Doreen Desson

Doreen Desson

In Loving Memory

Doreen Desson

1919 – 2013

Long-time Kitimat resident, Doreen Desson, died peacefully at age 94 on Monday, June 24, in Ottawa, Ontario. Predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Jim, in 2008, and by sister Eleanor and brother Clarence, Doreen is survived by her sons, Ken (Lisa) and Lorne, and by grandchildren, Rhys and Rae, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Doreen was born in Victoria, B.C., on March 20, 1919, but grew up in Calgary, Alberta, where she enrolled in the Holy Cross Hospital School of Nursing, graduating as an RN in 1943. Doreen’s nursing career spanned 43 years, beginning as a surgical ward nurse in Calgary, then moving to the emergency ward of the Edmonton General Hospital, and finally to emergency room and maternity care nursing at the Kitimat General Hospital. When Doreen began her nursing career, antibiotics were still years away from widespread use and serious illnesses such as pneumonia were treated with fresh air and mustard plasters. By the time she retired, marvels such as organ transplants, MRIs, and a huge pharmacy of wonder drugs had transformed health care.

Doreen moved from Calgary to Kitimat with her husband and son, Ken, in 1956. Her second son, Lorne, was born in Kitimat in 1958. Kitimat was a brand new town at that time, created out of northwest B.C. wilderness by Alcan in the early 1950s. Jim and Doreen helped to build the community by participating actively in the Anglican Church, service clubs, and community events. They moved from Kitimat to Ottawa in 2000 to be close to their grandchildren.

Doreen will be laid to rest in her family’s burial plot in Ross Bay Cemetery, Victoria, B.C.

Messages of condolence can be sent to the family at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Holy Cross Alumnae, 2 Sandarac Circle NW, Calgary, Alberta, T3K 3G7.

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