Dorothea Ursula Wiens (nee Powell)
February 9, 1927 ~ January 26, 2016
It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our dearly beloved and cherished mother. Our world will never be the same without her beautiful presence. Born in Cranbrook BC to beloved parents Henry and Dorothea Powell on February 9, 1927, Mum died peacefully at home on January 26, 2016 with both her daughters by her side.
She is, and will be forever, profoundly missed by her daughters Heather and Shelley, sons-in-law Mike and Peter and grandchildren Katharine, Emily, Joshua and Emma. Also left to grieve, and to celebrate her life, are her brother Dacre, brother-in-law Harry, cousin Elinor, sister-in-law Lois, loving nieces and their families, extended family and many dear and loyal friends. Dorothea was predeceased by her husband Ed in 2004 and her brother Bill in 2015.
After growing up in Creston and graduating high school there, Dorothea attended UBC, completing a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Following graduation she took a position as Recreational Director for the visually impaired at CNIB in Toronto, a job she loved and kept for three years. She hated to leave that job, but being an adventurous and courageous young woman and quite ahead of her time, Dorothea decided to hitchhike around Europe with her good friend Kay and joined, in part, by another good friend Connie. This adventure, at times risky, kindled in Mum a passion for travel and seeing the world, something that remained with her all her life.
After returning to Canada Mum signed on with the Red Cross for a one year tour in first Japan and then Korea, where it was her job to help raise the morale of the troops and even to provide marital counseling – another job she loved.
While in Korea Mum met the love of her life, our father Ed, and upon returning to Canada they were married on March 29, 1956. Their honeymoon was an across-Canada trip ending up in Victoria, BC where Dorothea introduced her new husband (fait accompli) to her parents who (luckily) loved him immediately. Ed’s career as a Major in the Armed Forces took them to France, Ottawa, England and Belleville, the latter two being Mum’s favourites. In Belleville Mum made lifelong very dear friends, most notably Barb and Jan, and worked in Adoption, a field she loved.
Upon Ed’s retirement from the military the family moved to Victoria, making it their permanent home. Mum continued working part time in social work, ending up in the daycare field which she enjoyed until her retirement. Mum loved to play tennis and bridge, loved dancing, singing, socializing and travel. In the course of her life she visited Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland, Fiji, Mexico, Hawaii, China, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and of course Yuma which for many years was their home away from home. Mum used to say “I’ve had such an interesting life” and indeed she did.
But most important to Mum were the people in her life – the many dear friends she made along the way, and particularly her family; her husband, daughters, parents and siblings, grandchildren and nieces and nephews. For her friends and family she would do anything, and they for her.
Dorothea was described by those who knew her as always gracious and loving, loyal and trustworthy, kind and thoughtful, courageous and generous, honest, intelligent and well-informed. She and Dad had a wonderful way of making people feel welcome in their home and friends of both girls called her “Mum” at one time or another. Mum loved Labrador dogs, chocolate and caramels, wine and flowers, beauty and nature, Shakespeare and Somerset Maugham. She was a good sport, a good listener, a loving mother, wife, sister and friend. She never complained, even when things were very difficult, and was fiercely independent to the end. She loved her life and life loved her back in the form of lifelong friendships, meaningful and rewarding work and daughters who were and remain absolutely devoted to her. She left this life as she wished to, in her own home, surrounded by love.
Our heartfelt thanks to all Mum’s friends who so enriched her life right to the end. Thank you to the Community Nurse, the Hospice Palliative Response Team and particularly Nurse Jill. And finally a special thank you to Dr. Philip Huggett for his deeply compassionate and committed care of Mum.
A Memorial Service will be held at St. Luke’s Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 2 pm in Victoria.
Celebration of Life immediately following from 3 – 6 (details at the memorial service).
Flowers gratefully declined.