August 15, 1927 – August 27, 2019
Dorothy Christine Aalhus was the second child born to John and Esther (Holmes) Dockeray in Maryport, Cumbria, England, arriving 7 years after her only brother Alan. From a young age Dorothy excelled at dance (ballet, tap, ballroom) and academics, reading by age 3. She grew up on a farm in England during the war years, where hard work and strength of character became ingrained. Through scholarships, she attained a teaching degree (geography, Latin, French) initially teaching for a year in Port Kells BC, returning to England, and then emigrating to Canada in 1951, to pursue further adventure in the developing Peace River country of BC. While teaching at a Grade 1-8 one-room school at Sunrise-Two Rivers, she met her future husband Sten Aalhus, and they married in 1954. Together they homesteaded a successful, beautiful but isolated grain farm, while raising three children, all chronicled through prodigious and entertaining letters to family and friends. Following Sten’s untimely death in 1992, she moved in 1996 to Lacombe, AB enjoying 20 independent years of family, friends, pets, books, letters, crosswords, gardening, and keeping up with world events, especially politics and sports. Despite many health challenges, she was always ‘fine’, endearing herself with many medical professionals, including those at Royal Oak who provided supportive living over the last two years. Dorothy will be lovingly remembered by her children, Christine, Jennifer (Ross Pettibone) and Andreas (Carolyn Hubbard) and grandchildren Luke Mather, Mica and Glen Pettibone, Matias, Analiese, Mikaila and Kate Aalhus; extended Aalhus, Holmes and Dockeray families, and many close friends and their families, in Canada and England. She had a lifelong love of animals, never meeting a dog she didn’t love; if people wish, a donation can be made in her honour to a local animal shelter. At Dorothy’s request there will be no funeral.
“There was a little girl, who had an auburn curl, right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good, she was very, very good…and Dorothy was!”