Dorothy May was born on February 26, 1923 in Hanover to parents Frederick and Edna (Rody) Miller. She joined older siblings Marjorie, Earle, and Stella. The Miller family resided in Hanover where she received her education. Upon completing school, Dorothy and her friend, Trudy Weltz, moved to Kitchener to find work. It was wartime, and the girls began working in an airplane factory, to support the war efforts.
After the war ended, Dorothy returned to Hanover. Here she met and married her husband, Joseph Hammill McCaslin. The two were wed on April 10, 1946 at Grace United Church, Hanover with a reception following at her family home. The two immediately moved just east of Durham to take over Joe’s father’s gas station. They operated the Shell gas bar from 1946 – 1950 and during this time welcomed their son, Douglas in 1949. In 1950 the McCaslins moved back to Hanover. Their family was complete with the addition of Debbie in 1952. In the years that followed, Dorothy worked part-time in Perles Hosiery Mill as well as Carson Cleaners, all the while caring for her young family at home.
In 1961, the McCaslin’s made a big move. Dorothy enrolled in Marvel Hairdressing School in downtown Toronto, and their family of four relocated to Bloor and Spadina. Here she completed her program, and funny enough, during this same time Joe became a barber. They settled in Uxbridge in 1965 where Dorothy began a hair salon operating out of their family home. Joe taught barbering nearby at St. John’s Training School and they quickly settled into the community. She grew her clientele over the years and remained active in the trade until the late 90’s.
When not caring for her family or cutting hair, Dorothy enjoyed an active lifestyle. She enjoyed baseball from a young age in Hanover, and was part of the Allen Bros. Ladies Softball league until well into her twenties. She and Joe also enjoyed golf, playing countless rounds together at their home course, Foxbridge Golf Club in Uxbridge. In their later years, they took up lawn bowling, shuffleboard and always enjoyed a good game of euchre. When not involved in sports, Dorothy loved to spend time working and caring for her flowers and flowerbeds. She loved the summer months and the opportunity to be outside, and enjoy the weather. When confined to the house, she would always make time for The Young and the Restless. When it came to food, Dorothy loved her peanuts and anything sweet, with custard being one of her favourites.
Given that Dorothy worked from home, she absolutely loved the opportunity for a road trip. I am told that if a car was leaving the house, Dorothy was usually in it. As for her driving skills, apparently she was very gifted and known for her uncanny ability to parallel park. Dorothy was even better than Joe at this task, and he spent years as a driving instructor… imagine! She was actively involved with her church throughout her life and always attended AA Al-Anon meetings with Joe. In their later years, Joe and Dorothy enjoyed to travel. They saw Italy, France, and England, just to name a few and also enjoyed a variety of bus trips.
Dorothy was a caring, considerate and kind woman who would go out of her way to help anyone. Although maybe a bit stubborn at times, she always remained positive and had a good sense of humour. She led by example and passed many of these honourable traits down to her children.
Sadly, Joseph died in 2014 after a brief illness and Dorothy spent the next year living on her own. Debbie and her husband Stan were looking to move back to the Hanover area in 2015 and invited Dorothy to join them. After a little persuasion, she agreed and she returned to her childhood community. She remained with them in their home until March of 2019 when she fell and broke her hip. This setback required Dorothy to receive more care, and she soon called Hanover Care Centre home. Unfortunately, she had another fall in early January 2020 and broke her hip again. Dorothy passed away at Hanover & District Hospital on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in her 97th year.
Loving mother of Doug and his wife Susan Law of Fort Erie and Debbie McCaslin-Teggart and her husband Stan Teggart of Hanover. Dorothy will be dearly missed by her granddaughter Sara McCaslin of Newmarket. She was predeceased by her husband Joseph “Ham” (2014), sisters Marjorie Bourke, Stella MacIntosh, brother Earle Miller and her parents Frederick and Edna (Rody) Miller.
Private services will be held with inurnment to follow in Durham Cemetery.
Memorial donations to the Hanover & District Hospital Foundation or Grace United Church would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.