Dawn Douglas: 1926-2020

Dawn Douglas: 1926-2020

Community marks passage of Dawn Douglas

The community is marking the passage of a Second World War veteran, stock car racer, long-time City of Cranbrook employee and Legion member, and the “Rag Lady” of the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary.

Dawn Douglas died peacefully at home on on Tuesday, July 21, after a lifetime of community involvement in Cranbrook.

“Dawn was well known for her loyalty, dedication and sense of humour,” said Lee Pratt, Mayor of Cranbrook, who first met Dawn when he was a pin-setter at the Cranbrook bowling alley in the 1960s, and she was a champion regional bowler.

“Dawn‘s activities and involvement in our community as an enthusiastic volunteer will be missed. Dawn Douglas was a great testament to a life well lived — I’m sorry to see Cranbrook has lost another great citizen.”

Valencia Dawn Douglas (née Bohmer) was born in Cardston, Alberta, in 1926, but grew up in the Creston Valley, where her large family moved to when she was young.

After attending business college in Trail and taking a job at the bank there, she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Women’s Division when the War broke out. She became a Wireless Operator, with the rank of Leading Aircraft Women, and after training in Ottawa and Montreal was stationed in Pat Bay on Vancouver Island, where she served for the duration of the war.

After the war, Dawn married Bernie Douglas, who worked with the CPR, and they moved to Cranbrook. Bernie was transferred to Revelstoke in 1950, but in 1958, Dawn and Bernie, with a young family of three children, moved back to Cranbrook for good.

Dawn’s love of sports led her to take up stock car racing upon the family’s return to Cranbrook, and she became one of the top drivers at Echo Field Raceway, racing in the Powder Puff Derby for several years until she had a crash, which took out an outbuilding at the field, wrecked her car, and broke her nose. She subsequently took up bowling, and became a regular champion of Kootenay tournaments.

Dawn starting employment with the City of Cranbrook in 1959, and worked with six mayors until her retirement in 1990.

“I know Dawn spent many years working for the city at City Hall, where she warmly greeted and helped everyone she came into contact with,” said Mayor Pratt. “Over the years I saw Dawn volunteering at many different venues representing various organizations. She was always cheerful and pleasant to talk to.”

At age 63, as an Arizona snowbird with her partner Jake Goodman, she took up golf.

As a veteran, Dawn was a long-time member of the Royal Canadian Legion, holding numerous positions in the Ladies Auxiliary, including President. She retired (as Treasurer) only just recently.

“Dawn has been a friend of mine for several years,” said Edith LeClair, President, Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 24. “She was a very efficient Treasurer of the Ladies Auxiliary to our Branch. During our fundraising events, like our Poppy Campaign, you could always find Dawn at Save-On or Safeway with a big smile on her face. She was also a super pie maker and sold lots of them at our Branch functions. She will be dearly missed by all of us.

“Our sincere condolences to all her family.”

Right until her final days, Dawn was an active Life Member of the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary, and logged more than 20 years of volunteer service with the CHCA Thrift Store, where she was known as the “Rag Lady.”

“Her task there was to re-cycle all cotton and terry cloth clothing, not resalable, into cleaning rags, which were sold to businesses throughout the East Kootenay,” said Kate Fox. “During her years at the Auxiliary doing this job, I would hate to take a guess at the amount of money she raised for our East Kootenay Regional Hospital.”

“Dawn was a member of the CHCA for over 20 years and I personally loved her as a person,” said CHCA Vice President Odette Rouse. “She was always laughing, had a beautiful smile and never complained and never a bad word about anyone. She was a great volunteer and will always live in our hearts. I can, without any doubt tell you, that everyone will miss her.

“Our condolences to the family and to her daughter Melanie Dodgson who is our current President of the CHCA. We all share your grief.”

A private celebration of Dawn’s life will be held at a later date, when the family can all be together.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

Cranbrook city hall.
Curbside recycling collection program set for May debut

A residential curbside recycling collection program is expected to begin in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Cranbrook's Donald and Sharleen March won $75,000 in a scratch and win ticket, according to the BC Lottery Corporation.
Cranbrook couple wins $75,000 with scratch ticket

A Cranbrook couple is the recipient of a cool $75,000 from a… Continue reading

Images from yesteryear: The Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, with Joyce Metcalfe standing second from left.
Remembering Joyce Metcalfe, and the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band

Isn’t it amazing when by chance in this huge world of ours, meet outstanding people that greatly influence our lives? One such person was Joyce Metcalfe.

Pictured are Meredith Funston of Cranbrook Food Recovery (left), Shannon Grey Duncan of Kimberley Food Recovery (middle) and Wade Jarvis of Bohemian Spirits (right). The three have teamed up to divert bread from the landfill and turn it into ethanol, which is used to make hand sanitizer. (Corey Bullock file)
Cranbrook, Kimberley organizations team up to turn excess bread into ethanol

Local food recovery programs have teamed up with Bohemian Spirits to keep bread out of the landfill

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read