Home Creative writing Neligan, Dorris

Neligan, Dorris



Passed away peacefully on June 28, 2021 in Eatonton, Georgia. Known to family and friends as Dorrie, she was born on October 30, 1929 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the third of four children to Robert and Mary Lawrence Paetzell.

Dorrie graduated from high school in Milford, New Jersey in 1947, and entered the University of Chattanooga, now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, this fall. She transferred to Duke University in her second year and obtained a double bachelor’s degree in English and Art History in 1951. Dorrie was involved in various campus organizations during her college days, including the Duke Choir and the sorority Pi Beta Phi. After graduation, Dorrie worked as an editor for a magazine based in Philadelphia, Pa., And then began her teaching career at the same school in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, where her mother had taught for several years.

During her freshman year of college, Dorrie met her beloved future husband, Patrick James Neligan. Dorrie and Pat married in 1954 and for 64 years shared a loving and dedicated partnership until Pat’s death in 2018. As newlyweds, Dorrie and Pat lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where Pat completed her last. year of dental school at the University of Tennessee, while Dorrie taught in the Memphis public school system.

In 1955, Dorrie and Pat moved to Milledgeville, Georgia where Pat practiced dentistry and Dorrie successfully continued her professional career while maintaining her dedication to family and community. The couple had six children over the next decade and were parishioners of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Throughout her life, Dorrie has been passionate about education and the fine arts. At Georgia College & State University, formerly known as Women’s College of Georgia, she obtained a Masters of Education in 1965, after which she taught English at Georgia Military College at the college and high school levels. She was affectionately called “Mom” by her younger students. She also graduated as an Education Specialist in Administration and Politics in 1988, while employed by the Georgia Regional Educational Services Agency, and spent the last years of her career providing advice on improving public schools to school administrators in central Georgia. She was also an avid reader and an accomplished painter and pianist.

In 1970, the president of Georgia College asked Dorrie to become the director of alumni affairs at the college, a position she held until 1985. Dorrie strengthened the alumni organization across the United States, in particular in the South East. Her previous experience as an editor was instrumental in producing a nationally recognized and acclaimed alumni magazine. During her tenure, Dorrie coordinated significant capital contributions and donations of scientific material to the college, including manuscripts, letters, books and personal items of Flannery O’Connor. Georgia College recognized Dorrie in 2014 as one of the most influential people in its history, and it awards an annual scholarship in her name for excellence in creative writing.

Over the years, Dorrie has been active in a wide variety of organizations, most notably as a board member of the Flannery O’Connor Andalusia Foundation as well as the Old School History Museum (Eatonton), a founding member of the GMC Performing Arts concert series. (formerly known as the Steinway Society), administrator and long-time member of the Milledgeville Old Capital Historical Society, and Girl Scout troop leader. She was also an active member of the American Association of University Women, the Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood (PEO), and the Putnam General Hospital Auxiliary.

Dorrie was predeceased by her husband Pat, her parents, siblings and youngest son, John Derr Neligan. She is survived by five children: Patrick James Neligan, Jr. (Maura) of Dallas, Texas; Mary Lawrence Neligan Kennickell of Savannah; Kelly Neligan Felt (David) from Athens; Christopher Boone Neligan (Erica) of Dunwoody; and Robert Paetzell Neligan of Eatonton. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Katherine Kennickell Ray (Billy) of Savannah; Patrick J. Neligan, III (Monica) of Washington, DC; John David Felt, III of Atlanta; Megan Blythe Neligan from Los Angeles, California; Elizabeth Anderson Felt Day (Harris) from Jacksonville, Florida; and Anna Riccardi Neligan of Dunwoody; and a great-grandchild, Camila Elena Neligan of Washington, DC In addition, Dorrie is survived by a number of nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren.

The family is grateful for the care provided by Harmony Crossing Harbor in Eatonton over the last three years of Dorrie’s life.

In view of COVID, funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Dorrie Neligan Creative Writing Fellowship, c / o GCSU Foundation, Inc., CBX 113, Milledgeville, GA 31061 Attn: Marcia Cainion, “In memory of Dorrie Neligan” (gcsu.edu ) or the Georgia Military College Performing Arts Concert Series, c / o GMC Foundation, 201 East Greene Street, Milledgeville, GA 31061 (give.gmc.edu).

Visit www.mooresfuneralhome.com to express respects.

Moores Funeral Home & Crematory will take care of the arrangements.


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