Box 1177, Maple Creek, SK S0N 1N0
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Doris Christine Bircham
January 2, 1938 to February 13, 2018, aged 80 years.
Born in Maple Creek, SK, she was the eldest child of Eric and Mary Shearwood, older sister to Rodney Shearwood and Reid Shearwood.
Raised in the Carnagh District southeast of Piapot. Doris attended Carnagh School until she completed Grade 11. It was during her early years in grade school that she developed a love of writing and poetry and submitted many of her poems to the Western Producer.
Doris boarded in Maple Creek to attend Grade 12 and graduated from the Maple Creek High School in June of 1955.
Doris pursued post-secondary education in her chosen field of Nursing at the Calgary General Hospital School of Nursing, graduating with distinction in 1958 as a Registered Nurse. Doris worked as a Nurse in the “old hospital” in Maple Creek for a year after completing her Nursing degree. She earned a scholarship in Calgary that she used the following year to attend the University of Alberta and graduated with a diploma in teaching and supervision. This additional education was put to good use as she taught CPR and St. John’s Ambulance First Aid for many years and made many miles around southern Saskatchewan to do so. Her nursing career continued in the 1970’s when she worked for Home Care as a Nurse/Assessor.
Doris married Ralph Bircham on July 4, 1959 at the home where she grew up in the Carnagh District. Ralph and Doris met through 4-H as youths growing up, Ralph having grown up and attended school in the Kealey Springs district on the bench. Their courtship continued throughout her years in Calgary.
Doris and Ralph moved back to the Piapot area after her year at University in Edmonton, purchasing the Mitt and Kate Newkirk place in May 1960. They arrived at their newly purchased ranch with all of their worldly possessions in a half ton truck. It was here that she resided until her passing.
After her children graduated from high school she renewed her interest in poetry. Many miles were travelled to recite her poetry and many good friends were made along that trail. She visited many Saskatchewan schools to share the love of words and poetry to school children along with her good friend Anne Slade.
Doris is survived by her husband Ralph of 58 years and her two children and their families: Wayne and Erin Bircham; grandchildren Leigh Bircham and Oliva Arnal; Jordan Bircham. Dena and Bryce Weiss, grandchildren Clark Weiss and Elizabeth Chmelyk ; Shelby and David Moser. Great Grandchildren Karsten and Victoria Weiss. She is also survived by her two brothers, Rodney Shearwood of Moose Jaw, SK and Reid (Marlene) Shearwood and family of Kelowna, BC., one sister-in-law Shirley Martens (Harry) and family of Spruce Grove, AB. In addition she is survived by her cousin Graham (Debbie) Shearwood and family of Davidson, SK. Many of her other relatives still reside in England.
Funeral service was held February 19, 2018 with Rev. Eva Stanley officiating. Other participants in the service included Evelyn Stork, Anne Slade, Olivia Arnal and Terri Mason. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Southwest Healthcare Trust c/o Cypress Credit Union or the Canadian Cancer Society.