by LINDA FRABL | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Letting in Laughter

The Dorr family – Joel and Julie, and their son Jackson, 15, (and son Brandon, a police officer in Seattle, WA) – moved to PQ in 2003 from Santa Monica. They most love the “hometown community,” as Joel described it. He clarified, “We’ve lived in other large cities, but we never felt the connection of a community until we arrived in PQ.” Julie added, “Rancho Peñasquitos is reminiscent of the small town caring that Joel and I grew up with.”family_dorr_1

That caring element especially surfaced during Julie’s recent cancer diagnosis and treatment. Joel recalled, “The outpouring of love and support was staggering as well as humbling, and that made an impact. We instantly felt the kindness and compassion.”

Summing up the secret to how the family successfully dealt with their recent health scare, Julie stated, “When we have crises, we try to stay positive. We also find ways to laugh to get through it. Laughter has always been the glue keeping our family healthy and growing.”

family_dorr_2Deeply involved in their beloved PQ, Joel has coached the local basketball teams, and Julie has engrossed herself with the school’s art programs. Now, the parents enjoy watching Jackson play basketball, volleyball, and golf, and they even participate in these activities with him. The family also bonds by taking vacations to different cities together.

When traveling, the Dorrs abide by a family motto known as the “Open Dorr Policy: Don’t Condemn Until You Try.” Joel explained, “Oftentimes opportunities are passed up for fear of failing, looking silly, or not liking something. So, whether we’re trying different types of food or learning to speak German for a future vacation, we will try something new at least once.”

Their “go for it” attitude has translated into fun new ventures for each parent. For example, Joel just completed his first novel, Those Crazy Notions of Otherwise Intelligent People ( In addition, Julie started her own content marketing consulting practice in 2010, and had previously joined forces with Joel to launch Showsmarts, an award-winning online learning website for trade show staffers.

No matter what new adventure they embark on, the Dorrs are grateful to live in 92129. Julie professed, “From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all of PQ for the friendship and love. We are honored to say that PQ is our family.”

Parents: Joel and Julie Dorr
Children: Jackson (15) and Brandon (lives in Seattle, WA)
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
Hometowns: Joel – Gillette, WY; Julie – Port Washington, WI
Occupations: Joel – Program manager and author; Julie – Content marketing
Pet: Lola – Bichon Frise dog
Favorite Spots in 92129: Hilltop Community Park, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Golden Bagel, Cotijas Mexican Grill, Wonderful Sushi, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Bad Ass Coffee