Dorothy May Irving (nee Stacey)

May 11, 1928 – Feb 9, 2018
With profound sadness, our family announces the passing of our mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Dorothy May. Dorothy was born in Calgary, Alberta to Robert and ArSeline Stacey. After childhood years in Vancouver, Victoria and Duncan, the family settled in Nanaimo in 1944. Mom trained in a photography studio as a colourist, transforming black and white photos to colour. Dorothy suffered from scoliosis starting at an early age and despite the pain and discomfort it caused, she never complained.

Through her actions, Mom taught us to dedicate ourselves to community service. She gave selflessly for over 25 years to the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital Auxillary fulfilling roles including the “Play Lady” in the Pediatric Ward, and putting her artistic skills to use by helping supply the gift shop with floral arrangements.

Dorothy was accepting of all who came to visit. She will be remembered fondly as Auntie Dot by her many nieces and nephews and the children of family friends as well. Guests were usually greeted by a plate of chocolate chip cookies, potato salad and sausages rolls, if Dad didn’t get to them first.

She was affectionately known as ‘Ma’ by the friends of her children, until the next generation arrived, when she assumed the role of ‘Nana’ to all.  As the number of great grandchildren grew, so did her teddy bear collection and she became known as ‘Nana Bear.’

Her grandchildren fondly remember spending time with Nana and Papa on adventure walks, pasting pictures into scrapbooks, creating culinary delights, or snacking on the veggies from Nana’s garden. Every summer, each grandchild would spend a week at the house on Dufferin Street, then all five would camp out for cousin time. Nana always had a genuine way of making each grandchild feel special with little surprises and home-made gifts. And hugs, lots of hugs.

Dorothy lost the love of her life on August 21, 2008, and life was never quite the same. She was predeceased by her husband (Les), her parents, brothers Robert Jr and Percy Stacey, plus numerous in laws.

Dorothy leaves to mourn, but to cherish her memory, her son Douglas (Laurie) New Westminster, daughter Roberta (Don) Nanaimo. Adored grandchildren Denise (Rob) Kelowna, Stacey (Brett) Melbourne, Australia, Jason (Joanna) Burnaby, Erik (Kirsten) Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and Britta (Drew) Nanaimo.  Precious great grandchildren Kylie, Ari, Vaughn, Ben, Mila and Evan. Sister-in-laws Audrey Thomas, Louise Stacey and Peggy Stacey, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Nanaimo Seniors Village for the loving care they gave to Mom during her later years. Honouring Mom’s wishes, there will be no service. 

In remembrance of Dorothy, please consider making a donation to Nanaimo General Hospital Foundation or BC Children’s Hospital.

 “And just at the moment when someone at my side says “she is gone”.

There are others who are watching her coming,

And other voices take up a glad shout,

“There she comes.”

(Bishop CH Brent)


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