Dorothy Culham

August 26,1937-June 18, 2019

Dorothy began her wonderfully active life in Estevan, Saskatchewan, born to Connie and Bill Traynor who later moved to Regina where Dorothy lived most of her life until moving to Arbutus Ridge on Vancouver Island in 1990. During those years she worked for a brief period as a nurse at Saskatoon’s University Hospital, then had a year in Eugene, Oregon while her husband, Ken, was involved in graduate studies, plus a two year stay in Germany when Ken was employed as Principal of a DND school.

After completing her K-8 years at Davin School, she completed her schooling at Central Collegiate where she was very involved in so many ways, notably on the basketball floor. From there, she moved on to the Regina General Hospital where she spent three years becoming an RN, applying her skills at the University Hospital, then back in Regina with the Victorian Order of Nurses, before deciding to launch a new career in Real Estate in 1970. After a highly successful beginning with a few firms, she decided to form her own company, Regina Real Estate, along with three partners, and stayed with that until moving to the coast in 1990.

Beyond her career in Real Estate, Dorothy was community minded and contributed in so many ways, very involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Regina, and Palliative Care. In her efforts to preserve heritage buildings, we have an image of her, accurate or not, of standing in front of a bulldozer in the process of demolishing what was known as the Turret Home on Lorne Street, able to stop that action and eventually using that building as her real estate office. That was but one indication of her courage and conviction when she felt strongly about something.

That remained the same when she moved to Arbutus Ridge where she noticed in the Village Centre a small vacant room overlooking Salt Spring Island. When she asked a salesperson about it and he said it was for rent, she said she’d take it, and so she did. We had a good laugh when we decided to call it Dorothy’s Whatever, as she launched into a retail business which she carried on for many years, affectionately dubbed Conversation Central by some as the focus was on ladies’ fashions.

Dorothy’s life at Arbutus Ridge continued to be a very active one. Beyond her fashion business, she was involved in music, the arts, and sports. She sang in the Ridge Choir, coordinated a Bible Study group, was a member of ARPAS, a performing arts club, and a member of the Art Club, Golf Club, Tennis Club, swam regularly and likely enjoyed her tennis most of all.

While there is so much to be grateful for, the birth of three children, Kathleen, Cam, and James, many wonderful years of early family life in Regina, and 25 years at Arbutus Ridge in a beautiful adult and active community, sadly it became apparent in her early 70’s that Dorothy’s activities were inhibited with the onset of Macular Degeneration. It wasn’t much later it also became apparent that she was in the beginning stages of Dementia. She continued to live at the Ridge until it became obvious that was no longer possible, and moved to Victoria, to Mount Tolmie Hospital where further gratitude must be expressed. The care, love, and attention received throughout her years there was amazing, something for which her family will be forever thankful.

Dorothy has been described by many as vibrant and thought of by so many nieces as a role model for them. Her sterling qualities have been admired and respected by all. She will be sorely missed by a long list of relatives and friends.

She was pre-deceased by her parents, Connie and Bill Traynor, and leaves behind her immediate family of husband, Ken; daughter,Kathleen(Kevin) and their children Nicole, Stephanie, and John; son Cam; and son, James(Eliza) and their children, Siboney and Leilei ; her sister, Donna(Don) and children, Don, Pat, and Dianne; another sister, Dianne(Tom) and children, Tom, Jennifer, Deborah, and Charleen.

A Service will be held on Wednesday, July 31 at 1:00PM at:
Oak Bay United Church
1355 Mitchell St.
Victoria, BC, V8S4P9
A reception will follow at:
Uplands Golf Course
3300 Cadboro Bay Road
Victoria, BC, V8R5K5

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Condolence Messages

  1. Richard & Judith Marr

    If we were not right there with her, we still thought of her and warmly expressed our thanks for so many good memories.
    We always appreciated sharimg her daily so well and also to get together and enjoy her and her warm, wordy – and very musical family!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with
    each of you now and the years ahead. She is now at rest.

  2. Barb and Dwaine Dornab

    Sincere sympathy to all the family. Though the last years have been hard, Dorothy lived her life to the fullest and made many contributions and will be remembered and missed.
    Classmate , Barb ( Montjoy) , and Dwaine Dornan

  3. I was saddened to read of Dorothy’s passing in the Leader Post. Sincere condolences Ken. Cherish your memories, I know you have many with a lovely lady.

  4. Brian & Cherry Topp

    Saddened to learn this morning of Dorothy’s passing. Thinking of you, Ken.

    Brian & Cherry Topp

  5. So, so sorry to hear of Dorothy’s passing. Ironically, her father taught my father back in Estevan, and she was my babysitter when I was young. I went to the same public and high school, and her husband, Ken, was my Grade 7 teacher (and my favourite, ever). ‘Dee Dee’, as we called her then, was a joy to know and an outstanding role model for my family.
    Doug Rollins

    • Bobbie Rollins

      I am also sad to hear of our ex-neighbour “Dee Dee’s” passing. Mr. Culham was also my grade 7 teacher, and I’ll second my brother’s note, he was also my favourite teacher, ever. I also remember babysitting for them a few times. I am so glad our paths crossed and indeed criss-crossed in life through a few generations.

  6. Pat and Gary Anderson

    Dear Ken and families, we were sorry to read of Dorothy’s passing. She had a very full and satisfying life and many memories are left to share with the family. Our deepest condolences, Pat and Gary Anderson

  7. William Masterson

    My heartfelt condolences to all of Dorothy’s family and especially Ken her gracious husband of many years. I well remember the intense times on the tennis courts where Dorothy gave as good as she got. She was a wonderful and gracious sport. I appreciate most of all her enduring faith and her willingness to pass it on to others. Sleep well dear one and we will see you in the sweet bye and bye over there on that other shore. Say hi to Hedy for me

  8. John and Eunie Catterall

    Our condolences to the whole family. We remember Dorothy as a wonderful neighbour and all the lovely outfits we all wore at the Ridge

  9. Bobbie (Green) Rowbotham

    So very sorry to hear of your loss. My sincere condolences to all the family.

  10. Ross and Susan Keith

    So sorry to hear of Dorothy’s passing. Although we have not seen Dorothy for a number of years we think of her often because we are still in Regina enjoying the lasting benefits of Dorothy’s work in Heritage and Community Planning. She was the driving force behind so many positive things which took place because of her leadership.
    i don’t think a more positive person ever existed and she will be much missed.
    Deepest condolences to Ken and family.

    Ross and Susan Keith

  11. Carol and I send our condolences Ken to you and all of your family. Remember all the good times, those from the prairies and those later ones from Vancouver Island. We are thinking of you.

  12. Gary and Valerie Deane

    We were very saddened to read of Dorothy’s passing. She was a lovely person, a tireless supporter of the community, and a great next-door neighbour to us when we were all still in Regina. Our deepest condolences to Ken and family.

  13. Dorothy and her family welcomed me in Saskatchewan and British Colombia in the year 1992-1993. I keep a very warm remembering of you all. And still share deep friendship with Cam through his different stays in France -and also with relatives such as Jim & Diana.
    Lots of love to you all

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