Doris Blythe Shipmaker
February 28, 2023
Doris Blythe Shipmaker passed away peacefully at the Salmon Arm Hospital on February 28, 2023, at the age of 98.
Born in Vancouver, B.C. on January 24, 1925, Doris was the only child of Frank and Blythe Gibbs.
Entering school as an eager 6-year-old, Doris discovered the joy of learning, and education would become a main part of her life, both personally and professionally. After graduation from John Oliver High School, she won a scholarship to UBC with the third highest marks in BC. Following one year there, she did a year of teacher training at Vancouver Normal School.
In 1944, at the age of 19, she boarded an overnight steam train from Vancouver to Revelstoke, then another the next day to Arrowhead at the head of the Arrow Lakes. From there she got on the sternwheel steamboat, Minto, and took the trip down the lake to Edgewood where she began her teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse.
It was in Edgewood that she met Henry Shipmaker, who introduced her to the forests which would become her favourite part of the world, specifically around Whatshan Lake. They were married in 1947 and had three sons, Earl, Alan, and Ian.
In 1961 the family relocated to Grindrod, BC, where Doris continued to teach, first in Grandview Bench Elementary School and then in Grindrod Elementary. Whenever possible she would be outside camping, hiking, or canoeing.
In 1976 Henry died suddenly from a massive heart attack at the age of 54, throwing Doris into a new normal. She stayed in the family home with Earl and Irene and cared for her grandsons for several years before moving into Enderby proper in 1990. During this time, she spent many happy times touring BC in her camperized van with various friends.
She retired from teaching in 1982 but was rarely idle. She spent 20 years volunteering for almost every organization Enderby had, including Twice But Nice, Enderby & District Museum, the Arts Council, Drill Hall Committee and Meals on Wheels. Very active in St. Andrew’s United Church, she filled many positions and sang in the choir until she was 87 years old. She loved her garden, music, traveling, and drove her own car until she willingly gave up her drivers’ license in her 95th year.
Family and friends were very important to Doris and she will be missed. She is survived by her sons Earl (Irene), Alan (Hilda), Ian (Gerty), her grandchildren Donovan, Raymond, Chad, Stefan, Jesse, Carly (Daniel), her great-grandchildren Emery, Jason, Maisie, and her cousin Cameron Hart. She was predeceased by her mother and father, husband Henry Shipmaker, and grandson Nathan Shipmaker.
A service of remembrance will be held on Saturday, March 18, at 11 am at St. Andrew’s United Church in Enderby with a lunch to follow at the Enderby Seniors’ Center.
Arrangements entrusted to
Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services
Condolences may be expressed to the family by phone or email through Cypress Funeral & Cremation Services:
Lake Country Location – P: 250-766-4400 / E: [email protected]
Vernon Location – P: 250-558-0866 / E: [email protected]
Armstrong Location – P: 250-546-7237 / [email protected]