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

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

Beloved Chemainus resident dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in the community 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

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Heavy flows of water pooled on Davis Road after a lead to a fire hydrant burst on Thursday Jan. 21. (Jim Tredwell photo)
Fire hydrant connection burst at Davis Road and Battie Drive

Crews worked well into the night on Thursday Jan. 21 to staunch the flow of water

A pedestrian was transported to hospital after being struck while crossing Roberts Street. (Cole Schisler photo)
Pedestrian struck crossing Roberts Street

The driver remained on scene and is cooperating with police

Emergency crews were called to a semi-truck crash along the Trans-Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on Friday, Jan. 22. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Semi truck crashes off the side of the highway in Ladysmith

Driver taken to hospital as precaution after single-vehicle crash Friday

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Vancouver Island public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read