Doris Maki

May 19, 2020


It was with profound sadness, that we said good-bye to our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Doris Maki.  Mom slipped away peacefully in the early morning hours of May 19, 2020, while a patient of the LWDH Transitional Care Unit at Pinecrest Home.  Born in Yorkton, SK, on June 4, 1930, during the dirty thirties, to James and Ida Walsh, she was 15 days shy of her 90th birthday.  She was the youngest of the four Walsh offspring, and the last of them to go.

In 1947, at the age of 17, she left the prairies with a close girlfriend, and went to Dryden, ON, for a summer job, but never returned to Saskatchewan.

A year after moving to Dryden, she met and fell in love with a sailor who had returned from the war, Royal Canadian Navy, Lawrence (Larry) Maki. 

They were married on April 15, 1950, in Dryden, ON but soon moved to Sudbury, ON for Dad’s work with Ontario Hydro and later to Thunder Bay (Port Arthur), where they started their large family.  They moved to Kenora in 1970 after a further transfer with Ontario Hydro.  They moved to Red Deer, AB, in 1978, where they stayed for about 10 years, before returning to Kenora. 

Doris is survived by her family, Marilyn Maki-Heffernan, Smiths Falls, ON, Michael (Barbara), Brockville, ON, Lauri Morrell (Brock), Keewatin, Leah Morrell (Andy), Keewatin, Bruce (Wendy), Thunder Bay, ON, Jim (Trish), Calgary, AB.

She will be missed by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Brock Morrell Jr. (Danielle, Ryan, Kyle and Madison), Ainslee Campbell (Darin, Devin and Ethan), Amanda Morrell.(Stephane Boulloigne and Alexa), Jennifer Staples (Mark, Dylan and Ethan), Carmen Morrell (Ryan Grant, Emily and Dylan), April Crawford & family, Sean Heffernan, Angele Maki and family, Christopher Maki and family, Paige and Kaitlyn Maki.

Mom is also survived by several nieces and nephews, located across North America.

She was pre-deceased in 2007, by her loving husband, Larry, after almost 57 years of marriage.  Going before her were also her parents, her in-laws, Ernest and Gladys Maki, brothers Jack (Leota), Morley (Irene), and just five months ago, her only sister Maureen Tremblay (Fabian).

She was also pre-deceased by her former son-in-law Jim Heffernan, daughter-in-law Penny Voth, and Bruce’s children, Lindsay and Kyle Maki.  She was the last remaining member of her own family, and was pre-deceased by all of the Maki clan from Redditt, ON.

For much of her life, Doris was a stay-at-home Mom, who had to be extremely resourceful in order to properly feed and clothe such a large family.  Dodie, as she was fondly called, accepted this job and showed much pride in keeping an extremely clean house, (with 6 kids running around) and ensured that we were always clean, well-fed, and well-dressed.  She taught us manners, to do our chores, and always demanded respect for our elders.

She sewed many outfits for all three girls; a budget-wise labour of love.  We were always so proud of the care she took in her appearance, a trait instilled by her own mother.  Sometimes she repurposed a gently pre-used garment, laid out a pattern and made a fashionable new outfit.  That was early day repurposing, for sure.

One of her and Larry’s favourite pastimes was to travel and later on their extended trips to Las Vegas and Laughlin, NV, brought them such pleasure.

With the help of her daughters in town, she was able to maintain her independence until health issues decreed that she could no longer travel and needed more assistance from her children and grandchildren.

She remained in her own home until late November 2019, but was then hospitalized on and off for the next six months.  A great disappointment in her life was that she could not continue to play bridge and visit with her many bridge-playing friends, which she did a few times a week.

Mom was an avid shopper, she loved to fish for pickerel and trout, to knit, to sew, to play cards, and bake—especially her butter tarts—a family favourite.  She was well-known among us for leaving part of her dinner, so that she was able to enjoy dessert.  Life’s too short; eat dessert first!

We would like to thank her family doctor, Dr. Jennifer Wesley, from the Patterson Clinic, and previous family doctor, Lisa Habermehl.  We are grateful to all of the LWDH staff on 2 East, and at the LWDH Transitional Care Unit, at Pinecrest Home.

We’d especially like to thank NP Mike Limerick, nurses and health-care aides, and Dr. Anderson, who took such good care of our mother and endeavoured to keep her comfortable. 

This unit was opened up, as LWDH hospital moved stable patients out of the hospital proper, in order to free up beds that might be needed for COVID-19 patients.  It was heart-warming to see all of these previously empty beds, being put to good use after they had been closed for so many years, by our badly fractured health care system, even though there was always a great ongoing need for them.

We sincerely hope that the large number of casualties over the past few months in seniors’ and long-term care homes are a wake-up call to politicians across our country.  For years now, continual budget cuts have imperiled the most vulnerable members of our population—seniors and veterans alike.  Our forebears who built this great country have largely been neglected and ignored.  It’s great to offer foreign aid but in our opinion only after we’ve taken care of our own citizens.

That being said, the family would like to graciously thank the sadly underpaid and overworked Para med personal service workers for their dedication, compassion, and companionship, in our mother’s time of need.  You know who you are and we really appreciated your assistance, as did Doris, when your tight schedule allowed you to assist her.

In lieu of flowers, we suggest that you take a few minutes of your time, follow health guidelines, and reach out to an elder; give them a virtual hug.  Show them some respect and ask them a question about when they were young.  Listen to their answer and watch their eyes light up, while you are given the opportunity to learn about their past.  You might learn something new today that you didn’t have to search for on your computer.  Pay it forward, since we may all be at that point in our lives someday.

Cremation has taken place.  A private Requiem Mass, where we can social-distance, will be held by Doris’ family.  A family gathering to place her ashes in the columbarium with Larry’s, will take place at an appropriate time this summer.

Rest in Peace, Mom.  We love you and will forever miss you.