Cover photo for Dorothy Aileen McCullough's Obituary
Dorothy Aileen McCullough Profile Photo
1928 Dorothy 2023

Dorothy Aileen McCullough

January 5, 1928 — December 23, 2023

Bracebridge

In Loving Memory of Dorothy Aileen McCullough (nee Lindquist)

 

Dorothy peacefully passed away in her sleep early on the morning of Saturday December 23rd.  She had fallen at home Thursday morning, fracturing her right hip and died at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital while waiting to go for her surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie.

 

Predeceased by her husband, Herbert (Herb) and eldest son, Lawrence (Larry) and survived by sons Guy, Robert and Wayne and daughter Heather Vitigglio (Marco).  Fondly remembered by Larry's wife Margaret.  Grandmother to Larry's Michael and Matthew, Robert's Christopher, Samantha and Michelle, Wayne's Kelly and Christopher and Heather's Adam and Matthew.  Great grandmother to Samantha's Micheal and Michelle's Ellie.

 

Born in Toronto, Dorothy was the youngest of five and the daughter of the late Harold and Thelma Marie Lindquist.  Her older siblings, sisters Francis Greenslade and Cletea Kozma and brothers John and Andee Lindquist, all predeceased her.

 

As a young, free-spirited school age girl, Dorothy enjoyed participating in track and field and baseball at Rose Avenue Public School and with her neighbourhood friends at the local empty lot.  At a very young age the self-reliant Dorothy took responsibility for raising herself establishing her own set of values and standards and learned quickly what it took to be a good person and what was required to live a good life.

 

As a teenager, one of her first employment opportunities as she ventured into the work force was with Lipton's Tea, where she met her good friend Anna Thompson (nee Bailey), who to this day continued to maintain contact with her.  Other employment opportunities were with Eaton's and Household Finance.

 

Dorothy and Herbert McCullough were married on June 29th in 1946 at St. Simon's Anglican Church in Toronto.  Dorothy lived a full and active life commencing at their 'Cabbage Town' home at Number One Hillcrest Avenue in Toronto.  This is where their four boys, Larry, Guy, Robert, and Wayne were born and when they moved to their home at 452 Ruth Avenue in Willowdale, a very rural location in 1954, their last child and only daughter, Heather completed the family picture.  Dorothy and Herbert made an amazing, hardworking team, wanting and providing for their children what they never had growing up in the Toronto working class.  They practiced recycling and conservation long before it became the environmentally correct thing to do.  Dorothy and Herbert always managed to find ways to make birthday celebrations special, Christmastimes memorable and summer vacations full of adventure.

 

Dorothy volunteered with many auxiliary organizations in a supportive role for activities her children participated in - Cubs and Scouts, Brownies, public school, and the church Sunday school.  In addition to this busy schedule, she made time to be an Avon representative for the Willowdale area and later as a salesperson at the GEM department store in Thornhill and lastly as a cashier at the Canadian Tire store at Finch and Yonge and at the new store when it moved to Yonge and Steeles. 

 

She assisted with the creation and maintenance of the family backyard rink at Ruth which was a magnet for the neighbourhood hockey enthusiasts.  It was not uncommon to see both parents involved in a game of shinny with the children.  When the boys became more involved with organized hockey and Herbert was convalescing from his knee surgery, Dorothy was often the chauffeur to early morning practices, most notably for Wayne's early Sunday morning practices in Woodbridge.

 

Dorothy continued to impart her caring and nurturing approach to her children as they ventured into married life and commenced their own families.  She lived for the well-being of all her family members and patiently taught them how to be considerate, thoughtful, and understanding of others and how to survive and live a good life.  Everyone was expected to pitch in with the household and garden chores. 

 

Over the years Dorothy and Herbert introduced several cats and dogs into their family.  Notably two tortoise shell felines, Casey and Tammy and three canines, Kim, a purebred Beagle and Sunshine, a Lab and German shepherd mix that lived with them at Ruth and a Golden retriever, Kalleigh, who was Dorothy's most recent canine companion in her Bracebridge home.

 

In 1967 Dorothy and Herbert purchased property on Fowke (Spring) Lake and built their cottage.  This soon became the family destination and focus throughout the four seasons.  The newfound cottage life involved making new friends of the lake community, long adventurous walks, all the typical water activities and appreciation of the playful antics of the loons on the lake and the hummingbirds at the colourful flowers in her deck planters.  Also, we cannot forget the sharing of all the 'cottage chores' which come with owning a family cottage.

 

After the passing of Herbert in 1995, her life partner for almost 50 years, Dorothy maintained a daily journal and these volumes, yes there are many, are now her legacy and cherished keepsakes.  Other favourite pastimes included listening to her CD collection, reading the large print books from the Bracebridge Library, a need resulting from the onset of macular degeneration, but she was still able to maintain careful surveillance for frequent visitors like wild turkeys, deer, bear, coyotes and fox to her property and the variety of songbirds that flitted amongst the nearby tree branches.

 

She definitely shared her appreciation for the splendor of a morning sunrise and the 'fire in the sky' evening sunsets.  Dorothy also had a passion for watching the IIFH Junior Tournament from Boxing Day to January 5th at which time she would celebrate her birthday and the tournament championship match, hoping either her Team Canada or Team Sweden would be playing for the gold. 

 

Philanthropy has been a focus over the years.  She has been an annual contributor to the War Amputations of Canada to honour Herbert, a wounded World War Two veteran.  Since the passing of Larry, Dorothy has also contributed to the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation several times each year to honour Larry and to show her appreciation for the health care she received from the Bracebridge and Huntsville hospitals.

 

The passing of her eldest son Larry in 2013 was a huge emotional setback and may have triggered her heart attack in 2014 and the need of a pacemaker. She was accepting but not fond of the limitations that aging brought with it.  In the past few years, she finally acquiesced to the need for using her cane to get around but steadfastly refused to use her new walker.

 

Earlier this March, while getting up from the sofa, Dorothy lost her balance and fell breaking a bone in her left wrist at which time she received her first ever cast.  In November of 2023 Dorothy received a new 'power pack' for her pacemaker and was informed that she was good to go for another ten years.  This as we know was not to be.  Dorothy lived the good life and lived it well.  She will be remembered for her bright smile, warm hugs, and her forever loving heart.

 

Remember to appreciate and cherish every moment you get to share with your loved ones.

 

Following Dorothy’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private gathering will take place later this year.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to the War Amputations of Canada https://donate.waramps.ca/eforms.aspx?edonate or the South Muskoka Hospital Foundation https://www.healthmuskoka.ca/ or a charity of your choice.

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