Doreen May Smith (nee Blaskett) – born May 4th, 1933, and passed away December 3, 2022 at Chartwell Willow Manor, Maple Ridge, BC after a long illness
Doreen was born in London, England. She was the fifth of 7 children, and family life was sometimes challenging as their father passed away in September 1939 and they were later bombed out of their home in the East End near London’s docks. She was evacuated to rural Wales with her sister Brenda and had a soft spot for Wales and the countryside ever since. Her strong family loved and supported each other and made it all bearable, always finding something to laugh about. Mum could also be a troublemaker as a girl, often landing her younger sister Brenda in trouble while being the instigator – such as when she led them to play in bombed out buildings and Brenda fell into a bathtub filled with dust and fire retardant or when she pinched Brenda during a solemn event.
Mum was always very active and was a competitive swimmer at the UK National level, particularly in backstroke. She taught us all to swim along with our friends, and we have many memories of swimming on beach days at Stanley Park, White Rock and Allouette Lake.
After finishing school, she trained as a stenographer and was active in local theatre and scouting and through that met and married Alan Smith in Roehampton (London) before emigrating to Canada in 1957 with Alan and her brother Edward and sister Brenda. Upon arriving in Montreal on a Canadian Pacific ship, they took the CPR to Vancouver where they lived before moving to Maple Ridge in 1971 with their three children. She worked in a variety of offices including a Richmond furniture manufacturer and medical insurance (both government and private).
Doreen is survived by Alan, her husband of 65 years and three children including son Don (Barb) Smith of Surrey (Ocean Park), BC and their daughters Rachel (Matt), and Hannah (Eric); daughter Susan (Phil) Owen of Lumby, BC and their children Sean (Nabila), Sarah (Charles) and Mum’s most recent granddaughter Olivia Rose (born December 8, 2022), Deanna (Danny) and Andrew (Anna) with greatgrandchildren Aidan, Anderson, Lexa and Aubrey; and daughter Wendy (Lyle) Haylock of Coquitlam BC and their son Brodie. She is also survived by her only remaining sister Brenda Todhunter of Burnaby BC. We all have many memories of adventures and lots of fun with Mum (that silly old sausage).
She always loved children and animals and was a wonderful mother and grandmother who could always make us laugh while also providing strong guidance and values. Our family enjoyed life in the Maple Ridge countryside filled with adventures and horses, dogs, cats and other creatures including budgies and wildlife. Doreen was part of a loud, boisterous, and strong family that always supported each other and shared her family and that way of life with us all.
Mum also loved theatre, music, and especially singing, and along with Alan was an active member of the Maple Ridge Silvertones seniors choir while also performing in skits and musicals to provide entertainment for fundraisers, community events and at seniors facilities. She also loved to travel and took many cruises and trips with Alan and family and friends, especially after they retired. She was a talented mimic who could speak your own words back to you at almost the same speed that you spoke and thought! No matter how bad our day was, she could always make us laugh.
Doreen was deeply loved and cared for and will be badly missed. Our sincere thanks and gratitude to the folks at Chartwell Willow Manor Care Center for their respectful, caring and expert care, especially in Mum’s last year. At Doreen’s request, we will hold a family remembrance. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or SPCA.