If it hadn’t been for a jilted love affair, Dorothy Koslowski may not have been born in Canada; if at all.

“My father was Norwegian and he came to Canada after a break-up. He was looking for a fresh start,” Dorothy says. His journey led him to Winnipeg where he met the woman who would become his wife and Dorothy’s mother. Dorothy was born there in 1927 but the family moved North to Bissett, a small mining town on the shores of Rice Lake in Manitoba and it was in that rugged land she grew up.

“My father taught me to fish and how to use a 22 rifle to hunt partridges. But I never did shoot anything.” In the harsh winters, Dorothy fondly recalls skiing down a small ski hill her father had made for her.

She would often accompany her father on remote hunting and fishing trips, accessible only by helicopter. These are the experiences that helped shape her life.

As a young woman, she moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario where she would eventually meet her husband and begin a career and a family.

“I was married at 22 and we had a boy and a girl,” she says. I worked for both levels of government as a secretary and my husband was a boilermaker.”

She says that they were a very active family and had a boat and truck to enjoy the outdoors.

Dorothy arrived in London, Ontario a year ago from Thunder Bay by air ambulance. She says the trip didn’t phase her because she had been used to going on adventures with her father so many years ago. From London she was transported to Mary Bucke.

One of her most prized possessions is her cellphone because on it are pictures of her family and of her as a child with her mother. She keeps in touch with her family. She has a granddaughter who is a wrestling champion. Dorothy says she gets that competitiveness from her because when she was a young girl, she played on a girl’s hockey team. She has great grandchildren too.

Sadly, her husband passed away some years ago. Dorothy continues to enjoy life on her terms and has a boyfriend in Thunder Bay. She says they talk almost every day on the phone.

“I have led a happy life and that continues today. I enjoy the activities at the home and they treat me very well here.”

Return to top