Jan. 9, 1936 to July 23, 2013
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Sheila Dobie nee Kill aka Mummy, Gma, or Pud to her late husband, died of natural causes. Born in the seaside community of Porthcawl, Wales, Sheila moved to a London suburb with her family, just as war brides and children were being evacuated to Wales. Sheila emigrated to Canada with her family in 1949, landing in Halifax and travelling by train across the country to the booming metropolis of Terrace in northwestern B.C. In her own words, she thought of it as "...a real adventure - like a Western movie, with loggers rather than cowboys." Sheila attended Normal School in Victoria and taught early years for a year. "Not my thing" she wrote recently. Joined the RCAF as a met tech at age 19 and married an airman. They were posted many places across Canada, including Churchill, MB, famous for polar bears. They were married for almost 54 years until George's death in 2010. She and George moved to Prince Rupert in 1966. They loved living in Rupert and were very involved in community activities. Sheila was a key player in the NDP's successful bid to form the first B.C. NDP government in 1972, having been campaign manager for the Skeena Riding candidate, while living in Prince Rupert B.C. Sheila joined the Highways Ministry as a "spin doctor" (her words again). One of her most relished stories was having closed the Lion's Gate Bridge with virtually no one noticing. In 1980 Sheila achieved a lifelong desire and completed her degree in history at UVIC, and then she and George took a year off to travel across the country. They eventually returned to Vancouver Island and settled in Sooke, B.C. on a wooded acreage with a salmon stream at the edge of the property. They stayed 30 years. Sheila loved to cook and bake, a family favourite being her dinner buns. She enjoyed gardening, reading, crosswords and spending time on the computer, having been an early adopter of the technology. Sheila was a storyteller, had a penchant for lists, and she and George spent many happy times hiking and camping in B.C., Alberta and beyond. Despite having thought she didn't care for cats, Sheila learned otherwise when she finally allowed a kitten to come to live with the family once she and George owned their own home. Sheila was smitten; for the next 45 years she and George always had one or more cats in the house. Sheila had just moved to Somerset House, but despite enjoying the meals and amenities she found it too much of a pampered lifestyle for her. She was happy and very much looking forward to moving to a lovely cottage with her own garden just up the street from her daughter. Sheila's influence, wit, strength and support will be missed. She was so proud of her family, especially that all of her grandchildren have achieved, or are in the process of completing their degrees or doing something they love. Predeceased by dearest husband George, parents John and Alice, sisters Eileen and Barbara, and grandson Benjamin. Survived by daughters, Karen and Alison; grandchildren, Joy, Rachel, Logan, Elizabeth, Lucas and Zoe; great grandson, Connor; sister, Molly, sister-in-law Louisa; nieces and nephews and Zeke the cat. Natural interment with graveside service at 1:00 p.m. Friday July 26, 2013 at Woodlands in Royal Oak Burial Park, celebration of her life immediately following (3:30 p.m.) - 32 Pilot Street, Victoria B.C.
Published in The Times Colonist from July 26 to July 27, 2013