Doreen Pope

Baptized Mary Doreen, Doreen was born in Vancouver, the eldest daughter of S.D. Harold and A.A. Arthena Pope and the grand-daughter of Dr. S.D. Pope, who was instrumental in the establishment of the public education system of British Columbia. She died 26 December, 2009 at Hospice House. She is survived by her sister, Audrey, and many cousins.

Doreen attended schools in Golden, Merritt and Courtenay before attending U.B.C. She graduated from VGH School of Nursing with her R.N. in 1949 and from UBC with her B.A. Sc. In 1950. Later, she obtained her B.A. from U. Vic. She was a consummate nurse, insatiably curious and aware that excellence in nursing begins with attention to small details. Her career included V.O.N., Community Health Nursing in Vernon in the 1960’s, in Victoria and in Burns Lake. She also taught obstetrics at Royal Jubilee Hospital and St. Joseph’s School of Nursing at Victoria General Hospital in Victoria.

A peripatetic traveler, she traveled often to Europe; her first trip was to London in 1953 for the Coronation where she worked in public health in the East End. She traveled to Montreal to study obstetrics and she also worked at 4 Fighter Wing, Canadian Air Base in Germany. Her many trips included Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America and she did not ignore her homeland, traveling with her father to Fort St. James where Harold Pope had taught in 1910 as a very young man. They also traveled across Canada and throughout the Maritimes.

An art lover and intellectual, Doreen collected and kept friends throughout her life. She enjoyed entertaining stories and because of her diverse experiences, she did not need to use exaggeration or hyperbole to make them interesting. She was fiercely loyal to her friends.

Conscious that she had lived a privileged life, she tried to do her best and to give service to others through her work. Toward the end of her life, she waged a heroic battle with ovarian cancer with which she lived for almost 7 years. And she did live with it; gardening, lawn bowling, Scottish Country Dancing, playing Bridge, attending concerts, plays and symphony concerts. She had been an avid skier and a happy golfer before the cancer.

She was appreciative of Dr. Johnson and the staff at the Cancer Clinic at Vernon Jubilee Hospital as well as the many health professionals in Vernon who helped her over the years and, towards the end the staff of the Community Long Term/Palliative Care team and Hospice House here in Vernon. Donations may be made in her memory to B.C. Cancer Foundation for Ovarian Cancer research or to the Vernon SPCA. A Memorial Service will be held in the spring.