Obituary of Dolores Paradowski
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dolores Paradowski, longtime resident of the Farmington, British Columbia area, on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Dolores passed away in Dawson Creek, BC, at the age of 80 years.
Dolores Genewive Doonan was born August 16, 1940, in Ravenscrag Saskatchewan. She was welcomed by her parents, Dalton and Norma, and older brother Bill. The family would eventually grow to a grand total of 10 children.
When Dolores was 3 years old, the family moved to New Westminster, B.C. where they were closer to Norma’s Mother, Grandma Ion. Her father worked at the Buckersfield fertilizer plant, but the family didn’t stay in BC for long. By the time Dolores was 5 they were moving back to North Battleford, Saskatchewan and 7 years later the family moved to Dawson Creek where Dalt’s widowed sister Belle lived and had a farm. Dolores remembers travelling in the back of the old grain truck amidst all their earthly belongings, with her siblings sitting/sleeping on mattresses travelling to their new home.
Dolores attended school in Dawson Creek but like many youngsters of her generation she eventually quit to help support the family. Her job was being a live-in babysitter for families in town. She particularly enjoyed working for the Schraeders. She often told the story of being able to save up enough money to buy a lovely dresser set that she used her entire life. Great Granddaughter Josie is now the proud owner of those dressers.
Dalton and Norma Doonan moved their family in to a neighbourhood in Farmington just a couple of miles from the Paradowski Farm. Dolores and her siblings would often make their way to the farm to get milk and visit. Soon young Ernie Paradowski started walking Dolores home. This was the beginning of 58 + years together. Dolores recalls many fun evenings driving around in Ernie’s black Ford truck with her friend Babs Smalley in tow.
On November 6, 1959, Ernie and Dolores sealed the deal and were married at the United Church in Dawson Creek. After the wedding, Ernie and Dolores lived in Clayhurst helping Ernie’s Uncle, Mike Slowinski on his farm. In the spring of 1960 Ernie started building a house on the quarter just west of his parent’s place. This became Dolores’ home sweet home for 59 years.
On November 8, 1960; Almost exactly 1 year after the wedding, Michael William was born. Ernie was away working, and it was up to Ernie’s cousin Bill Trynchuk to get Dolores to the hospital. When Bonnie Lorraine arrived on November 15, 1962, Ernie was home and HE did the driving. He always said they almost delivered Bonnie on the train tracks west of town, so he declared that when it was time for Pauline to be born in December of 1968, Dolores would be staying in town with her sister Florence-close to the hospital.
Dolores was busy with the many tasks that farm wives performed. There was no electricity down Hillcrest Road. Laundry was washed in a gas-powered wringer washer and dried on what we would call today an “environmentally friendly clothes dryer” ... aka the clothesline. Whether it was 20 above or 20 below diapers needed to be dried. All meals were cooked, and bread was baked with the woodstove, which was one of the sources of heat for the house. And of course, there was no running water, so water was dipped from the dugout or snow was melted for all the household needs. Dishes were washed in a dishpan, usually on the side of the woodstove to help keep the water warm. Trips to the outhouse were made in all sorts of weather. Dolores never complained about everyday life in the Peace Country.
Twice a day Dolores made the trek down to Bill and Ella’s to milk cows and help with chores. She also cared for her own coop of chickens at home. She took good care of those chickens. They were a source of eggs and meat for her family. She even shot a chicken hawk out of a tree close to the coop. I don’t know who was more surprised when she actually hit and killed it, Ernie or the hawk. Though it needed to be done, butchering day was not a favourite for Dolores as she plucked and cleaned the chicks she had raised.
Dolores and her mother-in -law Ella were great friends and companions. Buckets of wild strawberries, saskatoons, and cranberries were picked, then canned or jammed for the year ahead. Cows were milked and the milk was separated and taken to town in cream cans to be sold to local customers. They also delivered to the local NADP dairy station down 17th street. Every year at least one teacher would call Dolores and ask if one of her kids could bring cream to school so the class could make butter. And speaking of making butter, I am sure that tons of butter was churned by her family members over the years. Dolores always had a big vegetable garden, and each fall her kids would look forward to a pot of Bortsch or her creamed potatoes with fresh dill and green onions. If you did not have the chance to taste those potatoes, you really missed out on something special.
Ernie and Dolores always had people stopping by and they would be promptly served tea and cookies. Her gingersnaps and jumbo raisin cookies were always hidden away somewhere. Dolores enjoyed visiting with family and neighbours. Nieces and nephews always knew that auntie would have a treat for them, Theresa remembers fresh bread or homemade doughnuts when they were visiting.
Dolores was a want to be world traveller, Ernie wouldn’t leave the farm, so she had to organize trips on her own. She took the kids to Whitehorse via the Greyhound bus to visit her siblings who lived there. She and Ella loaded up the old Rambler and took the kids to Vegreville, Innisfail and Edmonton to see where Ella had grown up. Mike probably would’ve rather stayed home, and he wasn’t driving yet, but thank goodness he was along as navigator because Dolores did not have any sense of direction and they could’ve ended up in Saskatchewan or Manitoba without him.
She always flew to wherever Bonnie and Dale lived as each of their children were born, and even surprised Bonnie one Christmas when she came to spend the holidays with them. She had many a road trip with whomever she could plan one with and it was always best if she was the passenger, never the driver.
It was a great day for Dolores when her children married and then the grandkids started coming. Practically every 2 years a new pair of pj’s would be added to the long list of Christmas jammies that would be sewn on her Singer machine. She loved shopping for just the right flannel pattern for each child.
Each one of her children owes Dolores a great debt of gratitude for always being available to help out with their children, as she often put aside plans she may have had to look after the grandkids.
I asked all the kids and grandkids about their fondest memory of Gramma and though it may be hard to believe...it was not a unanimous answer of GINGER SNAPS, though that was included in quite a few! Many of them did include a treat or food of some kind specifically rhubarb crisp, chocolate cake and her chocolate chip cookies which were only released at harvest. Playing cards or crib at the kitchen table was always a hit. Dolores. When she would laugh you couldn’t even hear a sound coming from her. Her face would turn rosy, with tears running down her cheeks and a smile so big her eyes couldn’t even open. You couldn’t help but laugh along. Drinking tea at the kitchen table and you never left the house without a tight squeeze hug. Dolores was there doing what she always did... unselfishly loving her family.
Dolores always had a knitting or crocheting project on the go and many relatives and friends received a handmade doily or tablecloth as a gift. She had a greeting card tucked away for any occasion and would always find time in her day to drop it off so that you would be remembered on your special day. Dolores loved the Lord and loved her Salvation Army friends and church family. She spent years volunteering at the 3 local senior’s homes bringing a short church service and hymn sing to the residents each week. First Rotary Manor in the morning, then out to Pouce Hospital and finally Peace Haven. Dolores was proud to study the material and become part of the League of Mercy in the Salvation Army Corps of Dawson Creek.
Retirement allowed Ernie and Dolores to spend a lot more time together. In fact, it wasn’t unusual to see them out for a Sunday drive whether it be Tuesday or Friday. They often made circle trips and one of the most common was Dawson Creek to Rycroft, turn north and head to Heinz Creek and then back to FSJ, and down the Alaska Hwy to home. Sometimes they switched it up and cut through Clayhurst and Rolla. And if they were driving by family they would stop in and visit, always bringing a treat. If we weren’t home, we always knew they had stopped by because there would be chips or candy hiding in the BBQ.
Ernie and Dolores often went out for a meal. They knew who ate at Lee’s, Meng Fan and the Lodge. But one of the things that they loved to do most was visit the Wallace’s. Countless times Pauline would get a phone call from Dolores that would begin with, “Well your Dad and I went to see Robbie and Babs last night.” Dolores valued that friendship greatly and we are so glad that Robert is here today with us.
It is safe to say that this eulogy only skims the surface of Dolores’ life. When Ernie passed away in 2018, Dolores tried her best to stay living at the farm, but dementia and her loss of mobility made it necessary for her to move to town. We cleaned her house discovering what things were important to her. Old greeting cards from weddings, funerals, and other occasions, signed by folks who have long since passed away. School work from her children and grandchildren, letters written to her from her aunts and grandma, memorial cards from funerals of their friends and family. We learned that Dolores’ life was about relationships and the value she put on each person who crossed her path. That was our grandma, our mom, and our friend. That was our Dolores.
A Memorial Service will be held for Dolores at The Farmington Hall on Friday, August 20, 2021 at 1:00pm. The family invites you to join them for tea and cookies following the service. For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Dolores to Salvation Army Community and Family Services, 1436 104 Ave, Dawson Creek, BC, V1G 4H9 or the Rotary Manor Activity Fund 1121-90 Avenue, Dawson Creek, British Columbia V1G 5A3
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium
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