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Born: Nov 03, 1924

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A long life well lived. The last of her generation, Dorothy died at the age of 98. She was born in Brandon on November 3, 1924, the youngest of four surviving children and the only girl. Her father Maurice Cole died suddenly when she was one year old. Seven years later when her mother, Barbara, married George Schaf, a widower, Dorothy gained an older stepsister and brother. The family immediately moved to the North End of Winnipeg where Dorothy not only grew up but lived all her life.
The family was able to weather the Depression and Dorothy completed her education attending Ralph Brown, Faraday and St. John's High (where she learned Morse Code). While attending high school she worked at a drug store soda fountain which was frequented by the local young people including her boyfriend, Alfred (Alf) Knoll. She got in trouble for giving him extra ice cream in his milkshakes!
The day after Dorothy's 18th birthday, Alf enlisted in the R.C.A.F. The romance continued by mail while Dorothy worked to support the war effort. When Alf returned from overseas on a short leave in October 1944, Dorothy married the handsome Pilot Officer. They delivered their wedding invitations by bicycle because there was not enough time to put them in them mail. Obviously, some planning took place before Alf came home because Dorothy had a beautiful wedding dress that she kept for her entire life.
Early in 1945 Alf left the Air Force due to illness. He became a contractor and built their house on Bannerman and Parr where Dorothy was fortunate to live for 65 years. In the early years with first one, then two and then three children and a dog, Dorothy was busy with family, school, community and church activities. The neighbourhood children were the same age and it was safe to open the door and tell the kids to go out and play, so Dorothy was able to maintain a spotless home. She loved to cook. She learned German cooking from her mother and mother-in-law, Ukrainian cooking from the neighbours, and Jewish and Chinese cooking at evening classes at the local schools. She was also an excellent baker. When she took classes in cake decorating, her baking reached a whole new level. Her nieces loved her baking and were always amazed when Dorothy's own kids didn't think it was anything special. Dorothy also loved gardening (especially roses) and knitting. Some of her sweaters and scarves are still being worn by family members today. One sweater that Dorothy knitted for her granddaughter is now being worn by her great-granddaughter.
Dorothy decided to rejoin the workforce in the late 1960s when Alf became ill. Her neighbour helped her get a job at Diane's Wedding Gowns where she was able to work in the evenings. In 1972 another neighbour encouraged her to take a position at the Unemployment Insurance Commission where she worked for more than 14 years.
In 1976 when Alf died, Dorothy began a new chapter of her life with more than three decades of travel and new adventures. She was on her way to Disney World when Elvis died so she stopped in Memphis to visit the cemetery and Graceland. With Barbara and Ed she vacationed in nine different Caribbean Islands, Western Canada and the Canary Islands. With various relatives she visited Hawaii and Jamaica and toured England, Germany, Alaska, Quebec, the Maritimes and the States.
At the age of 85 she realized that the house was too much for her and she began the next chapter of her life. She moved to an apartment and still enjoyed cooking meals for herself, friends and family. Her daughter-in-law Chris and her granddaughter Dana honoured her by publishing a cookbook with her favourite recipes. During the seven years she lived in her apartment she completed hundreds of jigsaw puzzles, often finishing them at 2:00 a.m. when she couldn't sleep. She refused to break up a completed puzzle until a family member came to see it. "Sundays with Dorothy" meant dinner at a restaurant of her choosing and some gaming at the casino. She especially enjoyed being driven through the various areas of the North End where she would point out where everyone had lived and where she used to walk. Dorothy had never learned to drive.
Dorothy was blessed with excellent mental well-being all of her life. In June of this year she fell and was hospitalized. She stayed overnight but insisted on leaving the next day just in time to go directly to Faraday School in a wheelchair to attend their Centennial Celebration where she was being honoured as the oldest alumna.
She occasionally expressed regret that living a long life meant missing so many people who were such a large part of her life. Church was also important to her. She was a member of Redeemer Lutheran and then Christ Lutheran. Both churches closed during her lifetime. She attended the Luther Home Chapel while living in her apartment and while at River Ridge she was happy that she could attend a Lutheran service once a month led by Pastor Lynne Hutchinson from St. Luke's Zion. When Covid confined her to her suite she watched two church services on television every Sunday morning.
Dorothy was fiercely independent and did not like having to use a walker to get around and having to rely on others for shopping and appointments. She appreciated the support of Home Care Workers who enabled her to remain in assisted living, especially Lisa, Kuljit and Home Care Nurse Palomar.
Dorothy will be remembered by her daughter Barbara (Bern), son Bobby (Kathy), daughter-in-law Christine, granddaughter Dana (Colin) and great-granddaughter Brooke, as well as nieces and nephews and their families. Her oldest son Garry died in 2012.
Mom liked to compare herself to the Queen. When the queen died mom said, "She was a good Queen." Dorothy was a good" mommie", mother, grandma and great-grandma.
A celebration of Dorothy's life will be held on Friday, December 2, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, 3030 Notre Dame Avenue.
If you wish to honour Dorothy's life please consider a donation to your church, Main Street Project or the Winnipeg Humane Society.


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 26, 2022

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • I was saddened to hear of Dorothy's passing. I still have fond memories of hanging out at the house on Bannerman with Bob and our mutual friends, watching movies and listening to music (loud) downstairs till all hours of the morning. Anyone else would have chased us out with a broom (and rightly so) but instead Mrs. Knoll always made us feel welcome, brought us snacks and home made cookies. She was a very kind woman. Deepest condolences to you and your family Bob. You were lucky to have her with you for so many years. - Posted by: Blair Mattison (Old friend) on: Dec 10, 2022

  • Dorothy was my godmother. My fondest memory is of a red dress she gave me one year for my birthday. I loved that dress. Auntie Dorothy was an amazing baker. I have several of her recipes and I can’t make ribs or a Black Forest torte without thinking of her. After my own mother passed away, I still kept in contact with her, sending cards and visiting whenever I was back home in Winnipeg. We would chat about the trips she had taken, the puzzle she was working on, and the concerts she had attended. Thank you, Auntie Dorothy, for years of having another mother. I am so grateful for our long chats on the phone (which always ended in tears) and the love you gave to me. With love, Merle - Posted by: Merle Moroz Zbrog (God daughter) on: Nov 28, 2022

  • What an amazing life. A strong, independent woman who raised a strong, independent daughter. What a blessing. Sorry for the loss of your mother, Barbara. - Posted by: Sandra Britten (Friend ) on: Nov 26, 2022

  • Dorothy was a co-worker of mine at Unemployment Insurance in the 80s. She sat behind me and shared many stories of her family and beloved husband. Her sons Bob and Gary and Barbara too. I was younger when we worked together (now I am 66) and she was so kind and patient and funny. Dorothy was funny. After any big occasion such as xmas or thanksgiving or birthdays she would bring in to work a whole dinner with all the fixings for us. This is what changed my whole thinking on what the xmas dinner should be. I never had a cabbage roll or cabbage bun until I tasted hers. I asked her for all her recipies as much as I could get haha. And to this very day I still have them all. I have handwritten or typed at work recipies of her cabbage buns and almond crescents and tortes. She would tell me how to make them. I feel she was instrumental in giving me a love for cooking. One day Dorothy came to work and mentioned she had a long table that she used to roll out pastry on that she wanted to sell that was in her basement. Immediately I called my mom because we were a family of 8-10 at out family dinner gatherings. My mom said yes we would love to buy it. My husband went over to Dorothy's house and picked it up. From there we ate at that table til my mother passed in 2002. Of course that table had to come to my house. We don't eat on the table because I had my own by then but I still own it and it is now in my basement. Dorothy was sweet and sometimes shy (I just remember her blushing a lot) and extremely giving. I liked that she didn't ever keep a recipe to herself she shared willingly and if she ever had a recipe book I would be the first to line up and purchase it. Truly Thank you Dorothy, and I am so grateful for your long and healthy life way into your 90s. Someone knew you were an asset to have around. I think of you every Xmas and occasion when I pull out the recipe box. Your truly Pamela Lachance - Posted by: Pamela Lachance (co-worker) on: Nov 26, 2022

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

Neil Bardal Inc. (Winnipeg)

3030 Notre Dame Ave (Map)
Ph: 2049492200 | Visit Website

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