September 17, 1927 – April 9, 2020
Obituary / Memories and Tributes / Photos / Videos of Funeral
Doris McKirdy (nee Lebans) was born in High Prairie, Alberta, on Sept 17, 1927. She was the fifth of seven children born to Nathaniel (Slim) and Catherine Arabelle Lebans. The family, like many others in the 1930s, knew economic hardship and sometimes hunger. In 1934 the family moved to the Lower Mainland/Vancouver area.
In her late teens, most of the family moved to Valemount. Towards the end of WWII, Slim was cutting and milling pit props – poles that were shipped to England to prop up mines. Doris helped her sister Margaret cook for the camp. Eventually Doris met Jim McKirdy, who drove truck and hauled for Slim when he came back from the armed service.
After six months of nurses training, Doris quit to marry Jim. They bought the MacDonald Farm and launched their “dream” lifestyle. Doris was energetic and confident in her new skills of milking cows, gardening and all the tasks expected of a rural wife and mother in the 1940s/ 50s.
She birthed six children and then continued to provide a home for other children and folk in need. She found service work fulfilling, as well as gardening, providing exceptional meals and hospitality.
In Doris’ later years, she focused on the care of her handicapped foster child, Nichola, while running a B&B, and hiring and training her grandchildren. She also became passionate about her flower garden.
In the last 10 years of life, Doris suffered from dementia. A heart-felt thank you to those who helped with her care. She was pre-deceased by Jim, in 2014.
Doris did find peace before she died and gifted us with a peaceful passage. Thank you to McBride hospital staff who facilitated our time with her, especially in her last days. Doris leaves a legacy of children, a many grand children and great grandchildren. Her beautiful flower garden lives on.
Remembering Doris McKirdy obituary in the Rocky Mountain Goat
Memories and Tributes
Impressions and Memories: my Valemount history by Doris McKirdy
(written for the Yellowhead Pass and Its People book)
Reflections on Mom’s life by Ann McKirdy-Carson
Snapshots of my mother by Laurel McKirdy
Laugh and love by Carlie Kearns
From city to country by Glennie McKirdy
Now I get it by Kazuko Hiroe
More than a job by Sherine Poulsen