July 9, 1925 – December 20, 2011
Doreen passed away with her loving family at her side. She discovered that she had cancer in the fall and it progressed fairly quickly. She has been surrounded by her large loving family these past few months and they have cared for her with great devotion and love.
Doreen was born in Marcelin, Saskatchewan and moved to B.C. in 1944. In her early 40’s she went back to university and became a school teacher. She then taught at Larson Elementary School in North Vancouver until she retired at 59. Doreen was diagnosed with breast cancer at 69, and during her recovery she became involved with Masters track and field and dragon boat racing with AIAB. She paddled with Abreast Up the Creek last season and was doing her track and field this past summer and so continued to be very active until the diagnosis which came as a shock to all.
Doreen left us on December 20th, 2011 after a recurrence of Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Bone Cancer and a Stroke at St. James Hospice in Vancouver.
I met Doreen in 1997 when she joined Abreast In A Boat. She paddled in False Creek, Deep Cove, Barnet and Deas. Her paddling career took her to venues in Singapore, South Africa, Australia, Poland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Edmonton, Nanaimo, Peterborough and many more. Doreen was a competitive athlete and also entered the Masters Track and Field meets breaking many records and winning many metals .These meets took her to many places including Italy, Finland, Prince George and Kamloops.
Doreen had 7 children, 18 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. She was busy attending graduations, weddings and christenings up north and in the Lower Mainland.
Doreen met John McLean in 2006. John was a regular supporter of Doreen and Abreast In A Boat, and the rest of the crews Doreen paddled with. Doreen paddled for 16 seasons. We will miss her.
Doreen also enjoyed the distinction of being our oldest member and was a true inspiration to all of us.