McCall Gardens

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.

McCall Gardens


  • Cathy Moir
    May 19, 2017

    What a wonderful description of a special lady, although I didn’t know her personally I know she was well loved by a family I have known for over twenty years, Ted,Barb, Victoria, Geoff, Stephen and Susanne. Our deepest sympathies to you all. Sincerely, Brian, Cathy, Sean and Andrew Moir

  • V Creech (grandchild, living in Western Australia)
    May 19, 2017

    Our Grandma (Doris) Creech was an inspiration. Thank you to everyone commenting on this page as we get to hear new stories and happy memories. Just as Grandpa and Grandma (Dick & Doris) travelled the world, their love for travel and nature has been passed down to their globe-trotting children and grandchildren. I’ll go for a canoe ride and a swim in your memory, Grandma (and I won’t complain about how cold the water is, because it never bothered you – from the Ottawa River to the Pacific Ocean!). Lots of love XOX

  • Barbara Armstrong
    May 18, 2017

    After reading her Obituary, many people in Nepean, Graham Park and at Bells Corners United Church will have memories pop up of Doris, her ready laugh and smile and her willingness to pitch in and help whatever was going on. I remembered the night we were returning from choir practice at BCUC, driving along Baseline Dr. when this man, in dark clothes stepped out from behind a sign and tried to pull us over. Quite alarmed, we kept going and soon had flashing lights behind us, right up to the Creech’s driveway. Luckily, Dick was home and supported our alarm, giving the constable a really good lesson about ladies driving at night on a pretty dark road. Doris and I had some good laughs over that. Our years of singing at BCUC were special, as was our music teaching together. My condolences to Dick and the family. She was very special.

  • Sylvia Kane
    May 18, 2017

    Sylvia Kane May 18 2017

    My sincere sympathy to all the family in the passing of Doris. She will be sorely missed .

    Doris and I went to Victoria Normal School together. In the fifties we got together for many a fun evening as couples. We always enjoyed seeing each other at the at the Normal School reunions.

  • Diane and Roy Forestell
    May 17, 2017

    Dear Ted,
    We were so sorry to read of your mother’s passing in yesterday’s paper. She certainly led a wonderfully interesting and active life – rich in family, friends, community, athletics, the joy of music, and endless adventures. While you and your family will miss her greatly, we know that your many loving memories of her will bring you joy and comfort in the time to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. With our deepest sympathy,
    Roy and Diane Forestell

  • George Lohr
    May 16, 2017

    I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Doris and I remember all the wonderful times we had camping. We always enjoyed visiting one another and I send my condolences to the family. I will make a donation to the heart and stroke foundation.

  • Joe and Jacqueline Franceschini
    May 16, 2017

    My husband Joe and I would like to offer our condolences to your family. We both grew up in Cumberland and have many good memories of Doris.
    When I was in grade 8 Doris was teaching grade 3 downstairs in the old Cumberland Elementary School. We formed a basketball team with Doris as our coach. She coached us for two years, winning the commercial league Island Championship in 1949 and the High School Championship in 1950. Doris handed over the coaching duties to Henry Watson, a Cumberland High School teacher in 1951 and with the coaching strategies she taught us and Henry Watson’s added knowledge we went on to win three championships. We never forgot those early years with her.
    Also when I was in high school I was in the church choir with Doris for a few years. I have a picture of us in the choir in 1951 and pictures of our basketball teams with Doris in 1949 and 1950.
    There are still several of our team living in Cumberland and the valley. I’m sure they also would like me to add their condolences to you. We loved Doris as she was so patient and good to us in those early years.

    Jacqueline (Patterson) Franceschini

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