Passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Ontario Finnish Resthome on Friday, June 4, 2021 at the age of 93.
Beloved wife of the late Bruce McDonald. Adored mother of Rod (Sandy Keeney), the late Ronna Dawson, and Randy (Jane Gibson). Cherished gramma of Jared, Lauren (Alain Touzin), Courtney (Corey Smith), Sean, Amanda, Shelby, and Sydney. and great-gramma of Paisley, Evelyn, Ben, and Alex. Predeceased by her siblings Edna McWatters (late Clayt), Bill (late Joyce Moore), Ron (Alice Crockett), Jack (Janet Bonnell), and Lois Halford (late Reg). Also predeceased by Bruce’s siblings Curt Scott (late Louella), Jean Haines (late Gene), and Ian McDonald. Doris will also be missed by many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins and cousins-removed.
Doris began life on Garden River Reserve where her parents Ed and Mabel (nee Graham) ran a general store. After the family moved to the Sault, they came eventually to reside in the Biggings-Hamilton avenue area, where Bill became close friends with a certain Bruce McDonald who eventually noticed young Doris. But tragedy struck when first her dad then mom passed away all too early. While her older sister Edna went to work, and Bill and Bruce went to WW2 (navy), Doris took over responsibility for her younger siblings (with help of family and friends). On graduating secretarial school she found work with the Sault Star and the PUC. With the return of her brother and Bruce a courtship began in ernest. Soon the two were planning and constructing a home in Tarentorus on a Veteran’s Land Act plot, and on completion were married (November 13, 1948). Three kids and a dog (and another and another etc) were raised in that home. A cottage on the Goulais River was added to their holdings in 1970; a place where family and friends of all stripes, and many strange and interesting hitchhikers from all parts of the globe, spent many wonderful days and years.
But Doris and Bruce were hardly finished there. They had very close ties with their neighbours, with whom they planned many an event and celebration. As an inseparable pair they travelled widely, did considerable community service, and worshipped at their home church (Westminster Presbyterian). Mom was engaged in Ladies Aid, Circle Six, and pastoral visitions, in CGIT (Canadian Girls In Training) as a leader, in Meals-on-Wheels, and at the Soup Kitchen. She also helped establish the Maycourt Day Care Centre and became one of its first educators. She also found time to cook, and for a while had a cooking segment on local TV. She and dad took us kids tenting every summer across Ontario, and later, with an empty nest, bought a truck and camper with which they headed East to see the Queen and attend the arrival of the replica of the ‘Matthews’ (John Cabot’s ship) in Halifax, visit Viking sites in Newfoundland, ‘Green Gables’ on PEI, South to see Florida and other states, and West to visit Randy and Ronna (and their families as they arrived) – occasionally accompanied by a grandchild or three from the Soo.
On dad’s passing in 2001 mom continued to live in the family home with her latest King Charles Spaniel and a long-time tenant, Sue Lapish. But life has a way of creeping up on one and, in summer of 2015, mom moved into assisted living at the Ontario Finnish Resthome, and in spring 2019 into their nursing home, from where she recently departed to join her absent husband, daughter, family members, and friends once again.
Our inestimable thanks to all the administrative, doctor, nursing, PSW, activities, janitorial, and kitchen staff who did so much to make her stay at ‘Kotitalo’ and later ‘Mauno Kaihla Koti’ the very best possible (she loved you all), and to all our relatives, family friends, and well wishers who have offered our family such comfort and love. We are forever grateful.
A private graveside service is to be held at Greenwood Cemetery, while a ‘Celebration of Life’ will be announced for a subsequent date (mid- to late August?).
Memorial contributions by cheque to Westminster Presbyterian Church or to a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. E. 705-759-2522). Please visit arthurfuneralhome.com to leave a message of condolence or a memory as a keepsake for Doris’ family.