Shirley Hoodles (nee Donkin)

July 20, 1935 – November 9, 2020
It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Shirley Hoodless (nee Donkin). Loving grandmother of Olivia and Hongsamee. Loving mother of Mark, Pamela and David. Loving mother-in-law of Hyunji and Tim. But mostly loving wife of Ian.

Born July 20th, 1935, in Sunderland, County of Durham, England, Shirley was the baby of the family. She was loved and doted on by brother Alf, sisters Elsie, Margaret, and Norma, mother Margaret, and father Alfred. She grew up during the deprivation of wartime rations which possibly contributed to her love of, almost obsession with, chocolate often cheerfully declaring “I’m a chocoholic”. She loved her Purdy’s.

She started her teaching career in her hometown but, shortly after meeting and marrying the PhD of her dreams, she was whisked off to Ottawa, Canada. It was a time of excitement and happiness that left a lasting impression on both.

After returning to Britain and a particularly fruitful time in Glasgow, Shirley and family settled in Chestfield near Canterbury in Kent. She resumed teaching at Swalecliffe Community Primary School. But the call of Canada was too strong to be ignored. They relocated to Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1970.

With her passion for teaching and love of helping people, Shirley volunteered at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital helping mentally disabled teens and adults learn to live more independent and satisfying lives. From there she taught special education and grade three for the Catholic School Board until her retirement.

In 2001, the move was made to British Columbia to be near the children or, maybe it was the 31 Thunder Bay winters they endured. Shirley and Ian settled in South Surrey. As usual Shirley made friends quickly joining Newcomers, book and bridge clubs.

Throughout her life, Shirley was an avid swimmer attaining proud membership in the 1000 km swim club. She was on her way for a swim when her life changed forever. A sudden pain in the chest. A major emergency surgery. A fight to recover. Eventual peace.

Anyone who met her at once perceived the kindness and love in her heart. She will be greatly missed by all her family and friends. Her wish was for everyone to remember her as she truly was “tall, slim, with curly hair.”

Her ashes will be interred at Victory Memorial Park Funeral Centre. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA.

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