Dafoe, Charlotte Savery
On August 20, 2011 Charlotte slipped away peacefully, just 2 months short of her 99th birthday! This is not a time to mourn, as Charlotte lived a full rewarding life. Her only regret would be that she did not live to see 100 as did several of her Aunties and Uncles!
Charlotte was born in Chentu, West China, to Methodist Missionaries, Lottie and Walter Small. She spent her first 14 years growing up in China, and was then sent to live in Portsmouth England, to live with her Aunt and Uncle and 3 cousins until she finished her high school. From England she re-joined her family, then living in Vancouver BC, where she completed 2 years of Arts at UBC, which granted her admission to Medical School at the University of Toronto. She completed her Medical Degree in 1936, and spent 1 year interning at St John General Hospital in St John New Brunswick, where she met the man of her dreams, Colin Scott Dafoe who was also interning at the same hospital. They married in Toronto, April 1938. In 1939 they moved to England so Colin could continue his post graduate studies. Charlotte obtained her certificate in Anaesthesiology in 1939, in London. The war disrupted their lives, and while Colin remained in England, and pursued adventures with the British Army, Charlotte returned to Canada where she practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology in Belleville, Ontario. Post war, Charlotte and Colin returned to England once again so Colin could study Thoracic Surgery in Leicester, England, and their first son, John was born in November 1947. They returned to Canada and spent a brief period with Charlotte working at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, when 2nd son Eric was born in 1950. That year, they all moved to Edmonton Alberta, where 3rd son Michael was born in 1951. Charlotte has lived there ever since, and has spent her final 3 years residing at St Joseph’s Auxiliary Hospital.
Charlotte worked as the Medical Officer for the Edmonton School Board while her boys were growing up. She then embarked upon a career with the Alberta Government, Department of Health as Director of the Handicap Registry, as well as Poison Control. She was an active member in Metropolitan United Church, and sat on many boards of charitable organizations. She was selfless, and always put others’ needs before her own. She was granted an honorary Doctorate by the University of Albert, St Stephen’s College. She was respected and loved by so many; partially due to her ever-present smile and optimistic outlook on life, despite having faced numerous tragedies in her life; her son John died in 1963, and Colin died in 1969.
Charlotte is survived by her son Eric and his wife Peggy; their 3 children Stephanie, Brian and Scott; as well as her son Michael. At this time, there will be no service, and should anyone wish to make a donation in Charlotte’s name, she would ask that you make that donation to Metropolitan United Church, Missionary Fund. Charlotte will live on, and beyond that 100 year date next November 10th, in the hearts and minds of all those who had the privilege of knowing her.
A heart felt thank you to Kathy Poechman, Charlotte’s niece, who, along with Paul, Charlotte and Mark, have provided Charlotte with a loving “Edmonton family” that was immeasurable to her.
A special thank you to all the staff at St Joseph’s who offered Charlotte compassion, love and heart felt care over the past years.