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Dorris Margaret Pugsley
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Birth: Apr. 11, 1909
Grants Pass
Josephine County
Oregon, USA
Death: Jan. 6, 1982
Benton County
Oregon, USA


Dorris Pugsley (Nelson) was married at 8 P.M. (November 30 1934) to Arthur J. 'Boots' Nelson Jr. in the Chapel of the St James Church. The bridegrooms's sister Virginia Nelson Parkin, and her husband, Harry Parkin, served as Maid of Honor, and Best Man. Honeymoon was North to Oregon.

Unfortunately, the marriage, although promising, in the end, was short-lived (about 1 year), as Dorris and Boots proved ill-suited as married partners (even though they had dated for at least three years).


The Nelson's lived in an upstairs penthouse-like apartment downtown. Boots and his father Arthur were thought to be executives with Blake, Moffitt, & Towne, a West Coast paper distributor. Arthur J. Sr. was an early protege' of Henry E. Huntington, the illustrious railroad magnate.

Early Life:

Ms. Pugsley had a fascinating and glamorous life. She was born in Grants Pass Oregon to Arthur Leroy and Faith Keezel Pugsley. She moved with her family to Corvallis at an early age.


She attended U. of O. (University of Oregon) home of the Ducks, at Eugene, and was a member of Delta Gamma.

Moves to Southern California:

After a move to Los Angeles, Dorris lived a life that most young ladies only dream of, feted as a member of high society, in the glamorous exciting era of 1930's Hollywood. Certainly an era which can never be recaptured. One newspaper photo shows Dorris and her husband Boots, and his sister Virginia, and her husband Harry, at a society charity event at the Biltmore downtown.


Personal friend and contemporary: Walt Disney

After her brief marriage to Boots, Dorris settled in as an executive secretary (for a producer) at the Walt Disney Company, at Burbank, in their animation, and later wildlife film department.

Dorris would often reminisce about "those days" with candor and wistfulness, talking about her beau, Boots Nelson, his sister and (gal-pal), Virginia Hazel Nelson Parkin, and life at the Disney Studios. To include lunches with her peers, which often would include Walt Disney himself, who would eat all the shoe-string potatoes (french fries) off her plate before she could get to them.

Just a few of the many films Dorris was involved with was Standard Parade for 1939 (Standard Gasoline Promo), the Disney classic "Dumbo" (1941), "Make Mine Music" (1946), and "Victory Through Air Power" (1947).

The sadness of her failed early marriage was offset by the joy of working for one of the most creative companies in early Hollywood, an era, which was the highlight and zenith of her life!

Moves Back North:

In 1947, Dorris left the City of Angels and moved to Pendleton Oregon, where she was remarried for a short duration (it appears) to a John L. Timmermann on February 14, 1949. There is a divorce decree as granted to John Tillerman and a Doris at Dade County Florida in 1950. (This needs further verification though).

By 1953, Dorris had moved once again to Portland, Oregon, and finally by 1965, she re-settled for the last time at Corvallis Oregon.

It is my understanding, Dorris left Disney Studios to be near, and later to care for her aging parents.

Second Career- O.S.U.:

After moving to Corvallis, she found employ as the executive secretary to the Dean of Faculty at Oregon State University. She officially retired from this position in 1975. Dorris was sharp and proficient-- perfect secretarial material.

Her parents passed over, in 1951, and 1974. After her duties as a daughter were fulfilled, Dorris spent her remaining days in the quiet reflective atmosphere of a small town which was far away from the life of glamour she remembered as a young society icon in early Hollywood. I often felt from our conversations, that this time-frame is where her heart and thoughts lingered most.


Dorris Pugsley deserves to remembered, and not forgotten. She was a remarkable lady. I have waited years for an opportunity to relate just a bit of her fascinating life. I tried to get her to write her life-story (a project she herself broached) but this was not to be as she died young, at just 71, after a brief struggle with a terminal illness. Dorris lived a fascinating lived and often spoke of the 'stories I could tell-- and the people I met!'

Dorris Margaret Pugsley Nelson was a woman who married into a glamorous world of Hollywood/Los Angeles glitter, became a successful early career-girl in the film industry, and gave it all up to be a loving care-giving daughter in the end (minus a loving companion to care and share her own golden years). A life well-lived, certainly, it would seem with few regrets!

Dorris was a treasured friend and fascinating woman, she is missed by all who knew her-- and was the source of intrigue to her neighbors, friends, and family.


No Children


I hesitate to mention the marriage to John Timmerman because Dorris never mentioned him nor did her family. All we have to go on is a 'Record' in I can only assume it was short-lived or he passed away young? I can find no record of him otherwise. Their marriage Certificate has been located, but not the divorce documentation.

On the other hand, the marriage with Boots is well-documented by newspaper articles and photos- and by Dorris herself. Dorris mentioned to me once that the Nelson family was not associated with Hollywood but rather were old Los Angeles money. Indeed, her home was filled with household treasures from this era, treasures and furnishings that were obviously not from the humble small town of Corvallis.
Family links: 
  Arthur Leroy Pugsley (1882 - 1951)
  Faith Keezel Pugsley -Albin (1885 - 1974)
  John L Timmerman (1904 - 1986)
  Arthur Julius Nelson (1909 - 1976)
  Dorris Margaret Pugsley (1909 - 1982)
  Harold Keezel Pugsley (1912 - 1982)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: Dorris is buried beside her beloved parents- her funeral was on January 11, 1982
Mount Union Cemetery
Benton County
Oregon, USA
Plot: SW Row 12, A291-4
Maintained by: Randall Reynolds
Originally Created by: Suzanna Ashworth
Record added: Mar 06, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25103270
Dorris Margaret Pugsley
Added by: Lois C
Dorris Margaret Pugsley
Added by: Randall Reynolds
Dorris Margaret Pugsley
Added by: Randall Reynolds
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Never forgotten- Always remembered.
- Randall Reynolds
 Added: Feb. 15, 2014
I always leave flowers at your grave whenever I am in Oregon and have remembered your story, which fascinated me. Death wipes our imprint from this earth but for those who would remember. I remember. May we meet again someday in another life.
- Randall Reynolds
 Added: Oct. 21, 2013
You are not forgotten…
- Doni Wright
 Added: Aug. 12, 2013
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