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Dorothy Witzke

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Dorothy Louise James was born on November 1st 1926 in Toronto. Her parents were Harry and Doris (Taylor) James. Dorothy was very young when her parents parted, and she was determined to make a good home for her and her father. She taught herself to cook, sew, knit, among other domestic chores. Her main job was to prepare the vegetables for supper after she got home from school. Often, she would then go down to Lake Ontario at the end of her street for a quick dip before supper.

Dorothy’s grandfather on her mother’s side was a butcher at Eaton’s department store, and Harry would frequently stop there to pick up some meat and have a friendly chat. When Dorothy left school, she got a job at Eaton’s in the photo department adding a bit of color to the black and white pictures. One day on her way to work, a handsome window washer named Wally McKeag backed out into her path and that was the start of a three year courtship ending with a wedding on May 6, 1949.

They welcomed their first son William John McKeag in October of 1950. Proceeded to buy their first house in Ajax in 1952, where Donna Lynn McKeag was born on November 17, 1953. Wally was employed by the Department of Transport as an inspector in Toronto and transferred to Walkerton office in 1957. They bought a small war time house in nearby Chesley because Wally had a few army buddies living there and they settled into life in a small town nicely. Dorothy started working for lawyer George Loucks as secretary. Soon after that, James Edward McKeag was born in June of 1964. In 1964, Wally was transferred to Wentworth County and rented a house in Stoney Creek where they lived until the untimely death of Wally in 1968.

Dorothy and Wally kept their home in Chesley hoping to return some day to retire. To return to this little home was a logical move for her. At the age of 42, she packed up the car and returned to their home in Chesley. She was then fortunate enough to receive employment with the towns clerk’s office which she enjoyed very much. She visited the Chesley Cemetery often and became acquainted with Herb Witzke, and they started dating and became engaged after a two year courtship. They married July 23, 1971, and he passed away after 32 years of marriage.

Dorothy and Herb loved to travel enjoying visits to Holland, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Bahamas, Cuba, and Western Canada to name a few. They were avid gardeners with Herb’s veggie patch out back and Dorothy’s amazing flower beds. Dorothy was very involved with her community. Being a member of the Horticultural Society, Anglican Church as treasurer, Chesley Hospital Auxiliary, Chesley Legion Ladies Auxiliary. When Dorothy was around 80, she took an Alaskan cruise with her good friend Betty Daniels. I must say they also enjoyed their time at Stokes Bay on the Bruce Peninsula for close to twenty years.

Dorothy moved to Kincardine when she was 80 and had an apartment on Lampton Street until she was ninety, when she moved to Malcom Place in Kincardine on Durham Street, where she enjoyed the last five years. In 2018, she broke her first hip and recovered nicely. She was not as lucky July 1st of 2021 as she broke her other hip. She was taken to Kincardine Hospital and then transferred to Chesley Hospital for rehab but never recovered and passed away October 16, 2021, two weeks before her 95th birthday.

Dorothy was a loving mother to Bill (Barb) of Kincardine, Donna (Joe) Port Elgin, James (Joanne) Port Perry). Step mother of Jim (Yvonne) of Chesley, Judy Ruhl (Barry) Owen Sound, Jan Witzke of Sudbury, and Marlene Witzke of Desboro. Cherished grandmother of 16 adult grandchildren and 20 great grand children plus 5 great great grandchildren, (Holy Moly). Predeceased by first husband David Wallace McKeag in 1968, second husband Herb Witzke in 2003, and stepsons Larry Witzke and Bob Witzke.

A private funeral service celebrating Dorothy’s life will be held on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley. Interment in Chesley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or the Church of Messiah, Kincardine, would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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