Dorothy Elaine Jorgenson

On Friday November 19, 2010 Dorothy Elaine Jorgensen passed away at Mountain Lake Seniors Community at the age of 87 years with three of her children at her side.

Dorothy Jorgensen, (nee Irvine) was born August 18th, 1923 on a farm in Red Deer Hill, Saskatchewan. She was more likely to be found out in the field or up a tree with a book than helping her mother with housework. With her three sisters, May, Esther and Violet, she attended and distinguished herself at the small rural schoolhouse. She graduated from high school in an era when few men and even fewer women completed their matriculation.

World War II was happening by now, but Dorothy had to wait until she was 19 before she could enlist in the Air force. Dorothy did not go overseas, instead contributed to the war effort as a inventory supply clerk and working as the only woman in an air force machine shop in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In the post-war years many airwomen went home to get married, but Dorothy set out for further horizons, moving away from the farm to Vancouver. There she attended secretarial school and found a job working for Libby?s (of the pork and beans fame!)

Dorothy married her friend Earl Jorgensen in 1950, moving to Nelson in 1951, shortly before the birth of their first son, Carl. Earl taught at the Nelson High School, and they built their new home in Fairview, where Dorothy lived for 55 years.

Family was always important to Dorothy; she wrote twice weekly to her mother, and she was blessed with six children of her own. She is survived by her children Carl Jorgensen(Colette) of Granby PQ; Anne Stroo (Eugene) of Nelson; Gail Ross (Sam) of Rossland; Paul Jorgensen of Wilno ON; Eric Jorgensen (Zuzana) of Nelson; and Mary Defeo (Peter) of Nelson. She took particular joy in her grandchildren Karen, Darrel and Brian Ross; Kyle, Dana, Emma and Reed Jorgensen; Francesca and Connor Defeo; Maia Jorgensen; and Keiren Goyett . To all of them she was loved as ?the grandma who reads to us?.

Dorothy always encouraged her children to pursue education and to expand their horizons, and she led by example. In the early seventies Dorothy began attending classes in art and literature at the Kootenay School of Art, NDU and later at DTUC. A prolific artist with a keen eye, Dorothy soon began exploring mediums such as weaving, basket making, stained glass, painting, and batik making. She was always seeing beauty in nature, and had the ability to translate that vision into lovely art. Her wonderful sewing skills allowed her to create yet more art in the practical world of clothing, where her plaid shirts were a signature item.

Dorothy was a strong member of Fairview United Church, and later Nelson United Church. She was quick to volunteer with the 56 Group as secretary, as baker, or as book seller if the need arose.

Dorothy was a positive and loving woman who always had the door open for a friend and the coffee pot on for a cup of sympathy. She knew how to cherish people and build and maintain friendships.

Dorothy and her husband Earl were blessed with 50 years of marriage before Earl died in 2001. Dorothy continued to live at home until 2006 when she moved to Mountain Lake Seniors community. Thank you to the caring staff at Mountain Lake, her second family for the last four years.

A funeral service was held in Nelson with Rev. Christine Dudley officiating. Dorothy was interred with her husband Earl at the Nelson Memorial Park. As expression of sympathy family and friends may make donations to The Nelson United Church or The Alzheimer Society of BC West Kootenays, 809 Davies Street, Nelson, BC V1L 3T6. On-line condolences may be expressed at Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.

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