Today’s Poll

Kelsall, Doreen

Doreen Kelsall
Born February 24, 1933 – Died June 5, 2011

Born Evelyn Doreen Samuelson, Doreen was the second of five children of Richard and Dilys Samuelson of Rossland, BC. Growing up, she spent many happy days hiking, backpacking and skiing in the mountains around Rossland. She was a gifted student, and talented in many fields.

After high school, Doreen worked in the Department of Highways office in Rossland, where she met Jack Kelsall, a newly graduated engineer from Silverton, BC. They married on September 4, 1954. They shared a love of the outdoors, especially the mountains and scenery of British Columbia. Jack’s first posting as a highways engineer took them to Prince Rupert, where their daughter JoAnn was born. Doreen described this time as “a great adventure,” “very exciting” for them. For the next 12 years, they lived in New Denver, Grand Forks, Revelstoke and Victoria as Jack’s career with Highways progressed. In 1969, they moved to Nelson, where they stayed for the rest of their lives.

Wherever they lived, Doreen created beautiful homes using her talents for sewing and interior design. Doreen could turn rented houses into showcases of style with paint, fabric and artfully arranged furniture. In 1977, Doreen and Jack bought a house near the golf course in Nelson, and made it their dream home. Using principles from Japanese garden design, Westcoast native art and nature, they turned a rocky uneven hillside into a magical garden, with meandering pathways, connecting decks and terraces, and an artificial stream cascading down the hill into a pond. The garden was a highlight on local garden club tours, and the topic of a feature article in Gardens West magazine in 2007. They never stopped working on the house, from upgrading plumbing, lights and doors, to replacing all the floors and a complete kitchen renovation.

Avid readers, Doreen often said the only room in their house without books was the bathroom. She continued to enjoy reading and listening to CBC Radio all her life.

Doreen and Jack were enthusiastic skiers, both downhill and cross-country, and were very involved in the golf club. Doreen served as Rules Chair for a number of years.

Doreen was highly creative and tried her hand at many different arts and crafts, from embroidery to upholstery. She came to love quilting, and her fabric art brought recognition from many quilters. She was the featured guest artist at a guild show in Grand Forks, and friends and family members will cherish the bedspreads, lapquilts, Christmas tree skirts and other projects she gave them over the years.

Whenever she was in public, Doreen was always beautifully dressed, in stylish, elegant clothes she often made herself. She was intelligent and dignified, funny, insightful, and outgoing. She will be remembered and missed by many people.

Doreen was healthy all her adult life until she developed pneumonia and died on June 5, 2011 at the age of 78. Cremation has taken place and arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service, Ltd.

Doreen is survived by her daughter, JoAnn Turner. Her youngest sister Audrey (Mack) also survives, along with brothers-in-law Alan Underwood and Bud Mack, sister-in-law Marilyn Samuelson, and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Doreen was predeceased by both of her parents, Dilys (Jones) Samuelson in 1960 and Richard Emanuel Samuelson in 1963, and by her sister Gladys (Underwood) and brothers Sonny and Maurice Samuelson, all of Rossland.

Doreen and Jack Kelsall were known for their togetherness, that if you saw one, you knew the other was nearby. Her beloved husband Jack died in September, 2009. Jack and Doreen will be interred together in the Nelson Cemetery. A memorial and celebration of their lives will be held in Nelson on Saturday, August 6, 2011. Condolences may be e-mailed directly to, or posted online at

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