Doreen Wheeler, nee Watson passed peacefully, on Monday, October 11, 2021, at Huntsville District Memorial Hospital, Huntsville, in her 79th year, after a short acute illness. Predeceased by her husband, John, her sister, Betty Ann Sawyer, and her parents Alice (Smith) & Hap Watson of Baysville. Survived by her children, Catherine Vanclieaf (Dale) of Baysville, Robert Wheeler (Shannon) of Angus, and Susan Riemer (Mike) of Cookstown. Dear grandmother of Scott (Emily), Rebecca (Jordan), Craig (Kristen), and Brad (Nicole). Great-grandmother to Myla. Beloved aunt of Michael Wheeler, Nicole Wright and Carrie Burns.
Doreen was born in Baysville, Ontario, on Dec 30, 1941. She attended school in Baysville, and Bracebridge High School. As one of two daughters of Alice and Hap, she was a very successful hunter. She was part of the Baysville Pipe Band, playing around the region in parades and contests.
Doreen met John on one of his visits to his aunt on Echo Lake and married the love of her life in 1959. She worked for a short time at Sterling Drugs in Aurora, but with the arrival of the first baby, began her most accomplished and successful role as a mother. As a mother, she loved her children unconditionally, but ensured that they all had careers, and could stand on their own two feet. Her most important message was “To thine own self be true”, but also “if you don’t have anything good to say, then keep quiet!” The family home until 1988 was in Aurora, where her family were raised, but her love was Baysville. Her weekend and summer cottage on Dickie Lake, soon became their beloved retirement home in 1988, and she was back “home” where she wanted to be.
During her life her contributions included being everyone’s favourite “Brown Owl” in Brownies, to Girl Guide Commissioner. She was the President of the Baysville Curling Club for a few years and enjoyed various roles in stewardship of the Dickie Lake Cottagers Association and supporting seniors in the community. Doreen loved her dogs and horses, and the time and energy that she put into her obedience dog trials, and Bracebridge musical rides with her horses was tremendous. There was no horse that she wouldn’t ride, she was a skilled and beautiful equestrian. She was also an accomplished artist, with oil paintings of Muskoka scenery, hung proudly in homes around the world. These paintings are now treasured by her family. Her other loves included curling. She was an accomplished curler and developed deep lasting ties of friendship with the club members. She was a daunting skip when on the other team, but when she was your skip, you knew you were in good hands. She was always there to support the new curlers, give advice or tell you what shot you should have made. She was nicknamed Skippy and lived up to the honour. She loved playing euchre and bid euchre with the seniors and always made opportunities when family was together to get the cards out. She is known across both the family and the community for her spaghetti sauce and her carrot cake. Everyone was well fed by Doreen.
Doreen’s personality was generous and kind. Her ready smile was known to all. The family has enjoyed the tributes that have poured in, that recognize her for the beautiful happy lady that she was. Doreen could make a friend on a crowded elevator of strangers, with a big smile and personal acknowledgment. As one friend said, “her smile could light up a room!” Her smile was sincere, and her heart was always open. She had an indomitable spirit and a beautiful soul. She couldn’t pass a patch of grass, without bending over, and always finding herself a four leafed clover.
The family will receive friends at the Reynolds Funeral Home “Turner Chapel” in Bracebridge, on Friday, October 15th, 2021, from 2:00pm to 4:00 pm. Please RSVP a timeslot below. A graveside service will be held in the Baysville Community Cemetery at 11:30am on October 17th, 2021. In memory, the family would appreciate donations to the Huntsville Hospital foundation. Donations can be arranged through Reynolds Funeral Home.
***Please RSVP to your desired time slot below***