Dorothea Oref

Dorothea Ann “Dort” Oref, of Philippi, passed away peacefully December 20, 2018, at her home, 87 years to the day on which she came into this world.

Born in Wheeling, she was a daughter of the late Lawrence and Mary Jane Snedeker.

Known as “Dort” by her family and friends, she worked as a wife and mother, Girl Scout leader and Cub Scout den mother, and was instrumental in the organization of the community recycling and the food share co-op in Green Bank.

A devout naturalist, Dort spent many a day with her family (berry buckets around their necks) traipsing around the wilds of her beloved Pocahontas County bird watching, harvesting herbs, berries, nuts and other edibles. Her children and grandchildren will forever remember her homemade applesauce, cookies and pies, wild strawberry ice cream and freezer jam. We will also never forget the sautéed day lily buds, battered milkweed blossoms, cattail root nuggets and coltsfoot cough drops. Dort could wire her own house, fix her own washing machine and no malfunctioning vacuum cleaner was safe in her presence.

Dort was an avid player of bridge and loved her books and crosswords. A staunch supporter of the environment in West Virginia, she bought 16 acres of woods, just to save the trees. Dort was an independent thinker and was not shy about calling or writing her public servants when West Virginia’s wellbeing was being challenged and is well known for her hybrid car’s bumper sticker “Question Authority.” We celebrate this about our mother and the fact that her greatest trait was kindness.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Wallace Oref.

With Wally, Dort raised four children who survive, Cheryl Rapp (Jeff Saunders), of Independence, Mary Jane Oref (Bob Kane), of Philippi, Richard Oref, of Easley, South Carolina, and Pauline Fitts, of Roanoke, Virginia; four grandchildren, Jason Steele, Catelin Fitts, R. McKenzie Oref, Christopher Fitts; five great-grandchildren, Vance, Ellie, William, Levi and Lynleigh; two sisters, Roberta Shockey, of Loveland, Colorado, and Mary Jeane Miller, of Wheeling; and a brother, James Snedeker of West Pueblo, Colorado.

Per her request, there will be no memorial or funeral services.

Because of our gratitude to Mountain Hospice for the care of our mother, as well as our father, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mountain Hospice, 1002 South Crim Avenue, Belington, WV 26250.

Online condolences may be made at

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