Doreen Frances Dunkley (Ellston)

May 6, 1946 - October 21, 2023
October 26, 2023 18 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

It is with heartfelt sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mom, Doreen Frances Dunkley (Ellston). Doreen passed away in the early morning of Saturday, October 21st with her three children by her side. She lived an amazing life surrounded by family and many friends, that came to end after a courageous and hard fought battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 77 years old.

Nana left an amazing legacy of positivity and resilience that carries on in those that knew her best. Doreen was an authentic person who always put her family and friends first. An outstanding and devoted mother to her three children, she eventually became a proud and incredible Nana to her three precious grandchildren. Nana will be deeply missed and remembered by son Sean and his wife Stacee Martin; son Ryan, wife Colleen, and their three children Kai, Hope and Neve; daughter and best friend Tara, and her partner Rob Bignell; and her children’s father, Barry.

Pre-deceased by her brother, Don, Doreen will also be greatly missed by her “sister of the heart”, Myrna Ellston and family, Tanya Ellston and Ken Ellston. Doreen also had an amazing array of friends, many of whom visited and shared love until the very end.

Doreen took on life with a contagious positivity and spirit of kindness. As a mom, she always supported and encouraged her children through all of life’s challenges and changes and her strength, sense of humour and happy disposition are woven into her family and those closest to her.

Doreen left a lasting impact on many communities. Born in Calgary, AB, she raised her children in their early years in Kamloops, BC, before the family eventually settled in the community of Sherwood Park, AB. Doreen spent many rewarding years working at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Dentistry before eventually retiring from NAIT’s Department of Dental Assisting after over 15 years of service. She also volunteered for many years with the charitable organization Kindness in Action, providing dental care to villages throughout Central and South America.

A lover of travel, nature, reading, and more recently, the ukulele, Doreen spent her retirement years as an active and vibrant member of the Riverdale community (Edmonton). Her deep love for animals meant many pets were cared for, adopted and rescued into her loving homes throughout her life.

Our family expresses sincere appreciation to all the health care professionals that cared for Doreen throughout her journey, and the amazing staff at Pilgrim’s Hospice who provided kind and gentle care for our mom in her final days.

Doreen’s family, her friends and her community will miss her so much! Everyone is welcome to celebrate Doreen’s life on Sunday, November 19th at 10:30 am at the Derrick Golf and Winter Club (3500 119 Street NW).

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation, may do so to Pilgrim’s Hospice, the Edmonton Humane Society or a local charity that you feel honors Doreen’s remarkable spirit.

  1. What a beautiful tribute ❤️ Our heartfelt condolences to the entire Dunkley family.
    Sending love and prayers.
    Joann, Cameron and Charlie Allard

  2. Doreen was an incredible person and I’m so happy to have known her. Your love for her radiates from this beautiful tribute to her life. I’m thinking of all of her family and friends as they remember Doreen and mourn her loss.

  3. Doreen is my bestest buddy! We solved many problems while walking our dogs along the river and always ended up laughing. Traveling to Dubai, Costa Rica and Guatemala, as well as volunteering on our “Escoupa Groupa” dental adventures resulted in fabulous photo albums that Doreen made into works of art. I love her and will miss her forever! Our condolences go out to her wonderful family that love her into eternity.

    • Good one on your note. Heartfelt condolences to missing your bestest buddy

  4. I shall miss the gift of Doreen’s friendship – intelligent, warm, funny, courageous.

  5. Our sincerest condolences on the passing of your mom. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Dunkley family and all of those who were close to Doreen at this difficult time.

  6. My condolences go out to Doreen’s family. She will always be remembered as a kind and loving sole. I had the opportunity to work with her at Nait with the Con- Ed dental program and she was always so happy and positive to work with. She will be missed tremendously. Feeling sad.

    Shirley Dittrick

  7. Doreen always presented with a positive attitude, no matter if she was going through Chemo, hip replacement or a birthday celebration. A woman to be inspired by. Thank You Doreen for our very precious moments.

  8. My sincere condolences to the family! Doreen was always smiling whenever I met her.

  9. Sean, Ryan and Tara, I only had brief chances to meet each of you in person, but feel I know you well through your mom’s conversations and stories. My thoughts are with you and your extended families. I will miss my adventures and laughs with your mom….

  10. A mother holds our hands for a moment but holds our hearts, always.
    Heaven has gained a beautiful soul.

    Heartfelt condolences to all of the family. With Love and respect,
    The Howard family

  11. What a beautiful tribute to Doreen! It is certainly obvious that she was dearly loved. My sincerest condolences to the family and close friends.

    With love and prayers,
    Deborah Hurley

  12. Such a loving tribute to Doreen. It perfectly captured her beautiful qualities. I will miss our friendship, conversations, patio coffees and laughter. My deepest condolences and prayers of comfort to Sean, Ryan and Tara and their families.

  13. Doreen was an absolute favorite client of mine and became such a special friend. We had many great chats every time she came in for her massage therapy treatments and she always exuded such positivity despite her numerous surgeries and setbacks. I will really miss her!

  14. My sincere condolences to Doreen’s family. I worked with Doreen at the U of A and it was always nice to get together once in awhile for a visit. She will be missed and remembered for her smile.

  15. Doreen will be sorely missed by so very many friends and a beautiful family. Broken hearts felt by all she left behind, but no more pain for sweet Doreen. We’ll miss you. To her family-be good! Doreen will be waiting for you in heaven.

  16. Our condolences to the whole Dunkley family as you commemorate Doreen’s rich and fulfilling life. As her cousins my brother Dave and I appreciated Doreen’s warmth, kindness, and welcoming hospitality. She was a great favourite of our Mum, Phyllis’s, as well. Such a positive life well lived.

  17. I have known Doreen for over 20 years. Her passion, love of people, adventures, friends and family were so amazing!
    My heart goes out to you!
    Rest in peace, Doreen
    Laureen DiStefano

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