Doris Alberta Holt Haussler

1899 - 1988

Doris (Dottie) Holt Haussler, a pianist and singer, taught music at several Seventh-day Adventist schools. She and her husband John Cecil, a history graduate from Walla Walla College, would be associated with five SDA institutions of higher learning during his 60-year career.

Doris was born in Portland, Oregon, on September 7, 1889, the youngest of three children of Charles A. B. and Alice Bunch Holt. She attended and graduated from Laurelwood Academy and then attended Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University. In 1924 she accepted a position as head of the music department at Southwestern Junior College, now Southwestern Adventist University. During her first year there she met John Haussler who was teaching history.

Three years after their marriage in 1925 they accepted positions at Southern Junior College, now Southern Adventist University, where he was hired to teach full-time and she was hired to teach piano and voice on a commission basis. She was a successful and inspiring music teacher at SWJC, and by the end of their first year her success as a part-time teacher led to her appointment as head of the music department. During the next six years she conducted a women's chorus and the orchestra, organized and accompanied vocal groups and soloists, and made the first effort to create a school song.

While officially John was to teach all of the history and government classes and some Bible, he also assisted in music, directing the college church choir, college chorus, and a male glee club. He also taught a conducting class and led out in regular regional radio broadcasts of college choral groups.

Even though the Hausslers were totally immersed in all aspects of life at the school, they still found time to take students on field trips to attend classical music events in nearby Chattanooga. Following their time at SJC, he served as principal at Walla Walla College Academy; she taught music there and at nearby Walla Walla College from 1935 until 1941. At that time they moved to La Sierra College, now La Sierra University.

In 1969 she completed a book titled From Immigrant to Emissary, the story of William Landeen, a prominent SDA educator, who, at a pivotal time in her husband's life, had influenced and inspired him to pursue graduate degrees.

The Hausslers retired in Riverside, California, and were living there when Cecil died on June 24, 1986, at age 86.  Doris died two years later on October 31, 1986, at age 89. They were survived by their daughter, June LaRae Horsley, who died in 2006.


Sources: Christopher Erich Lindstrom Family Tree,; Perry Family Tree (John Cecil Haussler),; 1900, 1910, 1920 U.S. Federal Census; Obituaries: (Doris) Pacific Union Recorder, 20 March 1989, (John) Adventist Review, 28 August 1986, Walla Walla College Westwind; Southwestern Union Record, 9 September, 1924, 1; Dennis Pettibone, A Century of Challenge, The Story of Southern College 1892-1992, 1992, 126, 127; Dan Shultz, A Great Tradition, Music at Walla Walla College, 1982-1992, 242.