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Doreen Angela (Hilda Eileen Angala Bursaw) Melsness

July 23, 2023

September 23, 1922 - July 23, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with sadness, that we announce the passing of Doreen who has bravely moved to the next chapter of her 100-year story. A strong, intelligent, respected woman of the Comox community, Doreen has lived a vivacious yet subtle life.
Born in 1922 in Milden, Saskatchewan, to Charles Bursaw Jr. and Hattie Way. She grew up farming with her two sisters. She later applied and was offered a job to be a Federal civil servant in Ottawa with the Canadian Navy. This is where she met her husband Del who was with the RCAF. They married in 1945 and moved west to Regina where they had the first identical twins in the area; Don and Dean. They later moved to Ottawa growing their family to four with the addition of daughters Della & Darlene. They would move to Edmonton and finally retire to Vancouver Island in the late seventies enjoying the beautiful Comox Valley.
Doreen worked as a public servant in several roles throughout her life. She joined the Hospital Auxiliary at St Joseph's Hospital in Comox setting up and running The Cottage Thrift Shop starting the popular annual 'Collectables' sale. She was honoured for her decades of service with the Auxiliary receiving the Sister Pat Macaulay Merit Award when she was ninety-three. Doreen travelled the world with Del, absorbing countless cultures and traditions in her later years; but always gave back to her local community.
There are few words that can describe the strength of Doreen's character and level of wit, intellect, and style. Her strong memory held traditions, customs, stories, current affairs, and layers of history. She was the matriarch of the family keeping all of us united through food and story. Doreen had a relentless curiosity to understand, learn, and grow with the latest trends in each of the generations she experienced.
Her mind kept consistently active; cooking new or traditional Norwegian dishes; reading countless books and print; playing Bridge and cribbage; learning modern technology; and being actively involved in all her children's and grandchildren's lives. She was a fantastic gardener and kind friend, and always took the stairs. Most people who knew her would say that they have never met anyone quite like her. And despite all the accolades she receives, she would humbly deflect any attention.
Predeceased by her husband Del and two sisters. Missing her dearly are her four children; Don (Coleen), Dean (Barbara), Della (Bill), and Darlene (Roger); her eight grandchildren Jenn (Luke), Chris (Amanda), Kelly, Pam (Mike), Robert, Angela (Richard), Keith (Katelyne), Sonja (Ben); and her nine great-grandchildren Soraya, Sloane, Rose, Andrew, Emma, Claire, Hailey, Kallie, & Khloe; along with many nieces and nephews across Canada.
The enormous void that Doreen leaves is filled with an overwhelming sense of privilege of having had such an amazing human in our lives for so long.
At the request of Doreen, she would prefer that each of us celebrate her life in our own unique way. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation
The family would like to say a special thank you to the nursing staff and health care team at Comox Valley Hospital Ward 3A for their kindness and care, and to Donna and the team at Stevenson Place.

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