Obituary of Doreen Foss
With great sorrow, the family of Doreen Foss is deeply saddened to announce her passing on November 23, 2023 at the age of 94 years young. Doreen spent her early years in Prince Albert proudly cherishing her Saskatchewan heritage and relishing the moniker of a “stubble jumper.” In the early 1940’s, her family relocated to Fort William before settling in Schreiber situated on the shores of Lake Superior. It was in Schreiber where she and her sister Lorraine worked as “call girls” for the CPR responsible for summoning train crews.
It was in this small town that she crossed paths with her future husband Herb who was an OPP officer. Their initial encounter occurred when Herb was investigating a traffic accident. Doreen, along with a crowd of onlookers, was intrigued and perhaps a bit too close for comfort as she observed Herb performing his duties. His first words to her were “Step back young man, you’re too close!” Apparently, he was later able to discern she wasn’t a boy and the romance began.
Doreen and Herb embarked on their lifelong journey together when they tied the knot on April 16th, 1948. Herb’s career took them on an adventure that spanned the globe. After departing the OPP, Herb assumed the role of town policeman in various northern Ontario locales. He eventually made a significant transition to become an Air Force Policeman in the RCAF. This career path led them to reside in eight different locations including a four-year posting in Germany. Doreen wholeheartedly embraced the military lifestyle and relished the opportunities it presented for travel. During their time in Germany, she was the impetus and organizer of many vacations to neighboring European countries adding rich experiences for the family.
Doreen was a loving and devoted Mother who was actively involved in her children's lives. She routinely attended school and sports events and could be counted on to pitch in at every opportunity. One year in North Bay, Jeff was an official at a provincial secondary school wrestling tournament held at his school. The tournament organizers were short of billets for the out-of-town teams, but knew they could approach Mrs. Foss for assistance even though her son was not on the wrestling team. As a result, five visiting wrestlers enjoyed the hospitality Mrs. Foss was known for! Mrs. Foss readily opened her home and heart to her children’s friends often having extra kids at the table for a meal or simply hanging out at the house even though her own kids were not home! She was a surrogate Mom to so many and she was cherished and loved by all of them.
Following their military service, Doreen and Herb embarked on a series of transitions. They initially relocated to Terrace Bay ON where they managed the Norwood Motel for two years. Subsequently, they returned to southern Ontario ultimately finding their permanent residence in Ottawa. However, in 2011, they made a move to Halifax to be near their four beloved Grandchildren. Tragically, Herb passed away shortly after their relocation to Halifax. Despite her loss, Doreen made the decision to remain in Halifax close to her children and grandchildren. Throughout her life and regardless of her place of residence, Doreen was consistently drawn back to her roots in northern Ontario making numerous visits over the years to Schreiber, Terrace Bay and White Sand Lake to reunite with her cherished family and friends.
As a military spouse, Doreen enthusiastically participated in all aspects of military life. She was an active member of the Warrant Officer & Sergeant’s Mess attending numerous social events and serving in various roles on the Mess Committee including President. Doreen was the consummate hostess and was noted for her enjoyable and entertaining parties at her home. She also served as a confidant and stand-in Mom to many young Military Policemen who were far from home for the first time. Her genuine interest and care in support of these young men left a lasting and cherished impact, a testament to her enduring kindness that endures to this day.
Doreen had a wide range of interests with a special passion for curling. She held every position on various curling club executives and served as President too many times to count. She excelled at the sport and won many club championships. While stationed in Germany, she skipped her team to the 4 Wing Base Championship. Doreen then went on to win the very prestigious Air Division Women’s Curling Championship as the best team among the four Canadian military bases in Germany and France. Her love of curling continued throughout her life and she was an ardent fan of the Scotties, the Brier and the world championships with many a post on their FaceBook pages.
FaceBook was Doreen’s window into the world facilitating regular connections with family and friends. It also provided her with the means to renew friendships with folks she had lost contact with over the years. Doreen became quite prolific on FaceBook and was very liberal with her use of likes and emojis as many will attest. The highest recorded number of Doreen Foss emojis is reported to be 54 in one short message!
Settling into a life of retirement, Doreen was devoted to her children. And then the Grandchildren came along and there was a clear shift in focus! Nathan, Tyler, Amanda and Matthew were showered with affection, love and attention…for a good period of time. And then Charlee and Skyais were welcomed into the family and, once again, there was another rather significant shift in focus! Gramma Dodo adored and cherished her great Grandchildren. Charlee for the longest time called her Gramma GoGo and Doreen revelled in her name! It was abundantly clear that for Doreen, the world revolved around them and their presence brought her immeasurable happiness.
Throughout her life and frequent moves, Doreen formed countless friendships that will be cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Her enduring legacy will be her unwavering commitment to enhancing the lives of those she touched with her kind, considerate and caring nature consistently going above and beyond to make a difference.
A devoted Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, Doreen will be lovingly remembered by her children and their spouses Jeffrey Foss and Dawn Delaney; Lori-Kyle and Lyle Herod; Grandchildren Nathan Foss, Tyler Herod, Amanda Foss and Matthew Foss; Great Grandchildren Charlee and Skyais Foss.
Doreen was predeceased by her husband Herbert Foss, her brother Gary Harper and her parents Esther and Stewart Harper. She is survived by her sister Lorraine Weaver, her brother Barry and Brenda Harper as well as numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews.
We would like to thank the members of the Palliative Care Team who cared for our Mother so well at home. Our thanks go to Moncia Finn, Dr Anne Marie Krueger-Naug and Clare Belliveau. We would also like to thank the Staff of the Victoria General Hospital palliative care unit who cared for her so well.
Please celebrate Doreen Foss’ memory in your own way or celebrate her life by donating to a cancer-related or favorite charity. We know that she will be with us in spirit. Your understanding and support during this very difficult time are greatly appreciated.
Doreen’s final resting place will be with her beloved husband, Herbert, at the National Military Cemetery, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa ON K1L 8A6. To honor our Mother’s very specific and final wishes, there will be a celebration of life. The date she has chosen is April 16th, 2024 to coincide with her wedding anniversary and the interment of her husband in 2012. We extend an invitation to family and friends to join us on this occasion.
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