Doris Lydia Rook passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, Nov.12th at Lady Minto hospital. She is survived by her son Simon and his wife Heather.
Doris was known thoughout her life by the nicknames “Derb” and “Chips,” but on Saltspring everyone knew her as Doris.
Born March 25th 1912, the youngest of eight, into a working class family in Southall,Middlesex, to a Welsh father, Thomas Rees and a Gloucester mother, Lydia Wintle, she quickly expressed the desire to learn the piano, eventually earning her LRAM teaching diploma in 1939. But Doris loved performing, and over the years built up an impressive repertoire which included Beethoven sonatas, Chopin and Liszt studies and the Greig piano concerto. During the war, she gave concerts for the departing and returning troops as part of the war effort, and later gave concerts numerous charities and causes. In 1997 she emigrated to Saltspring Island to spend her last years with Simon and Heather. She loved Saltspring and returned it’s hospitality by giving two benefit concerts for All Saints church with Simon, and a full recital for the residents of Heritage Place. In her suite at Heritage she would play for anyone who asked her, and at Lady Minto she played several times at Extendicare, the last time only a week before her death.
In 1946 she met the love of her life,the printer Frank Rook, and built a life together based on middle class values of hard work and thrift. After Frank’s untimely death in 1970 from cancer she never remarried.
Doris had a love of the outdoors. She hiked all over the British Isles with the YHA, and at age 58 she learnt to ski in Austria and went on many skiing trips to the Alps with friends. At Heritage Place she would look out on Ganges Harbour or Mount Belcher and say, “It’s such a beautiful Island”. She had a deep faith, and felt that for all it’s imperfections, life was unfolding according to a divine plan.
I wish to thank all the staff of Lady Minto for taking such good care of her.
A funeral service and gathering will be held at All Saints Anglican Church at 1pm on Monday Nov. 28th.