Doreen Schell was born in Estevan Saskatchewan on June 24, 1929. She was the fifth of six children, growing up on a large wheat farm in southeast Saskatchewan. At a very young age Doreen showed her natural skill and lifelong love; cooking for large crews where food was often the only pay for depression era workers. She left home as a young woman, moving to Regina where she trained as a nurse. On completion, she was offered a scholarship for further education in Boston. At the same time she met the love of her life, Jim Doyle, a handsome young pilot, stationed in Regina. They went on an incredible journey!
Married in 1952 the family very quickly expanded: Mary (Tim), Joan (John), Ruth (Bill), Jim (Wenda), Brian (Karen), Bernie, Gregory (deceased), Tom and Bob. Jim was often flying, but somehow Doreen found time to garden, sew, play the piano, learn to swim and drive, and, most importantly, keep her large family well fed with delicious and nourishing meals. There were usually 10 (or more) for every dinner. With five boys, her nurse training was in great demand! Throughout all those years, Doreen’s calm, sensible approach to life never wavered. Her love for Jim was strong and each of the children felt a unique bond with her. After a 20 year lapse, Doreen returned to nursing and became much in demand both at BC Children’s Hospital and later in a residential care home. She inspired her daughter and two granddaughters to also become nurses. All this time she continued to efficiently run the large family home. There was lots of love.
Travel with Jim was a great joy and they had many trips around the world. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren came along. Doreen had a special relationship with all of them, but also the many nieces and nephews and their children. She remained close to her siblings, especially her older sister, Kay.
It is hard to imagine this accomplished person facing adversity but she did so with dignity and grace. The death of an infant son, a diagnosis of MS 30 years ago and the loss of Jim three years ago were difficult for sure, but she carried on, remaining the beautiful, gentle, independent person throughout. Serious health changes early this year plus the pandemic were her last challenges but with the loving care of Ruth and her family, she fully lived the last months of her life. She was able to see and interact with her extended loving family and remained bright and witty to the very end, passing while holding hands with her daughter.
Words cannot convey what she meant to so many, but we are all gratified that she was such an important part of so many lives. She will long be loved and remembered.
No flowers please – donations to the charity of your choice.
It was with sadness that we learned of Doreen’s passing. On behalf of the RGNH Grads, please accept our heartfelt condolences.
With Sincere Sympathy,
Linda Bachman ( on behalf of the RGNN Alumnae)
Remembering my grandmother
We would like to send our condolences to Aunt Doreens family and Aunt Kay and Uncle Lloyd
She was a great lady and will be remembered by all who knew her
Jim & Annetta
I am sorry to hear of Aunt Doreen.I will miss her very much.Loved her a lot.Condolences to all my cousins,Aunt Kay & Uncle Lloyd.
Wayne & Debra Schell
Our condolences to the Doyle family, Aunt Kay and Uncle Lloyd. She will be greatly missed.
So sorry to hear of Auntie Doreen’s passing – it sounds as though she had the ending most of us would desire – at home, with family, surrounded by love. Condolences to all the cousins, especially Jim.
We really enjoyed our friendship with Doreen and Jim when they lived in Sidney – such a caring, lovely couple!
Our condolences to the family, especially Donna and Cathy.
Gene & Helene Dizy
Dear Jim & Wenda,
We share you loss . This is such a hard time to undergo such sadness. You know we understand & our
hearts are with you both & the family. Love to you both.
Warren & Olga Smith
Jim, a beautiful
Tribute to a wonderful lady , wife, mother grandmother and dried. You were all lucky to have had her for so many yrs, Warren and I send our sincere condolences to you and Wenda. 🙏
Uncle Jim and Family,
Your mother sounds so lovely. What an accomplished life and inspiration!
Thinking of you all during this time. Xoxo
Love, Jasmin (Wenda’s niece)
Your Mother was and is an inspiration to so many including myself. She was a person that you totally relaxed with, enjoyed her company immensely and felt love emanating from her presence. She will be dearly missed but she lives on in her children, grandchildren and friends.
Thinking of both you and Wenda. Love Andrea
Marion Gordon (Reynolds)
So sorry to hear of the loss of your mom, grandma, friend. She was an amazing woman. Hope she’s enjoying a great reception in heaven.
Sorry to hear about Aunt Doreen. Our thoughts are with the family, Aunt Kay & Uncle Lloyd.
Bob, Braylee & Aiden
My sincere condolences to Jim, Wenda and all the daughters, sons and the in-laws of Doreen and the nieces, nephews; Doreen was a gem, she touch my life in a very special way!
My deepest comforting thoughts to you all during this difficult time!
Doreen always impressed me as the perfect example of a mother of a large family. There was always a sense of everyone pulling their weight and just helping out where needed. I’m sure those lovely qualities will serve you all well in the years ahead.As you travel on without her presence.
We loved having you as neighbours on Glencanyom
Don & Marlene Wilson
Reading about Doreen’s life brought back many happy memories of the years Jim and Doreen were our next door neighbours at Waterside on Marine Drive. Regretfully, we lost touch while they lived in Sidney. We send our condolences to the family as they remember a life well lived.
Don & Marlene Wilson
In this time of no-service of remembrance, we are pleased to be able to share this slide show of Doreen’s life. She lived a remarkable life, full of family and positive spirit. I feel lucky to have had her as my mother-in-law. Tim Frewer
Click here to view.
(Feel free to contact me if any difficulty accessing this link at [email protected])