John J Dorgan
Sept. 1, 1923-March 8, 2017
Palo Alto, California
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John J. Dorgan (“Jack”) died peacefully at his home in Palo Alto on March 8 at the age of 93. He was married for 68 years to the late Cynthia Codrington Dorgan, who passed away in 2014.
He is survived by his sister, Sister Margaret Dorgan, DCM of Orland, Maine; he was predeceased by his brother William C. Dorgan. He is survived by his children, Carroll (Mary) of St Germain en Laye, France, Beth Volpe (Tom) of San Francisco, Peter (Pamela) of Woodbury, Connecticut and John (Helen Hsu) of Seattle, Washington. He is also survived by five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Jack was born on September 1, 1923, in Providence, Rhode Island to Isabelle Carroll Dorgan and John Joseph Dorgan. After graduating from Classical High School in Providence, he attended Harvard College. Although Jack entered Harvard as a member of the Class of 1945, he graduated early in 1944 as a participant in the Navy’s V-12 program. During the war, he served as an officer on a destroyer escort in the Pacific theatre. Following his discharge in 1946, he married Cynthia, whom he had met on the steps of Harvard’s Widener Library in 1942, where they had gathered to attend a Harvard-Radcliffe German Club picnic.
After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1948, Jack joined Continental Oil Company, where he worked for almost 25 years, primarily in Houston and New York City, including positions as Treasurer and as Vice President of Supply and Transportation. In 1972, he joined Occidental Petroleum Company as director of the company’s operations in Belgium and The Netherlands. Later that year he moved to Los Angeles to become Treasurer; in 1974, Jack became CFO and Executive Vice President of Finance. At Oxy, he was a highly respected financial executive. In an Institutional Investor article published in 1980 which discussed his many accomplishments “in one of the most challenging financial jobs in the oil industry,” he was described as having a “sterling reputation among analysts, bankers and other observers.” Retiring in 1991, Jack continued his work in the energy business as a consultant and as a board member of Energy Corporation of America.
Jack was a loyal and enthusiastic alumnus of Harvard College. He was also involved with numerous educational institutions and organizations, including the boards of Marymount College, Rocky Mountain College, Regent’s College in London, and the Hobart Shakespeareans in Los Angeles. He loved sailing, tennis, hiking and camping, and he and Cynthia were indefatigable and adventurous world travelers. Among family and friends, Jack was known for always searching out interesting restaurants -- and the spicier and hotter the food, the better.
Donations in Jack’s memory may be made to Harvard College or the charity of your choice.
A Memorial Mass will be held on April 1 at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 751 Waverley St., Palo Alto, CA .