Doris died on Tuesday, May 9th after just over a month in hospital where she sometimes was so distraught from Alzheimer’s. To those who knew and loved her, those difficulties contrasted so completely with her long life filled with love, affection, and happiness.
She was born in Cumberland, Vancouver Island, and predeceased by her parents William H McLellan who ran a business painting and decorating houses, and Nellie Mae (Marshall) a first World War bride. A younger brother Des and his wife Betty also predeceased her while her older brother Bernard (Gwen), her sister-in-law Betty Miller, and brother-in-law Robert Creech survive.
Being an only daughter and demonstrating an eagerness to learn, her parents provided her every opportunity to broaden her artistic and athletic learnings. Lessons in music, dancing, and skating progressed inevitably to travel for competitions and concerts up and down the coast. As she was drawn to a teaching career, she gained proficiency in both music and athletics, but in developing the teaching she loved she moved more towards music, and at one time was a music supervisor in Ottawa, but she continued in favourite sports, weekly tennis, badminton, and hiking until her early eighties, which probably hit her high when she, with a partner, won the mixed doubles Badminton Gold Crown at the 2000 BC Seniors Games.
She also enjoyed the friendship and music gained from a full United Church choir membership. As a girl aged eight in Cumberland, BC to Victoria, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and finally as an 81 year old graceful lady at St. Paul’s in Sidney, BC where declining health led her to retirement.
Her English mother had ingrained in her perhaps somewhat Victorian attitudes of manner and dress which served her well all her life. Also, the habit of helping others and volunteering where her knowledge and experience was needed always prevailed, most recently with the Newcomers Club. There she participated in hiking and quilting, led in setting up two tennis four-somes, and finally served another term as President when other members were not available.
She and her husband Richard C. (Dick) Creech met at a YMCA dance in Victoria where she was attending additional summer school teaching courses, and they subsequently married in 1951. They had five children, Jill (Mark Charlton), Richard, Ted (Barbara), Cameron (Jen), and Alan (Pam) who predeceased Doris in 2009; 14 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren have followed. She was a lovely woman with a happy smile that drew friends everywhere, and she left no doubt of her love.
Doris had an adventurous streak and enjoyed escapades of para-sailing, submarining, camel, oxen, elephant, and donkey rides. During the period, up to her 80th birthday, the family was enjoined to forget the words “parachuting or bungee -jumping” and the day was saved when her son-in-law Mark Charlton took her for a motorcycle ride. Similarly, she enjoyed a vicarious pleasure when son Ted named his sailboat “Doris B” after her, and in the darkest days she would always be able to raise a smile when those two words were uttered.
Her Memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s United Church, 2410 Malaview Avenue on Saturday May 20, 2017 at 2.00 pm. The family will be decorating the church with flowers that she has always loved. (While in retirement on Vancouver Island, she had over fifty rose bushes, whose flowers she frequently exhibited at Rose Shows.)
Those wishing to make a donation in her honour might make it to a charity of their choice or St. Paul’s United Church Choir in Sidney, BC.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
Cathy MoirMay 19, 2017
V Creech (grandchild, living in Western Australia)May 19, 2017
Barbara ArmstrongMay 18, 2017
Sylvia KaneMay 18, 2017
Diane and Roy ForestellMay 17, 2017
George LohrMay 16, 2017
Joe and Jacqueline FranceschiniMay 16, 2017