It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, Dorothy Irene (Becker) Hayes, on Saturday, July 20, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Dorothy was born the first of three children on May 17, 1926 in Fort Frances, Ont. to the late Hosea and Lillian (Carter) Becker.
Dorothy leaves to mourn her daughter, Sharolyn; sons, Shawn (Evlyn), Mark, Forrest, and Todd (Judy) Hayes, and honourary son, Dale Smith; grandchildren, Tanya (Kelly) Cunningham, Chad (Celine), Kristen (Cory), Brittany (Chris), Cale, and Connor Hayes; and great-grandchildren, Daniel, Rachel, Hannah, and Andrew Cunningham, Chloe and Caden Hayes, and Deegan Van Alstyne.
Also surviving is her darling sister, Willa Chernaski; special cousin and friend, Virginia Cousineau; sisters-in-law, Aileen Ryan, Gladys Hughes, Maxine (Jim) Lamb, Isla Hayes, and Carol Becker; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends.
Dorothy was predeceased by her parents, Hosea and Lillian (Carter) Becker; devoted husband, Allan Hayes; brother, Glen Becker; and brother-in-law, Breck Chernaski.
Dot grew up in McIrvine, and told us many stories of her days as a student at the McIrvine School in the west end of town.
She attended Fort Frances High School, and later was employed for a time at Stedman’s store in Fort Frances, as a book keeper for the Co-op, and also spent a few of her summers working away at a tourist camp in Nestor Falls.
Dorothy loved dancing, and would walk all the way to the east end of town with Virginia to attend tap dancing lessons as a young lady. It was at a McIrvine dance that she first met her loving husband, Allan Sydney Hayes.
They were united in marriage on Jan. 23, 1945 in Fort Frances.
Al and Dorothy began their family in 1947, welcoming five children: Sharolyn, Shawn, Mark, Forrest, and Todd.
Dorothy was an amazing cook and a fabulous baker. The grandkids always rushed over as soon as they heard Grandma had a pot of her special macaroni on the stove. She always could be counted on to have some fresh baking on the counter, and was the maker of the world’s best strawberry-rhubarb jam.
She also was always ready with a pot of coffee, a plate of cookies, and an open door to anybody who happened to stop by for a visit—and you never left Dorothy Hayes’ house hungry.
She loved working out in her garden, and always kept many pots of beautiful flowers in and around her home. She enjoyed her morning cup of coffee out on her deck with her children, Sharolyn and Forrest, and spent many happy hours gazing out her patio doors from the table, watching the birds she always kept so well-fed.
Dorothy liked to shop, and always looked forward to her town trips with her mother, her sister, Willa, her daughter, Sharolyn, and, later, her granddaughters.
She talked most every single day on the phone with Willa, catching up on the latest news and discussing what they had seen on the “Dr. Oz” show, “Dateline,” or many of the other programs they enjoyed watching.
They weren’t only sisters, but the best of friends.
Dot absolutely adored being at the lake and would be ready and eager with a cooler full of sandwiches and goodies for the boat at the mention of the possibility of a fishing trip—well, maybe not immediately ready . . . but she’d get there.
She positively loved to fish and always looked forward to that fresh feed of walleye from Boffin or Wasaw, or later up at Perch Lake, where she and Al owned their cabin. Many happy and hilarious memories were made there with family, friends, and, of course, the neighbours.
Dorothy was a kind, sweet woman who loved and prized her family above all else. She was a member of the Bluebird Society, and also adored listening to music and singing along with the radio.
She was proud of her home in Miscampbell Township, and cherished her time spent with friends and neighbours. She will be forever loved and deeply missed.
A memorial service for this remarkable woman will be held Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion in Fort Frances, with Jeff Plett officiating.
The honourary pallbearers will be Dorothy’s grandchildren, Tanya, Chad, Kristen, Brittany, Cale, and Connor.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to St. Joseph’s Care Group, Medically Complex Services (2 North), Box 3251, 35 Algoma St. N., Thunder Bay, Ont., P7B 5G7.