Dorothy was born Moose Jaw Saskatchewan 1930, the fourth of five siblings growing up during the depression. RK Getty and Julina and children moved to the northern fringes of farming by Pelly Sask. to eke out a living. This time of struggle was the backdrop to Dorothy’s life. She always spoke fondly of her family and friends. It was clear that those positive memories were dominant. After moving to town with her sister, Shirley, to complete grade 12, the both of them attended “Normal School” to become teachers. Dorothy started her 40 year teaching career in Bellebrook School north of Pelly at age 17. She married Keith West, a close neighbor from Malonek when she was 19. She passed away on their 65th anniversary.
Dorothy was adventurous. She moved from the farm to Port Alberni in 1956 to start a new life. Keith and Dorothy had long careers there that provided them with a comfortable life. They had a lovely acreage that allowed them to garden and putter around in a more temperate climate than the prairies. There were regular trips back to the prairies to see family and friends. They were able to retire while they were both healthy and then to travel extensively. There were many winters in Palm Springs with travels across Canada and the US. They were also lucky enough travel to Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Dorothy was always an early adopter of new technology; movie cameras, microwaves, computers, digital cameras. She was unafraid of new challenges.
Dorothy sang while playing the guitar and organ for her school children. She was also part of a neighborhood group of musicians that played for their own enjoyment.
Dorothy was an active sports fan. Hockey was important to her but curling was really a focus. It was most exciting for her when her niece Shannon was in the Olympics.
Outside of school, Dorothy used her organizational and advocacy skills. A good example is her work was with a drainage problem that affected their acreage as well as those of at least 25 neighbors. Her leadership resulted in a significant construction project by the municipality to repair the problem they created.
Dorothy’s later life was committed to caring for her husband Keith. Caring for him at home by herself for many years and then with caregivers in the home for several more. This loyalty dominated the last 15 years of her life. She kept him out of formalized care until her own physical health was compromised. Their daughter Wendy and her husband Mike, strongly encouraged Dorothy to move to Nelson BC so they could provide more support. Keith continues to live in a nursing home but his mental faculties are severely diminished. Dorothy has been quite pleased with the care provided by the Mountain Lake Care Community in Nelson BC.
Dorothy’s great spirit was apparent throughout her life. The nurses and care providers in Nelson, Trail, Kelowna and Mountain lakes have all used the same descriptor: feisty. Dorothy’s mind was sharp but her body was diminished. She faced her medical challenges bravely through many hospital stays and doctor appointments until the eve of her 65th anniversary. We will miss her.
She is survived by his husband Keith, her son Richard (Susan) and their children Kathryn, Sarah and Robert of Redwater Alberta: Daughter Wendy West ( Mike Reichardt) Her Siblings Tom Getty (Mabel) Hewitt Getty (Irene) Shirley Spratt and Donna Johnson (Ron)
She was predeceased by her parents Julina and Kinney Getty of Pelly Saskatchewan.
The West family would like to thank the people who supported her through her medical challenges these past few years : Drs. Anna Marie DeKoker, Marrissa Van Der Vyver, Phillip Malpass, the excellent Nelson hospital staff and of course the staff of Mountain Lake Assisted Living program
Dorothy’s ashes will be buried with her family in the Malonek cemetery north of Pelly Saskatchewan on a sunny day next summer.
Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Online condolences may be expressed at www.thompsonfs.ca