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Dorothy Iris Kellerman

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Dorothy Iris Kellerman

June 15, 1925 - September 28, 2013


It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our loving wife, mom, grandma and great-grandma, Iris, known to those closest to her simply as “Ma”, peacefully on September 28, 2013 at the age of 88. Iris fought many battles with her health during her lifetime. Her love of life and her family gave her the unparalleled strength to fight a valiant fight.

She is predeceased by her parents, Emile Fort and Nina Brockman, and her sons-in-law Albert (Iggy) Fothergill and Austin Holman as well as her faithful companions–her dogs, Eyore and Little Joe. Survived by her husband of 57 years, Victor, and children Ronnie (Richard), Pat (Shauna), Rebecca (Steve) and Lindy-Lou (Doug); grandchildren Todd, Alisa, James, April, Stacey, Cody, Carley, Sam, Dustin, Dane, Sadie, Luke, Caitlin, Frank and Rachel as well as 18 great-grandchildren. Iris was so proud of her large family and never missed an opportunity to brag about them. Her wallet was always bulging with photos.

Iris was born an only child in Nanaimo, B.C. and moved to Port Alberni at the age of 18 to work in the plywood mill there. Upon moving to the Cowichan Valley many knew her as a waitress at the old “Greenhaven Café” in Duncan. She later moved to Lake Cowichan and from there to Youbou where her and Victor raised their family and lived for the next 55 years.

Iris loved nature and the outdoors, especially the sun and the water. She enjoyed long walks with her dogs (the late Eyore and Little Joe and, more recently, with grandson, Dustin’s, dog, Chance.) One of her favorite activities was to drive down to “the foot” and have a sub at Subway or a Teenburger at A&W or her favorite Hazlenut Latte (with lots of whipped cream) at the new Tim Horton’s. She was an avid sun-worshipper and was known for her deep, year-round tan, the result of being found, more often than not in summer, basking in the sun on her favorite beaches at Pine Point and Maple Grove. She eagerly awaited her first swim of the year in Cowichan Lake on the 24th of May.

Iris was well-known for her superior cooking and baking and always “cooked for an army”. No one ever left hungry. Her adage in life was “more is better “. Everything was always home-made until her declining health forced her to make some concessions.

An all-encompassing love for animals and their well-being led to her staunch support of the SPCA, Cowichan Cat Rescue and other organizations and she had many “pets”, both domestic and not-so-domestic from the bear she fed that climbed through her bedroom window one day to the many raccoons (who she affectionately called her “coonies”) who would wait patiently at her patio door and the hummingbirds (her “hummers”) who came by the dozens to feast from the numerous feeders she tirelessly re-filled. They will all miss her kindness.

We would like to thank the many doctors, nurses, specialists, care-aides and physic teams who cared so compassionately for Iris during her last months at Cowichan District Hospital, Cairnsmore Place and Cowichan Lodge. Know that you all made her feel special and loved during this last stage of her life. Avery special, big thank-you to Dr. Stacey McDonald for her unflagging support, honesty, understanding, patience and excellent medical care. You are everything a doctor should be and more. We were so fortunate to have you to care for Iris!

Even though we know you were tired and it was time for you to go, mom, we are so very, very sad to have to say good-bye, but we take comfort in knowing that you are once again on the lake where you so loved to be and have been re-united with your faithful companions Eyore and Little Joe who have been waiting patiently there for you. Your absence in our lives has left a large void which will take time to heal but we know that you are now at peace. You have taught us all to be strong and to never give up.

There will be no formal service at Iris’ request. Her wish was to be cremated and for her ashes to be taken on the wind and spread over the waters of Cowichan Lake at Mcneil’s Beach which holds so many fond memories for her from all the years we spent camping there. This will take place in the Spring of 2014 with a Celebration of Life to follow. An announcement will be made closer to that time.

Donations may be made in Iris” name to the SPCA.

As mom would always say “Follow Your Dreams” and “God Bless”.

In memory of Iris please be kind to animals and enjoy the beauty of nature.



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From: H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff

H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Carolyn Schedel Niebergal
Relation: Friends of Rebecca and lint

Sorry to hear of iris passing, lived across from them in Youbou and friends of boo boo and Linda. Remember her chow mien and always at the beach.

From: Dawn Kellerman Moscrop
Relation: Iris was my aunt

I always thought of my Aunty Iris as beautiful, exotic and strong. She didn’t much care what others thought…and I liked that. I also remember her baking and when she gave you a piece of cake you got a BIG piece of cake! We didn’t see a lot of each other over the years but I do have a lot of special memories and I will miss her. Love Dawn and family

From: Terry Krook
Relation: Old friendship

Hi Becca and Lindy. I just happened to stumble on your moms obit. So sorry to hear of her passing. She was such a nice lady. I have included my email and sure would like to touch base with you folks! I am in Port Hardy but will be moving to Victoria to be closer to my kids and grandson. Hope to hear from you.. Best Regards, Terry

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