Dolores Heaton’s father worked on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, and she arrived at Los Alamos with her family as a young girl. With the housing shortage present there, Heaton and her family lived in Quonset huts and were subjected to rationing. As a child, Heaton enjoyed going for hikes in the countryside with her friends, many of whom had parents who worked on the Manhattan Project. Sometimes, Robert Oppenheimer would accompany Heaton and her friends for lunch. She attended Los Alamos High School and was a cheerleader during her senior year. Heaton eventually went into business and later worked for Charles Schwab.