Mrs. Doris Rene Comuzzi (Duke) aged 93, lived a long and full life that was filled with wonderful adventures as well as adversity, which she always overcame.
Her life lived and incredible legacy deserves celebration, recognition and remembrance. Doris was affectionately known to all of her family and friends as Dodie. She was a Daughter, Sister, Mother, and Grandmother that cared deeply for all of her loved ones.
Born on Thursday, April 19, 1928, to William Francis Duke (d.11.12.94) and Emily Mamie Duke (d.04.02.95) in Port Arthur. Dodie soon became the apple of her father’s eye. She was brought up with a great love of the outdoors by her Father, Grandfather James Eli, and beloved Uncles, Teddy, Harold (Hadie), and Norman Duke. She learned at an early age to fish and hunt, having shot her first deer at the age of thirteen. Her passion for the outdoors was passed along to her children and grandchildren. Dodie loved to dance, learning to tap dance, as she loved her music.
Doris was always wanting to help people and was determined to be involved in medicine, enrolling in the Nursing program at St. Joseph General Hospital in Port Arthur and worked at Children’s Hospital of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
She graduated at the top of her class in 1949 as an RN, specializing in the Surgical Operating Room. She was the Valedictorian for her class and was awarded the Gold Medal. In 1954 she became President of the Nurses’ Alumnae for St. Joseph Hospital.
Doris met “her” George and it didn’t take long for the two of them to realize that they were soulmates. They married on November 18, 1950 and soon after started a family. Charlene, George Jr. (children: Adam & Kathleen), Christopher (d.03.18.61) Michael & Suzanne (Lange), and Maureen (Moe Comuzzi) & Tony Stehmann.
On April 16, 1983 she lost the love of her life in a tragic automobile accident. Doris could have let her grief get the better of her but she persevered, putting her family ahead of herself. She made many decisions in those early days that both supported her family and managed the business.
Dodie found her peace and joy for decades at the family camp enjoying fishing, walking the beach with her dogs, gardening and spending time with her precious grandchildren, Will Gregorash, George & Josee (Malette), Jon, and Michael Jr. (MJ) Comuzzi. The Grandkids would hear about her special childhood memories especially the many fishing adventures on the North Branch and the Sucker Creek. She would reminisce about her Florida holidays and there were lots of stories about Grampa George and the great poker parties at camp that ran to all hours of the morning. Grandma Dodie took great pride in giving all of the grandchildren cribbage lessons by the fire and she would even let you win once in a while!
Dodie instilled in all of her “kids” many words of wisdom. She would tell you how to appreciate the little things in life and in time you will realize that they really are the most important things. She would talk about how time spent together with family is an incredible gift and that above all love is unconditional.
Dodie motivated her family to chase curiosities and to never stop learning. And she practiced what she preached, as she quickly became adept at using social media late in her life. She was a remarkable woman with a truly magnetic personality who inspired and touched everyone she met. Her charisma was evident from the moment she looked your way. She lived a life worth celebrating, and this is why we celebrate. We all love her as she loved us.
A celebration of Doris’s life will be held at a future date.
Donations can be made to the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities Canada.