With great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved Mum, Grandma, and Great Grandma, Dorothy Ann Buys Holowachuk, (81) of Selkirk on April 22, 2023.
Dorothy Ann is survived by her children Deanna, Francine and Doug; grandchildren, Andy, Steve, Craig, Cindy, Derek, Quinn and Sarah; great-grandchildren, Tyarra, Jaden and Jeanelle; and many nieces, nephews and lifelong friends.
She was predeceased by her husband Mel, her parents Ann and Theodoor Buys, brother and sisters George, Joan, and Betty, and beloved cousin Anneke.
Dorothy Ann graduated from Winnipeg General School of Nursing in 1963 and went on to build a notable career in nursing. She became Assistant Director of Nursing and Staff Development Coordinator at the Selkirk Hospital at the age of 24, developing and delivering a Nurse’s Aide training program, and assisted in the development of the Red River College Health Care Aide Certificate Program. She was also a Serving Sister with St. John Ambulance, volunteering in first aid and CPR. She helped establish the first CPR network in Selkirk.
From her early days in nursing she had a heart for the elderly. While working at the Selkirk Hospital, she developed cooperative programs with Selkirk nursing homes. She was asked by the Oddfellows and Rebekahs to assist in planning, opening and running a new personal care home, Golden Links Lodge. Golden Links opened in 1980, and Dorothy Ann completed her Advanced Certificate in Gerontology in 1982. While in the role of Administrator at Golden Links, and after her retirement in 1997, she served on committees with Manitoba Health as a long term care representative and, in 1995, was invited to serve on a national committee in Ottawa to develop assessment tools and management indicators for continuing care in Canada.
Dorothy Ann was a nurse in her profession as well as in life, always caring for those who entered her door. She provided many meals, clothes, and care, took in the sick, fostered babies, and welcomed grandchildren. Resusci Anne and Resusci Baby made appearances at home in preparation of CPR classes she taught. Offering advice and medical advocacy, she cared for friends and family members in daily life and in last days. She remembered birthdays and made so many of her special meatballs at the request of her grandsons that she no longer liked them herself. She had many traditions, notably her Christmas Eve open house which was open to all, and she delighted in having those she loved gather together.
Her first love was her family, and she became known as master of laundry. No stain was too tough and no fabric too delicate. She loved spending time at Gull Lake reading, playing board games and puzzles, hosting guests, enjoying morning coffee at the neighbours, and having adventures with the Red Hat ladies and Stead Seniors. She could be seen out in the lake with Muggsy on her lap, enjoying a float on her tire tube. Friday nights at the lake were always spent at the Stead Hall playing bingo. Summers at Gull Lake meant attending the Gospel Mission Church where she joked that she “sang in self-defense” as the music was so robust, lively, and inspiring.
She loved music and loved to sing. She sang in many choirs throughout her life, and the Christ Church Choir was especially dear to her. She was a lifelong member of Christ Church and served on many different committees as well as serving lunches, reading, and being passionately involved in the music and choir programs.
She caught the travel bug as a young woman traveling to Portugal and Spain. Later together with Mel, she spent extended periods of time in the Netherlands often also venturing out to England, France, or other countries during their time in Europe. Together they visited family in Australia. A long time sponsor of foster children through World Vision, she was invited on a dream trip to meet her foster child in Indonesia. This was particularly dear to her as it was where her father was born and raised. She made a lifelong friend on a trip to the Bahamas. She always found an Anglican church to attend wherever she was travelling and made special connections wherever she went.
Please join us in celebrating Dorothy Ann’s life at Christ Church Anglican in Selkirk at 227 McLean Ave, on Monday, May 1, 2023 at 2:00 pm.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Youth for Christ Selkirk, 426 Clandeboye Ave. Selkirk, MB R1A 0X6.
Friends and family are invited to share memories and condolences on Dorothy Ann’s memorial page by using the comment field below.