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IRENE DODDS  (published on October 16, 2010)

IRENE DODDS (BOUSFIELD) September 19, 1922 - August 6, 2010 Peacefully after a lengthy illness, in Qualicum Beach, BC on Friday, August 6, 2010, Irene Dodds, formerly of Winnipeg, passed away at the age of 87 years. Irene leaves behind her loving husband of 61 years, Ronald, her sons Cameron (Wanda) of Qualicum Beach and Bruce (Sandra) of Winnipeg, and grandchildren Kaylee and Glenn Dodds of Winnipeg. Also survived by her sisters Kay Meier (Melfort, SK), Muriel Merrett (Winnipeg) and Betty Bousfield (Star City, SK), her nieces and nephews and other relatives, and a lifetime of wonderful friends in Manitoba and British Columbia. She was predeceased by her daughter-in-law, Pat Dodds (Karwacki), in 2009. Irene was born September 19, 1922 in MacGregor, MB to Albert and Alberta (Knox) Bousfield. Soon after, the family moved to Star City, SK where Irene's sisters, Kay and Muriel, were born. Tragically, Alberta Bousfield died following the birth of her third daughter in 1926 and the three sisters were sent to live with relatives, Irene with her great-uncle and aunt, Will and Helen Peake, of Transcona. Irene attended public schools in Transcona, and high school at United College in Winnipeg. She graduated from normal school, teaching for a year at Domain, MB and then at the Manitoba Developmental Centre in Portage la Prairie. During the war she moved to Vancouver, returning afterwards to Winnipeg where she worked for Trans-Canada Air Lines (TCA), and where in 1947 she met her husband, Ron, in the choir at St. Stephen's-Broadway United Church. Irene and Ron were married in 1949, living and working in St. Vital, where they operated Dodds Drugs until 1959 and where they continued to reside until moving to Vancouver Island following Ron's retirement in 1980. Having lost her mother so early in life, Irene's greatest love was her family. She was a quiet person, uncomfortable in the limelight, but deeply ethical and a profound influence on Ron and their sons, both by example and occasional, quiet argument. She disliked violence in all forms, arguing vengeance was both sinful and a source of unnecessary sadness. Irene enjoyed family holidays and the cottage at Big Whiteshell Lake when the boys were growing up and later wonderful trips with Ron to Hawaii and the U.S. southwest. She loved cats, comedy, classical music, and coffee with friends. And she had a wonderful sense of humour, much informed by silent film and the depression and war of her youth, that celebrated sharing and humility at the expense of greed and showiness. Irene enjoyed her retirement years immensely with Ron in British Columbia, including wonderful visits with Cam and Bruce and family. Though she never lived with her sisters after their separation as children, all worked hard to stay in touch and treasured their friendship throughout their lives. Irene worked at The Bay in the 1960s, but her real vocation was knitting and crocheting which she began at the age of five, producing thousands of garments and other items for her family, and then commercially, for almost 80 years. Irene began selling her works through the Crafts Guild of Manitoba store on Kennedy Street in the 1970s and continued supplying items from British Columbia for many years. In British Columbia she sold crocheting from her home and at craft shows, transported and assisted by Ron. Irene's work with wool was the most important discipline in her life and it leaves a wonderful and permanent legacy for her family and friends. Irene faced the final phase of her life, suffering severely from Parkinson's disease, with courage and humour. Unable to walk or crochet and speaking only with great difficulty, she continued to take a great interest in the well being of her family and friends, and the seniors facility staff who kindly assisted her with personal care and other tasks she could no longer attend to herself. Irene knew her life was ending and stated clearly and with great dignity that she was prepared for death. She died on Friday, August 6 with her family at her side and was buried in Parksville, BC, following a small family service, on August 13. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Gardens of Qualicum Beach seniors residence for their kindness and attention to Irene in her final years and extend warm greetings to Muriel Merrett, Edith and Don Mills, Roy and Joan Breed, Wanda and Stan Karwacki and other family and friends in Winnipeg, all of whom remained dear to Irene. We miss her as you do and will share precious memories of her for as long as we live.

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