Cover photo for Dorothy Purkis's Obituary
Dorothy Purkis Profile Photo
1926 Dorothy 2022

Dorothy Purkis

October 1, 1926 — June 2, 2022


Purkis, Dorothy Aileen (nee Lyall)

October 1, 1926 – June 2, 2022

We are immensely sad to have said our last “We love you!” to Dorothy, our mom, Grandma / Gramma, aunt, sister-in-law and friend.

Variously known as Dot, Peanuts, The Warden, Mumsy, The Old Batnik and Bug, Dorothy was born to Margaret and Laurie Lyall in the Moore Park neighbourhood of Toronto.

She married Tom Purkis on March 14, 1945 and together they raised four children – William (Jennifer), John (Janet), Anne (John) and Susan (Gerry). Dorothy had a great sense of humour which she shared liberally with her 12 grandchildren, 14 great children and 4 great great grandchildren.

She attended Branksome Hall in Toronto as a day girl where she made the choirmaster happy by only mouthing the words to the choral selections. While Dorothy loved music she happily admitted that she “couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket!”.

Dorothy loved sports (especially swimming) and the great outdoors including Temagami, her childhood summer stomping grounds, and Muskoka.

Dorothy and Tom spent every summer at their beloved cottage on Moon River starting way back in the late 1940’s and when Tom retired from the Toronto Telegram newspaper in 1975, they moved permanently to Bala and co-founded Purk’s Place.

Dorothy was a cheerful soul, a friend to many and an active member of her community, working with the local OPP and volunteering with the Women’s Institute, the Anglican Church Women and the Cranberry Festival.

In 1989, following Tom’s death in 1983, Dorothy moved to Acton to live with her daughter Susan and family and continued her volunteer work with the Canadian Cancer Society, The Acton Agricultural Society and the Acton Seniors Centre. She continued to spend her summers at her Moon River cottage, learning to set a Ministry bear trap when required and keeping a fond eye on her pine and cedar saplings.

After suffering a debilitating third stroke in 2011, Dorothy moved to Granite Ridge Retirement Home in Gravenhurst where she worked hard and laughed her way to regaining a very good use of her left leg and arm. She was indomitable.

In December 2014 Dorothy moved to Muskoka Shores Long Term Care Home where she spent the rest of her days keeping her family on their toes, laughing at her jokes and loving her stories of a life lived to the max.

Throughout her life Dorothy enjoyed travelling the world, reading, gardening, knitting, sewing, painting, helping out wherever help was needed, a wee Scotch or an Irish Coffee and minding her growing brood of grandkids.

We miss her happy voice and mischievous grin terribly.

Toodle-oo, Dorothy!

May you be half an hour in heaven before the Devil knows you’re dead!

A Wake / Celebration of Life will be held for Dorothy at the Bala Legion Hall, Saturday July 23rd, 2022 from 1 – 4 pm. Memories shared at 2 pm.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 23, 2022

1:00 - 4:00 pm

Bala Legion


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