass, beauty, intelligence, and independence that served her well for almost 92 years will never be forgotten, and she will live in our hearts forever.
Doris was born on October 20, 1929, in Honey Grove, Texas to parents Joe Bailey Holland and Edna Blanche Holland. The oldest of three, she was blessed by the arrival of sister Mary Ruth and brother Charles. Her formal education began in Honey Grove and continued in Windom and Denison, Texas. After graduating from Denison High School, Doris traveled 30 miles north to enroll at Southeastern State College in Durant, Oklahoma.
She made her mark at the college early on by being named president of Kappa Delta Pi, reporter for Cardinal Key, feature editor of the yearbook, honor marshal, and winner of the Eugene S. Briggs and Eloise K. Robbins awards. As a senior she was selected for the college’s Ten Pretty Girls’ list and graduated as the top honor student in 1953. She was blessed with a winning combination of beauty and brains.
Doris married Dr. Charles Andrews in 1948, and although she began adulting as a typical late 1940s housewife, there was nothing ordinary about her. She was smart and clever – a woman of independent means before the description became popular. Not so much in a financial sense as both she and her husband were educators, but independence in the form of confidence that taught us we could accomplish anything. Doris was a working woman who valued the opportunity to educate students, but her world revolved around family and friends.
Charles and Doris welcomed daughters Shauna and Crystal in Denison before the family moved to Oklahoma and built their Durant home in 1962. The couple welcomed son Scott in 1964, the same year Doris received her master’s degree from Southeastern. In 1973, Doris became the family’s head of household – a role she did not seek out, but a position she took on with class and conviction. For many years we were a family of five, but when only four remained, we were held firmly together by a strong mother who blessed us with the whole of her heart and soul.
She kept our family safe and secure through sheer determination with love given freely and life lessons shared. As a mother and mentor, she was simply the best. Her love for us knew no bounds and she was always quick with a smile, hug, advice, or constructive criticism when we asked – or when we didn’t. She was fair and forgiving, loving and loved, funny and vibrant. As adults and parents, we have come to appreciate even more how special and amazing she was in all aspects of life.
She held a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Southeastern State College where she began her career in 1956 as an adjunct instructor of English. In total, she served 39 years before retiring as an assistant professor of English from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. During her tenure, she was recognized as a “Master Teacher” and known throughout campus as the best English teacher with the highest expectations. Sigma Tau Delta members chose her as the university’s most outstanding teacher in 1994. She was honored as a Distinguished Former Faculty Member at Southeastern’s homecoming ceremony in 2005.
She worked full time teaching English at the college level, was a divorced mom of three, a poet whose work was published in respected journals, a board member for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, a teacher of Bible classes for Northwest Church of Christ, a member of Fortnightly and the PEO Sisterhood, and so much more.
She was a great cook who loved experimenting with new recipes and hosting parties. Who could forget her pot of red beans with crispy skillet-fried cornbread? Or her Swedish Tea Ring and warm caramel spoon candy? And then there were the enchiladas and homemade waffles with chocolate syrup, and holiday tables filled with flowers and food. Great food and friends made her home a welcome retreat and the door was always open. She was so much to so many and especially loved spending quality time –perpetual coffee cup always in hand – with best friends Erma Thomas, Sally Clark, Doris Smith, Lois Crow, and Gwen Hawkins.
In recent years brittle bones worked to wear her down but falls and fractures couldn’t dampen her spirit. Several struggles combined, however, eventually limited her ability to travel, spend time with lifelong friends, and live in the comfort of her own home. Time spent in hospitals and rehab was not how she would have chosen to spend time, but she always lived life to the fullest.
The past three years were filled with laughter and tears, with Doris adapting to and enjoying life in a Plano residential-care home close to Crystal. Photographs reflect a gracious, smiling Doris, no matter what the situation. She quickly became a favorite of all and continued her role as “life of the party” until her condition worsened in July. She was beautiful inside and out, especially joyous after having her nails and hair done. Looking good often led her to feel better and that made us all happy. Time together for us was longer than most and, for that, we are eternally thankful.
Doris was preceded in death by son Joe Scott Andrews and parents Joe and Edna Holland. Remaining to cherish her memory are daughters and sons-in-law Gregg and Shauna Andrews Steffen, Houston, Texas, and Jeff and Crystal Andrews Blanks, of Plano, Texas. She will also be missed by grandsons Gregg Steffen, Jr. of Houston and Lionel Sullivan and wife Kasi of Frisco, Texas, and great-granddaughter Cadence Elise Sullivan, Haslet, Texas. Survivors also include sister Mary Ruth Ford and husband Dr. Ken L. Ford, Jr. of Denton, Texas and brother Charles Holland and wife Barbara of Rockwall, Texas, along with nieces Lesa Ford More, Melanie Kahn, Jennifer Campbell, and nephew Dr. Ken L. Ford III.
Doris Holland Andrews came from a long line of love and her family and friends will continue to be inspired by her memory and blessed by her life. She may be gone but will never be forgotten.
The family would love to share with you the memory of Doris Andrews at a Celebration of Life service on October 23 at 10:00 a.m. at Park Avenue Church of Christ, 3000 S. Park Avenue, Denison, Texas. In lieu of flowers please direct donations to the Alzheimer’s Association @ alz.org.
Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.
Arrangements under the direction of:
Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252