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Walter D. Kelly Life Celebration Centre

1969 Wyandotte Street East, Windsor, ON

OBITUARY

Dorothy Candace Peters

December 31, 1924May 23, 2020
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Passed Away peacefully at the age of 95 years at Chateau Park Long Term Care Home on May 23, 2020.

She will be greatly missed by her loving children Sandra (Wayne Knight), Douglas (Rita Vanschyndel), Colleen (Antonio Cardillo), Doreen (David Bloomfield 2014) and Brenda (Patrick Sprague 2018). Predeceased by her husband Stanley Peters (2013) and daughter Cheryl Collins (2000). Dear daughter of the late Alexander Raymond Harnden and Margaret Clara Blain and brothers Ronald John Harnden and Duncan David Harnden. Dorothy was a proud grandmother to 18 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.

Dorothy and Stanley enjoyed road trips throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as, spending time at home and special occasions with family and friends. Much thanks and appreciation to the nurses and staff of Chateau Park Long Term Care Home who made her last days easier to bear. Dorothy will always be remembered for her unconditional loving heart, kindness and her fudge.

A live video stream of the service will be played on our facebook page. Please follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/249016491808728/live/

Services

  • Private Family Services are being held

Memories

Dorothy Candace Peters

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Terry McGee

May 27, 2020

My truest most sincere condolences to all the family. She Was one of my most favorite people in this whole world ! She shined like the sun everyday . Hugs ...

Wanita Harnden

May 27, 2020

With heartfelt sympathy so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. May you Rest In Peace Aunt Dorothy ❤️

Karen & Ted Peter

May 26, 2020

Will miss you mama bear❤️
Thoughts and prayers to the whole Peters family. 🙏

Debbie Sweetman

May 26, 2020

All the kids in the neighborhood could always count on your Mom for rides anywhere we wanted to go ( swimming , school , beach , downtown. ) and could she DRIVE 🏎 !! She also loved to dance 😊She was kind to everyone. We all loved her ❤️
Love you 😘

Lindsay Kell

May 26, 2020

My condolences to the family. May she rest in peace and find comfort with the Lord. My heart goes out to all of you. One Love ❤

Jake and Darlene Martens

May 25, 2020

Our heartfelt love, condolences and prayers are with you at this time.

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Biography

Dorothy Candace Peters, (Harnden), was born to parents Alexander Raymond Harnden and Margaret Clara Harnden, (Blain), at a home on Highland Avenue in Windsor, Ontario, on December 31, 1924 at 1150 p.m. She lived there for the first 2 years of her life, before the family moved up to the GTA region. They moved around to such places as Burlington, Bronte, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, etc. Her father was a travelling salesman and so they moved around quite frequently. When she was around 13 years old the family moved to Toronto. She had 2 brothers. Her older brother was John Ronald Harnden, (who went by "Ron"), and one younger brother, Duncan David Harnden.

As a child she was a good swimmer and loved to swim. She had fond memories of floating in a raft in Lake Ontario quite often. She also loved to roller skate at the Mutual Arena and ice skate at the outdoor frozen rinks. She did not participate in any organization as a child and did not have any hobbies to speak of, which was probably a result of all her moving around. She also loved to bicycle, especially up the Hamilton mountain when she lived in Stoney Creek and the area. Her favourite pet was a dog named Pat, whose mother was a timber wolf and father was a British bull terrier. When she was young, Pat would be harnessed up to pull her in a wagon. Pat never barked, just a very low, "woof, woof, woof". She played piano at 6 years old and Pat would sit and howl along with his head in the air. She also had a little wire haired terrier named Skippy, after Pat died, when they lived in Burlington. She would bring him to Van Wagner's beach. She remembered that he used to eat onions out of the bag in the basement. In spelling bees she was usually the last one to stand down. The teacher would pick her to write all the work for the school kids on the blackboard because the teacher liked her handwriting. She attended St. Rose School in Toronto in grade 8, and at age 16 quit school to work at Christie Brown Company. She worked there from age 16 to 20, then went to work with her friend Dorothy Canard in a laundry. Her parents could not afford to send her to high school so she went to work instead.

Her brothers Ronald and Duncan were her friends while growing up as the travelling aspect of the family never really gave Dorothy a chance to settle down and nurture long-term relationships. They were just "bumming around", as she put it. She also said everyone was happy just to be together and were all close. Her mother's mother, Grandma Blain, also lived with them. Around 18 or 19 years old she became friends with Mickie Stewart and Dorothy Canard. They all remained close friends until she married Stanley Peters in August of 1954 and moved to Windsor. She remembered showing all the girls at the laundry her engagement ring and saying when she marries Stanley she will retire. Later on late in life after Stanley passed away she said, "I've never retired, I'm still swinging, I'll retire when I'm dead".

She attended Sherburne United Church in Toronto in her twenties just before she met Stanley Peters and also attended People's Church on Danforth Ave. As a child she went to church every Sunday with her parents. When she was 21 her brother Duncan, then age 19, died tragically. It, of course, affected the family deeply. Her brother Ronald went on to become a sergeant major in the Canadian armed forces during World War II, and later a truck driver for Marais Transport in Oakville until his death years later.

Dorothy was married twice. The first marriage was when she was 20 years old and married Bruce William Wilson on April 27, 1944 in a church in Toronto. There were 2 daughters born through the marriage, Sandra Wilson and Cheryl Wilson. However, Bruce Wilson deserted the family, returning back to the United States where he was originally from. He told her he was joining the U.S. Navy and said he was going to Chicago, and he would send for her. She never did hear back from him, so after 7 years she obtained a divorce with a 7 year presumption of death. During this time, her brother Ronald, as a truck driver, was a co-worker and friend with Stanley Peters' brother-in-law named Wilfred Roy, who was married to Stanley's sister Ethel. So, Dorothy and Stanley met.

Stanley and Dorothy were married in Windsor, Ontario, on August 7, 1954 at the Giles United Church by her cousin Milton Craig. Dorothy often told us that Stanley did not want to marry her until her daughters Sandra and Cheryl loved him, which is what happened and the girls became Peters. When Dorothy and Stanley were dating, Stanley would leave his toolmaker job, at Kelsey-Hayes in Windsor, every Friday after work and drive on the old county roads, in his old 1938 Ford to Toronto to visit her, before highway 401 was built. She was living with her whole family, and he would stop at a phone booth in Wardsville and call her to tell her where he was and she knew how long he would be until his arrival. This went on for about 2 to 3 years. Sandra married Wayne Knight from Hillsburgh, Ontario, and they have 3 children, Wendy, Glenn and Stephanie. Cheryl married Dale Collins from Maidstone, Ontario, and had Megan. Cheryl passed away in 2000. Stanley and Dorothy had a son, Douglas, who has 4 children. Twin sons, Chad and Ryan with Wendy (Zam), and daughters, Jillian and Shannon with Ann (McGee). Doug is married to Rita (Vanschyndel). After Douglas, Dorothy and Stanley had 3 daughters, Colleen, Doreen and Brenda. Colleen and Tony Cardillo have two sons. They are Ian and Kevin. Doreen and Dave Bloomfield have 4 children. They are Jennifer, Christine, Stacey and Bradley. Dave passed away in 2014. Brenda and Pat Sprague have 4 children. They are Paul, Justin, Justine and Megan. Pat passed away in 2018.

Over the years, becoming a homemaker, she also did babysitting and occasional seasonal employment at Green Giant Canada in Tecumseh, Ontario. Her favourite pursuits were taking care of all the members of her family and their friends, listening to country music, watching television shows such as "Murder She Wrote", "Columbo", "Dragnet", every night and "who did it" mysteries, as well as "Jack Van Impe". She also loved to watch tennis and swimming events on television as well. She cherished the time shared with her family most of all, and would always be available to anyone who needed a kind word or an ear to listen.

Dorothy passed away in Windsor, Ontario on Saturday, May 23, 2020 at the Chateau Park Long Term Care Home from a stroke. She was 95 years old. She had 6 children, 18 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild. Her service was held on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at the Walter D. Kelly Life Celebration Centre and attended by Rev. Olav Kitchens. Internment was at Victoria Memorial Gardens in Oldcastle. She will be greatly missed by all.

Dorothy Peters' eulogy, as given by her son, Douglas Peters...

"On behalf of the family... I would like to thank everyone for being with us today, one way or another. It is a new day, one day at a time, during strange times, and yes, all of our days are numbered. We can't even take our next breath without God's will. We all have a purpose here for the time He allows us. It is all in God's timing for His purpose. He brought Dorothy here over 95 years ago and here we are today, to honour and celebrate her life, her warmth and compassionate kindness, her caring, and her imprint on our hearts and minds, as her legacy in life continues through us in different ways. Daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great great grandmother, aunt and friend.

95 years old! What changes in the world my mother has seen since her birth in Windsor, Ontario on New Year's Eve 1924! My father Stanley was born in Windsor as well, in 1927, when Mom was only 2 years old. At that time Mom's family moved to the Toronto area. Years later Mom's brother Ronald Harnden and Dad's brother-in-law Wilfred Roy became friends while working together at Marais Transport in Oakville. They matched them up and Mom and Dad married in Windsor in 1954. Mom was previously married to Bruce Wilson in Toronto and had our sisters Sandra and Cheryl. Stanley and Dorothy then had myself, Colleen, Doreen and Brenda, or as Mom called us, "their wild moments running around".

Mom occasionally worked part-time seasonally for Green Giant, but for the most part of her life her priority was taking care of her children and grandchildren. She had great joy in cooking and caring for the physical and emotional needs of everyone and did it all with a selfless sense of love and putting everyone else first, often giving up her own concerns to see that others were taken care of. She had a quick-witted, down to earth, (sometimes off the wall), sense of humour, that was sometimes silly, and sometimes on the risque side, and always wanted everyone just to get along as she listened to all the family talk going on. Her kids and grandkids would often call her on the phone to discuss their lives. She would always be there to open up her ears and her heart, and make a phone call or two to mend things if she could. She was very quick to forgive, although she would stand her ground if she felt it was the best thing to do for that person. Some things were very clear to her, and when she stood firm she would proudly say it was, "the Harnden side of her coming out". I guess the "risque" side was the Peters side that rubbed off onto her from Stanley. Many of my and my sisters' friends, over the course of many years, became very close to her and became part of her extended family, calling her "Mom" as well. And "Momma Bear". She was dearly loved by all, as she loved all.

Her and Dad loved to travel on road trips throughout the U.S. and Ontario. Drive until 5, find a motel, get the kids fed, and in a pool, and plop down poolside with a drink, or two, or three... I don't know if that was the Peters or Harnden side! Probably a little of both! They were especially fond of Tennessee. Mom and Dad were married for 59 years, until his death in June of 2013, and were a model example for many as a definition of "a cute old couple". After Dad passed away the wind was taken out of her sails, as it was when our sister Cheryl died in 2000, but she kept moving forward with courage and love right up until the moment of her own death. Of all the women in the history of the Earth, for me to be born unto, I thank God for the wonderful blessing of being her son, and I know that all of my sisters feel the same way, being her daughters, as do her grandchildren, to have had her as their grandmother. There are so many sweet and funny stories and statements that we all who knew and loved her could remember from conversations with her. She loved all of her family, before, during, and after Stanley, and she passes on many good lessons and humour as her legacy. She has left quite a uniquely special impression on our lives. Towards the end she resided at Chateau Park Long Term Care Home. There she was treated so well by all the staff, and my family and I want to thank them so much for making Mom's last days so much easier to bear, both for Mom, and all of us. Towards the end we had some interesting conversations. She believed in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and is looking forward to being reunited with all those who have gone on before her. Although we greatly miss her and who she was, we know she is in a better place today and rejoice in her joy now. I would like to share a poem entitled,

"The Conclusion", by Sir Walter Raleigh...

Ever such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have
And pays us but with earth and dust
Who in the dark and silent grave
When we have wandered all our ways
Shuts up the story of our days
But from this grave, this earth, this dust
My God shall raise me up, I trust.

He's the same as in Jesus' day, Sir Walter Raleigh's day, our day today and evermore. Enjoy your retirement from this life Mom. We will see you, Dad, Dave, Pat, Cheryl and other loved ones later."