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Dorris Fay Taylor Rodenhizer

December 31, 1927 September 9, 2019
Dorris Fay Taylor  Rodenhizer
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Obituary for Dorris Fay Taylor Rodenhizer

DURHAM: Dorris Fay Taylor Rodenhizer was born in McDowell County, NC on December 31, 1927. She moved to Durham with her family at age five, ultimately settling in the Redwood community on Patterson Road where her family farmed tobacco. Her marriage to former Mayor Harry E. Rodenhizer, Jr. brought her to live in the city of Durham where they raised their family in Trinity Park.

She was predeceased by her parents, Charlie M. and Para Pace Taylor, her husband of 57 years, Harry E. Rodenhizer, Jr., her twin brother Morris Ray Taylor, sisters Cora T. Morgan and Emma T. Thompson; brothers Jasper H. Taylor, Jay Seth Taylor, Ralph N. Taylor, and Warren Taylor; and several nephews. Like Abraham and many of her family, she lived to old age and was gathered to her people on Monday, September 9, 2019.

In addition to her immediate family, Mrs. Rodenhizer is survived by her sister, Jessie Taylor Holleman, sister-in-law Charlotte Crabtree Taylor, sister-in-law Catherine Rodenhizer Schlagel, and many nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Rodenhizer was an active participant in the Durham community. She was a member of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, the Homebuilders Sunday School Class, and the Altar Guild. She and her husband, Harry, chaperoned many Methodist Youth Fellowship trips to Appalachian Service Project missions, Lake Junaluska, and beach retreats. She was a founding member and president of the Tobaccoland Civitan Club, receiving the International Distinguished Presidents Award in 1980-81. A den leader in Cub Scouts, she received District Award of Merit in the Shawnee District in 1971, the highest award. She was active in Girl Scouts as a Brownie Troop Leader, District Chairman and District Cookie Chairman, and an enthusiastic volunteer in Watts St. Elementary PTA.

Her working life included bookkeeping at Coca-Cola, assisting her husband and son-in-law in their offices, and as the owner of the Pizza Palace of Durham from 1979-2002.
She was an avid fisherman and kept busy playing (and winning) Scrabble, filling in NY Times Crossword Puzzles, painting, and visiting with family. Her family said, “She was the best Grandma, biscuit baker, pizza tosser, and one of the kindest people.” “Her selflessness made us all crazy,” A favorite question was always, “Did you get something to eat?”

Visitors could find her playing on the floor with her grandchildren. Selfless, she never knew a stranger and was the same person to everyone she met. She always held a place at the table for someone who had no place. There were no strangers in her home.

She loved hiking on the Appalachian Trail, covering at least 300 miles of it. As the last one on the trail, she enjoyed looking at flowers and critters while hanging back for stragglers.

Her memory is a blessing to all who knew her, especially her surviving family Para Lee (Wilfred) Drake, Harry E. RodenhIzer III, Sheila (Mark) Black and Faye (Eric) Rodenhizer Hill; nine grandchildren including Weston (Courtney) Drake, Daria Drake, and William (Jeanna) Drake; Hilarie Rodenhizer and Brooke Rodenhizer; James Heath and Kaitlin Heath; Sarah Faye (Josh) Slater and Melissa (Michael) Dowd; and great-grandchildren George, Sam, and Rose Drake, Christopher Slater, and Oía Dowd.

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Previous Events





6:00 PM 9/13/2019 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 9/13/2019 8:00:00 PM
Clements Funeral Home

1105 Broad St.
Durham, NC 27705

Clements Funeral Home
1105 Broad St. Durham 27705 NC
United States

Memorial Service




2:00 PM 9/14/2019 2:00:00 PM
Duke Memorial United Methodist Church

504 W Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701

Duke Memorial United Methodist Church
504 W Chapel Hill St Durham 27701 NC
United States

Cemetery Details


Maplewood Cemetery Final Resting Place

1621 Duke University Road
Durham, NC 27701

1621 Duke University Road Durham 27701 NC
United States

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