October 27, 2020
With heavy hearts, we say goodbye to our Mother, Bessie Dobi, who passed peacefully at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, after suffering a stroke in mid-September.
A brave and resilient matriarch, Mum lead our family through this life after the sudden and much too early passing of her beloved, our father Joseph, in 1983.
Much loved by her children David (Christy), Jeff , Joanne, Elizabeth (Geoff ), and Sarolta (Ross); Grinch to Amanda (Tyler), Christopher, Alexander, Nicholas, Morgan and Kyle; Anmar to Sydney (Alejandro) and Ben (Shelby); Great Grandmother to Anthony and Olivia; and Bisabuela to the little soul arriving in December – we were loved beyond reason and worried about in equal measure.
Her gifts to us were many. She was a passionate, smart, tenacious, stubborn, independent, loving one-of-a-kind woman – and she passed on these traits, in varying degrees, to each of us.
Born in Elsecar, England, to Doris and Ben, Bessie met, then married, and then honeymooned to Canada with Joe, the country they chose to make their permanent home.
Mum always remained a Yorkshire rose (and a British citizen), with a piece of her heart at home with her family – late sisters Ida, Phyllis, Gladys and Connie, her brother Ron (Marjorie); much-adored nieces Marilyn (David), Kathryn (Michael), Angela (Eric), Martine (Mick), Lesley (Wyn), nephews Charles (Fiona) and Andrew (Lija), and all the wonderful cousins, their children, and their partners.
Mum and Dad settled in Saskatchew an where Mum put her teacher training to the test – in a one-room school house on the Prairie. They continued moving across Canada, from Prince Rupert, Prince George, Greenwood, and finally to Summerland where we spent our fortunate childhoods playing in the lake, orchards, fields and flumes, and finding all kinds of mischief for which we were (mostly) forgiven.
Mum and Dad joined other passionate tennis-playing Summerlanders who were instrumental in the establishment of the Summerland Racquets Club in Lower Summerland. Today, the courts bear our father’s name and the Greenwood Cup, an event initially sponsored by the family business, Greenwood Forest Products, is still held each summer.
Mum loved animals, especially dogs (obedient and they don’t talk back). Our menagerie included a cat, a number of gerbils, a couple of rabbits, a horse, and a whole pack of dogs — most notably, Friday, who was her constant companion after Dad’s passing.
An avid traveller, Mum loved her family trips to Hawaii, and her adventures to Australia, Portugal, Italy, and Hungary with Sarolta and Ross. In 2017, we adventured to ‘The Homelands’ of Hungary and England – everyone assuming it would be her last International trip. But, she surprised us all when she, Sarolta, and Ross visited Spain in February/March this year. She needed to see for herself the country one of her grandchildren has chosen to call home.
A couple of years ago, Mum moved from the Okanagan to Vancouver to be closer to family, where she lived first with Sarolta and Ross and then, hoping to regain some independence, taking an apartment at Cedar Springs Retirement Residence in North Vancouver.
As life’s pace slowed, we would often find Mum in her favourite chair at Cedar Springs with her iPad, scrolling and tapping away with her stylus, in search of the
latest news on any and all topics, most notably politics, which she loved to discuss. Along with requisite daily scans of the Globe & Mail and Vancouver Sun websites, she checked in frequently with the Summerland Review – always one eye on the hometown.
Mum requested that there be no funeral or service. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mum’s memory can be made to PADS (Pacific Assistance Dogs Society), or to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC.
A loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, an avid reader, a world traveller, a terrible gardener, a wonderful cook – especially all things Hungarian – Mum’s most impactful skill was that of holding us together (even if we resisted). She is the glue that has kept our family together. Mum was a master of the written word, so it seems fitting to close with three words from Robert Frost about life… “It goes on”. We will press on and endeavour to make our Mum proud.Obituary
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