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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
ACRD, City of Port Alberni receive $4 million for COVID-19

Municipalities have until end of 2021 to allocate funding

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni pressures Arrowview Hotel owner for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Building owner digs in heels, refuses to remove illegal trailers from property

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read