Dorothy (named after the lead character in the Wizard of Oz by her proud father) was born on October 7, 1939 in the Alberta Prairies to Augustus and Jean Chaisson. For Gus and Jean, Dorothy was a living, breathing miracle after years of trying to have children. She was born 3 months premature, and was so small that her parents carried her home in a shoebox. She was not expected to live out
the day, but her Mother and Father refused to let that happen. They poured love, care, and attention onto Dorothy whose tenacious spirit wouldn’t be denied. This strong vibrant will and love of life formed the foundation of her character. After his war wounds had fully healed, Gus decided to become a commercial fisherman and moved his family out to Vancouver. While taking her teaching degree at the University of British Columbia, Dorothy fell in love with a young law student (Don Phelps). After graduating, they were married and decided to move to Kelowna to raise a family.Dorothy led an active life that revolved around teaching and being a Mom and friend to many. She taught grade 1 and 2, raised five children, and actively set a good example for
her grand children. As her children, we noticed that many people would stop Dorothy to tell them how
Dorothy had “made all the difference” to them or to their children as a teacher or a friend.Later in life, Dorothy regularly spent quality time with her youngest son (Dave) in Kelowna. She also enjoyed traveling overseas to visit her oldest son (John) and his six grandchildren. Travel with family and friends would become one of her favourite pastimes and her curiosity about new cultures and countries was inspiring to friends and family.
She also sung in the Church choir and frequently volunteered for church activities. She was patient, kind,
a loyal friend, and tenacious up until her last moment. Dorothy inspired her children, grandchildren, and great grandchild with her forgiving nature, strong work ethic, and love of life.
Dorothy died from a stroke at Victoria General Hospital surrounded by her family. She was 75 years old and spent the last 7 months of her life in Victoria enjoying time with her daughter (Laura), her son (Dean), surrounded by
her grandchildren, and great-grand child. Every day in Victoria was spent shopping, eating out, doing yoga,
going to the IMAX, taking swimming lessons, and even playing tennis again. She also loved to watch her
grandchildren ride horseback and was even cautiously considering the idea of joining them. Dorothy Lou Phelps is survived by her children: John,
Dean, Bill, Laura, and Dave, plus grandchildren Logan,Zoe, Connor, Natasha, Tatum, and Mick plus Jessica,
Luke, Ruby, Audrey, and Violet as well as
her great grandchild, Athena.
A memorial service will be held 4pm on
Friday, January 8, 2015 at the Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC.