Dorothy Wharram

Dorothy (Varley) Wharram

July 25, 1922 ~ February 12, 2008


Dorothy passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family.

Predeceased by her mother Dora Barnes, stepfather Edgar Barnes, cousin Eileen Simmons, Aunt Olive Banks Gordon, mother-in-law Dorothy Wharram and sister-in-law June Hayler. Dorothy is survived by her loving husband Stephen, daughter Susan (Paul Jespersen) Wharram, Courtenay, son Peter (Tracy) Wharram, Union Bay, grandchildren Alexandria Wharram, London, England, Sarah Michael Wharram, Union Bay, Valerie (Tyler) Kroot, Campbell River, Michael Jespersen, Fort St. John; great-grandson Colton Kroot, Campbell River. Niece and goddaughter Elizabeth (Graham) Bragg, England; great-niece Victoria (David) Davies, England, great-nephew Andrew (Sarah) Bragg, England, great great niece Rachel Davies, England, cousin Sheila (Allan) French, England. Goddaughter Sheila (Ryan) Lamperson, Parksville. Extended family, Carol Livingstone, Victoria; Stacey, Dave and Lauren Awalt, Victoria.

Dorothy was born in Otley, Yorkshire, England, only child to Dora and Herbert Varley. Dorothy was raised on a farm at Regent House, Starbeck, Harrogate, England with her mother Dora and stepfather Edgar Barnes. Dorothy finished school and immediately joined the Auxiliary Territory Service (ATS) and was stationed for the most part at a branch of the war office in Brighton, England, 1942-1946. Dorothy made and lost many friends during the war. Those that survived became lifelong friends.

After the war in 1946 Dorothy attended Keighly College secretarial school. After completion she worked at the Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Food, in Harrogate, England. it was in Harrograte where she met and married Stephen Wharram on November 9, 1949. They resided and worked in Bradford and Sheffield, England before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada in 1954. While in Vancouver Dorothy worked as a secretary at Johnson Terminals. They moved to the Comox Valley in September of 1954.

Dorothy worked as the office secretary for Courtenay Sr. High from 1954 until they started their family in 1959. Dorothy and Stephen adopted two children, Susan Alexandria followed 18 months later by Peter William.

Dorothy was actively involved in many groups in the Comox Valley. St. John the Divine Anglican Church Ladies Guild, Sunday School, The ACW and the Mother’s Union; Kiwassa, and Meals on Wheels just to name a few. Her love of art and painting drew her to be involved in the early stages of the Pearl Ellis Art Gallery.

Dorothy loved to paint, read, knit, do needlework and bake. She especially like to walk and had many favourite spots in the Comox Valley. Her passion for bridge and socializing with her friends led her to be a founding member of the Wednesday Night Ladies Bridge Group, which has been active for over 46 years.

What was more important to Dorothy was her family. She took great love and pride in looking after her children and grandchildren, supporting them in their many activities. She was also a devoted and loving wife who was happy to “stand by his side”. Dorothy was a great friend to many and was always ready to lend a supporting hand or a shoulder to cry on, “I am at my best when I am needed”. She loved to clip and collect “words of wisdom” from articles, the bible or wherever she came across them.

Dorothy was a firm believer in “life is what you make of it” and she made a great deal of hers. Dorothy a very special and amazing “Lady”, wife, mother and Gags will live in our happy memories and be missed by all those she came in contact with.

Funeral services to be held on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 at 2 pm, at the Church of St. John the Divine, 579-5th Street, Courtenay.

Donations may be made in Dorothy’s name to the BC Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.