Doreen Tamboline

June 13, 1931 – June 11, 2020
Doreen Tamboline was born July 13, 1931 and passed away peacefully, seven days after a massive stroke, on June 11, 2020. Doreen’s love for her family knew no bounds, and she was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Her enthusiasm for life and sense of humor shone through with the twinkle in her eye as she shared her warmth and kindness throughout her 88 years.
Doreen loved to reminisce about growing up as part of the Brandrith family in Tsawwassen, B.C. It was a large and loving family and she was the youngest of four sisters and one of fourteen cousins on the hill who were all best friends. One story she enjoyed telling her great grandchildren was of her tree climbing adventures when she was very young that found her following her cousins to the very top of a huge old cedar, then sliding down the outside along the curvy branches, skirts bedamned!
She married Richard Tamboline in 1951, and they spent the next 69 years together as loving partners, parents and best friends. Doreen’s adventurous spirit allowed their family to have opportunities in many different places. They wound their way from the lower mainland north to Kitimat, east to Montreal, back to Tsawwassen, then to a Kettle Valley ranch, north to Faro in the Yukon, down to the farm on Mayne Island, and finally to Saanichton. Her openness and willingness to embrace new places and people meant she found friends and established a home for her family wherever they went.
Doreen found joy in wild places. Nowhere more so than the Yukon in the 70’s. She went berry picking alongside grizzly bears, gold panning on Bonanza Creek, rubbed elbows with miners and mine owners in the icy winters and set up camp under the midnight sun in the summers. Doreen often spoke of those wild places she loved, bringing them alive for her listener with stories she said were only slightly embellished.
Along with her love of wild places, she had a love of reading, learning and puzzles. Having trained as a teacher at Normal School in the early 1950’s, she returned to SFU in the early 1980’s and achieved her teaching degree. She taught kindergarten and Grade 1 on Mayne Island through the 1980’s and ’90’s. Her young students were gifted with her patience, joy in learning, and openness to being silly and young at heart. She fostered respect, kindness, fairness and a love of nature in the children she taught as well as in her family. She never hesitated to embrace magic and share it with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, whether it was introducing them to a newborn lamb, showing them a secret lady slipper grove or the wonder of turning raw ingredients into something delectable to eat.
Doreen and Rich’s MI Shadwell Farm was an institution on Mayne Island. Whether you stopped in for eggs, flowers, gossip or a safe place to cry Doreen always had a cup of tea, a comfy chair, cookies in the crock and a shoulder ready. She was a fierce and loyal friend (to everyone except the racoons). The smell of her kitchen with its hint of woodsmoke, cinnamon and her soap would comfort the folks that were lucky enough to find their way there. It seemed that she could grow anything, especially beautiful flowers. She had an artist’s eye and arranged bouquets for lucky brides and local businesses while on Mayne. When she moved to Saanichton she put her energy into creating new stunning gardens, directing her children when she wasn’t able to do the digging herself. Once again, she made friends in her new neighborhood through sharing one of her great passions.
Doreen was a woman who loved with every breath and lived in every moment, right up to the day of her stroke. Her legacy of finding beauty and joy even when life brought pain or sadness will live on in the memory of those who knew her. Doreen will be achingly missed by her husband Richard, her children Brian (Elaine), Colin (Joyce), Rob (Anne) and Irene as well as her 9 living grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. The family thanks Dr. Andrea Lewis and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital palliative care team for their care of Doreen in her final days.
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