November 5, 2007


Dorothy Nissen Rea


inmemory Rea

Dorothy Nissen Rea, a longtime resident of Midland, and a frequent contributor to the Midland College Dr. Gregory Bartha Health Sciences Scholarship, died in Denton, Texas, on November 5, 2007.


Mrs. Rea was born to Louis and Loie Nissen, Chicago, September 27, 1910, attending schools there before entering Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Illinois, where she received her B.A. degree. Graduate study was done at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.


A career in newspaper reporting and editing began in 1933, with Pioneer Publishing Co., Oak Park, Illinois, where Dorothy was employed before her marriage to Brandon E. Rea in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 1, 1941. There she worked for the University of New Mexico Press until her husband, an Army lieutenant, was sent overseas. She then returned to Chicago, to become editor for five years of the Montclare-Leyden Herald, a community newspaper serving Chicago's western suburbs.


After Capt. Rea's honorable discharge from military service, he enrolled at Northern Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago, earning his O.D. degree in 1948. Since both the Reas were enthusiasts of the Southwest, the couple moved to Midland the following year where Dr. Rea opened his office for the practice of optometry at 210 North Big Spring. Dorothy worked for the Texas Contractor magazine.


In the 50's and 60's the pair was active in the community. Dorothy held a number of offices in the American Association of University Women, Modern Study Club, and St. Mark's United Methodist Church. Both Dr. and Mrs. Rea were active in the Midland Camera Club, Friends of the Library and Midland Symphony and Community Concerts.


Dorothy continued living in Midland after Dr. Rea died in 1999. As a member of St. Mark's United Methodist Church since 1950 when the couple joined the church, she taught an adult Sunday School class for over 40 years and was an active member in United Methodist Women Circles.


Several nephews and nieces survive her, including Mrs. Roy Flair of Long Beach, California, Mrs. Ron Carlson of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, David Nissen of Antioch, Illinois, Carl Rea of Marietta, Georgia, and Dr. Paul Rea of Moraga, California. She is also survived by Linda Hall Phelps of Los Alamos, New Mexico.


Memorials may be directed to the Dr. Gregory Bartha Health Sciences Scholarship Fund of the Midland College Foundation.


If you wish to make an online gift in her memory, visit Give a Gift, or you may mail your donation to:


3600 N. GARFIELD · MIDLAND, TX 79705



3600 N. GARFIELD · MIDLAND, TX 79705-6399 · 432.685.4526

(FAX) 432.685.4714