Doreen was born January 3, 1932 to Maxwell H. Brown (1988) and Ruby E. Stinson (1991).
The story was often told how there was so much snow that Max almost couldn’t get Ruby to the Nichols Hospital in Peterborough for the delivery.
When Ruby returned home with her baby girl, the snow had melted causing flooding everywhere.
Doreen was raised In the Donegal community of Asphodel Township.
While she learned her immaculate housekeeping and cooking skills from her mother, she was also expected to pitch in with the chores around the farm.
A 10-year old Doreen was fully capable of driving Max’s W4 International Harvester tractor as well as cutting all the lawns with an old push mower! Doreen attended S.S. 7. Donegal Public School and Norwood High School.
In 1951 she made the big move to Peterborough to study in the Special Commercial Program at PCVS.
She was certainly the hip, young career woman sharing an apartment at the YWCA with a girlfriend and attending dances at Club Aragon, the Brookside Pavilion and the Brock Street Ballroom. Attending these dances proved to be very fortuitous. In 1953, while at a Junior Farmers’ Dance, she met an ambitious red-headed mechanic from A.C Curtis International Harvester Farm Equipment Dealership, Norman Blodgett of Otonabee Township.
She and Norman were married on October 29, 1955. Doreen and Norman made their first home in an upstairs apartment at 297 McDonnel Street. Doreen worked as an IBM keypunch operator at the Quaker Oats.
She often remarked how she knew where every grain elevator in Canada was located.
In 1959 Doreen and Norman purchased the family home in Douro Township, which would eventually be addressed as 1053 Armour Road. Doreen devoted herself to raising her children Peter, Scott (Keith Hambly) and Elizabeth (Craig Horsley), and her greatest pride and joy came from their accomplishments.
The saying goes that “behind every successful man is a woman”. It was incredibly true in Norman’s case.
Norman bought Darling Insurance in 1973 and Doreen was a supportive full partner in, what would be a very well respected and prosperous business. She often said: “Norm looks after the business, I look after the house”; and nobody challenged her authority regarding the house and home.
Doreen loved her piano and was a gifted musician. If you ever heard her play her favourite gospel music, that was all from ear. She could naturally chord right along with any old- time fiddle reel. When she was living at PRHC, after succumbing to a stroke, she played the piano for the Sunday worship services, as long as she was able.
At Fairhaven she was a proud voice in the residents’ choir. She loved her gardens and decorating her home but most of all Doreen loved to bake. It is highly doubtful any of us will ever eat a finer piece of apple pie. Doreen could always be counted on to provide a cake for any celebratory event. Doreen had a keen interest in all current events from royal weddings to political debates to celebrity murder trials and was thrilled when CNN and 24-hour news became available!
Doreen was a most loving “Gramma” to Victoria (Ryan Nicholas), Jeffrey Blodgett and Ross and Maxwell Horsley.
She is survived by her brother Orland (Irma) and sisters-in-law: Jean Meiklejohn (Andrew, 2013), Mary Stillman (Jim), Molly Blodgett (Ronald, 2003), and Barbara Blodgett (John, 2010). She was predeceased by Norman’s parents Arthur (1990) and Margaret Blodgett (2003) and brother and sister-in-law Gordon (2016) and Ruth (1997) Blodgett. Also, and never ever forgotten, infant daughter Angela Margaret (1969).
Visitation will take place at the Comstock-Kaye Life Celebration Centre on Friday, March 9th, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. In the spirit of Doreen’s reputation as a gracious hostess, there will be a “Celebration of Life” on Saturday, March 10th at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club, from 2-4 p.m. with a formal program of “Tributes and Memories” beginning at 2:30.
Please join the family to share cake and memories.