Doris was born in Moorestown, New Jersey, on February 8, 1949, to Elwood and Mary Jane Doran. The middle daughter of three, Doris’ childhood was a happy one. Though the family did not have much, the town’s excellent schools, community activities, and host of close-knit friends provided Doris a rich childhood. She particularly loved playing her clarinet in the marching band, and most of all, her home economics class where sewing (and fermenting dreams of a career in fashion) became a passion.
In 1967, Doris enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York, a powerhouse in the design world and a hotbed for spawning many of the nation’s top fashion designers. She and the handful of Black students felt shut out of that world and unsupported (though she was the first Black cheerleader for the basketball team). In 1969, with the two-year Associate’s degree completed and zero offers from the design industry, Doris worked for a couple of years in fashion merchandising at Gimble’s (now defunct) before enrolling at Drexel University in Philadelphia to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Merchandising in 1974.
Doris’ next stop was life-changing. She secured a position with JCPenney at their New York headquarters in 1975, joining their buyer training program. In 1988, the company moved its headquarters to Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb that was becoming home to several large corporations, and Doris moved to Texas with the company. Not long after, Doris met Jerome Mathis, a fellow Northeastern transplant. It was not long before she and Jerome became inseparable. The two married in 1999 and became longtime residents of Frisco.
Doris was a longtime devoted member of Christian Chapel Temple of Faith where Rev. Dr. Vanessee J. Burns is the lead pastor. Doris wore many hats – stewardess, choir member, church decorator, and ministry volunteer with the Angel Tree initiative and 2nd Halfers Seniors. She was the organizer of the Seniors’ Thursday activities, a group which was a part of the 2nd Halfers Seniors Ministry. She was also a personal designer and seamstress for Rev. Dr. Burns, and she even found time to be a “star student” at Bible study twice weekly.
Doris was a fashionista; fashion was her passion! She also loved dancing, traveling, viewing craft and art shows, jigsaw puzzling, scrapbooking, and spending time with cherished friends. Among her richest blessings and thrills, she was godmother to Ayana Green whose twins called her “Auntie Doris”.
Doris was predeceased by her parents, Elwood Doran and Mary Jane Stevens Doran; sister, Rita Doran; brothers-in-law: James “Jimmy” McClaren, Allen Mathis, and Michael Mathis; and sister-in-law, Shirley McClaren. Those left to cherish precious memories include her husband, Jerome Mathis; stepson, Shawn Plato; sister, Victoria “Nee Vivian” Stevens; sisters-in-law: Gloria Clark, Carolyn Mathis, and Sharon Mathis; brothers-in-law, Kenneth Mathis and Tony Mathis; dear friends: Brenda Green, Donna Levy-Fulco, Julie Ortiz, and Arlene Clemente; and a host of other relatives and friends.
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