Saturday, 18 April 2015

52 Ancestors #16 - Dorothy May Thomas - my maternal grandmother

This post is for Week 16 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 16 - Live Long - time to feature a long-lived ancestor.

Dorothy May with her mother
For this post, I will feature my maternal grandmother, Dorothy May McCann nee Thomas. Dorothy May, Nan,  lived to the age of 98 years and three months when she passed away on the 8th December 1996. She always said she wouldn't make 100 and Nan was right as usual.

Dorothy May was born in Eton outside Mackay, Queensland in 1898. She was educated in Eton and Brisbane, at Duporth Private School at Oxley and trained as a nurse at the Brisbane General Hospital where she met the love of her life, George Douglas McCann. They were married in January 1924 in Brisbane and were happy together until Doug's death at Easter 1969.

Nan was active in the Country Women's Association, Queensland Branch and enjoyed cooking, craft and sewing. Her pastry and scones were legendary, she always scolded me for 'playing' with the dough too much, saying 'your hands are too hot' as usual she was right.

Dorothy May aged about 94
In her later years, Nan lived at Lady Small Haven retirement village at Benowa in a self-contained unit where she enjoyed craft mornings and bus trips - how she enjoyed those bus trips! I was always amused when she told me about visiting  the 'old folks' at the nursing home or hostel - they were usually younger than her. But then, age is a matter of mind really.

Nan passed away peacefully at 3:30 am on the 8th December 1996 and was cremated, and her ashes interred with her husband and youngest daughter, Joan, at Toowong Cemetery. There is a space there for me when the time comes.

I miss Nan almost every day especially when doing my family history research. I inherited all her photos and memorabilia and lots of her notes and musings. Nan was the repository of all things family and knew just when cousin so and so was married, divorced or died. As I have said before, Nan is my genie-angel.

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