Dorothy Adair was always dressed very elegantly. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dorothy Adair was always dressed very elegantly. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Dorothy Adair had planned to visit Scotland for a wedding in May. At 106 years of age.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, that trip didn’t happen, which would have been remarkable for someone of her age, and there won’t be another opportunity for the beloved Chemainus resident to go again. She died last Wednesday after spending a week in the hospital following a stroke on Canada Day.

Adair was obviously one of the oldest persons on Vancouver Island and in the entire province, but requests for exact records to confirm those details have not yet been answered.

Related: Chemainus woman sets a new standard for 106-year-olds

Adair only moved to Chemainus from Ontario two years ago at 104.

“In a very short period of time, she always used to brag to her friends in Ontario how nice the people of Chemainus were, how welcoming they were,” said nephew Jim Chisholm of Saltair, who works as the Band Administrator for the Penelakut Tribe.

Adair, who still lived on her own, made a point of frequenting the Chemainus 55+ Activity Centre where she was almost twice as old as the minimum required for membership.

“She just loved that group of people,” said Chisholm.

Among her admirers from the centre was George Robson.

“She had an incredible memory,” he indicated. “Her mental capacity didn’t seem to deteriorate with age.

Related: Adair a newcomer to Chemainus at 104 years old

“She’d come to the centre and do the rounds. She’d go from one end to the other and stop at just about everybody and say a few words. She was always upbeat and she was always cheerful and everyone was really fond of her.”

Robson added Adair always looked like she just stepped out of a bandbox, immaculately dressed.

“She was very dignified in the sense she wouldn’t go out to dinner without dressing up,” said Chisholm. “Her dignity was very important to her.”

Adair was like Norm on Cheers. Everybody knew her name from her visits to the hairdresser, the bank, the pharmacy or to get her nails done.

She had a total knee replacement in Ontario at the age of 103 before moving west.

Adair’s last two birthdays were celebrated at the Activity Centre, with nearly 70 people in attendance for a luncheon in February. Her birthdate is Feb. 11.

“I’m very happy about the food,” Adair said at the time. “I really thought it was wonderful.”

As for the turnout, it was “more than I thought,” she added. “We brought plates for 60 and they ran out.”

Chisholm said a graveside service will be held for Adair in Atwood, Ontario on July 24 and she’ll be buried alongside her husband Joseph, who died 30 years ago. The couple never had any children.

“She was the most generous and giving person I ever met,” said Chisholm. “She was very good to a lot of people. She did everything to make it a better world than what she came into.

“Obviously, we’re sad to lose her. Real testament to the people of Chemainus. They made her life better.”

Chisholm praised Dr. Jim Broere and staff at Cowichan District Hospital for making her final days as comfortable as possible.

Adair and her husband were both long-time educators. She had a 39-year teaching career before retiring in her late 50s, and the couple traveled extensively during their years together, stepping onto every continent except Antarctica.

Adair’s obvious intellect might be one factor to account for her longevity, but she said there was no indication of it in her family history.

“I never dreamed of anything like that,” she conceded in a prior interview.

“People seem to be living longer, I don’t know what’s the answer.”

Adair once said people referred to her as ‘Amazing’ so often that “I’m going to change my name to Grace.”

Community

 

Dorothy Adair with the Chisholm boys on her 106th birthday – Brodie, Jim and Bucky. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dorothy Adair with the Chisholm boys on her 106th birthday – Brodie, Jim and Bucky. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Brodie Chisholm enjoys a moment with Dorothy Adair. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Brodie Chisholm enjoys a moment with Dorothy Adair. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dorothy Adair checks out the cake selection for her 106th birthday, alongside Ruth Schiller. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dorothy Adair checks out the cake selection for her 106th birthday, alongside Ruth Schiller. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

While recovering several items reported stolen from the set of a Netflix movie in early April, West Shore RCMP also seized drugs and drug trafficking items from a Colwood residence last week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Electronics, credit cards taken from Neflix set found in Colwood home

West Shore RCMP seize stolen items, drugs, trafficking materials

An elderly man having a medical emergency in Mount Douglas Park on May 13 was rescued by firefighters and paramedics with the help of ATVs. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Rescue team uses ATVs get man in medical distress out of Saanich park and to hospital

Cedarhill Road closed as firefighters, paramedics rescue man in Mount Douglas Park

Pathfinders and Wild Wise Sooke built slim, black bat houses to be hung around Sooke. (Submitted/Wild Wise Sooke)
Sooke teens build bat condos

Wild Wise Sooke says bats will sleep, hibernate and raise their young in the boxes

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read