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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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GOVIER, Doris Eda

October 3, 1918 – April 19, 2014

Doris Eda Govier passed away at Calgary’s Foothills Hospital on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the age of 95. Doris was born in Vancouver on October 3, 1918, the daughter of Henry Kemp of London, England and Rose Ellen Melton of Yorkshire. She grew up in Vancouver, and attended the University of British Columbia receiving a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and French in 1939. In February, 1940, she married George Wheeler Govier. They moved to Edmonton where Doris received her Bachelor of Education in 1943. Doris’ three daughters were born in Edmonton, and in 1963 the family moved to Calgary. In 1970 Doris received her M.A. in English from the University of Calgary, focussing on Canadian Literature. She was a pioneer in her support for Canadian, and prairie literature. In 1972 she founded the “Doris Govier Canadian Literature Group”, which introduced this burgeoning national book culture to hundreds of devoted Calgary followers. Doris was awarded the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award in Arts and Culture in 1990. She loved to swim, was an excellent badminton and tennis player, and golfed in her later years. She loved books and passed on her love of reading to her daughters. She also loved to dance: she and her husband are remembered for cutting beautiful figures on the dance floors of the Calgary Petroleum Club and other venues. Doris devoted much of her considerable energy to family and home, including in her large heart nephews, nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren delighted her.

Doris is survived by her husband of seventy-five years, George Wheeler Govier; daughters Trudy (Anton Colijn), Katherine (Nick Rundall) and Sue (Jan Millington); sister-in-law Grace Govier of Riverside California; cousin Joan Allard of Vancouver; niece Ann Coutts of Ottawa and family and niece Debra Cook of Bellingham, Washington; grandchildren Douglas Kelly, Caroline Colijn, Robin Honderich, Emily Honderich, Peter Colijn, great-nephew Randy Dahl and family, and great-grandchildren Kaitlyn and Nicholas Kelly, and Nina and Annika Colijn-Rattan.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Calgary Reads

In living memory of Doris Govier, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. To the Family of Ms. Govier, may your many fine memories of her bring you peace during this difficult time. Please know that our loving Heavenly Father is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3)and He will help you in your time of mourning because “He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

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  2. George, we extend our deepest condolences to you and all members of your family. Doris was a very remarkable and accomplished woman whose accomplishments and contributions have made a very positive imprint on not only all who knew her, but on many thousands who have benefitted from her works.
    Gerry and Anna Maier

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  3. Toni-Marie Ion-Brown :

    The entire staff at the Calgary Petroleum Club is so very sorry for your loss. Mrs. Govier, as you well know, is a cherished and loved member of all our staff. She has touched the hearts of all of us, and we will miss her dearly. Most of the staff will not be able to attend the service on Friday as we must keep this Club running. Please know that we are there in spirit.
    Our heartfelt condolence to you and your family
    Toni-Marie and all the service staff at the CPC

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  4. After fifty years still remembered with affection and admiration.

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  5. Dr. Govier and family,
    We were sorry to hear that Doris has passed away. I was fortunate to have had a rewarding career with honorable colleagues at the ERCB that you so capably lead. Canada is also fortunate to have had Doris’s leadership in Canadian and prairie literature.
    Ross & Marie Purvis

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  6. kiki delaney :


    My deepest sympathies on the passing of your dear mother. My thoughts are with you and your family at this very sad time.


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  7. kay and tony vandenbrinnk :

    Dear George and family,
    We were saddened to learn of Dores’s passing.Please accept our
    condolences,our thoughts are with you and your family.We
    wish all of you the strength you need to ccarry on.
    Kay and Tony.

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  8. Terence Penelhum :

    We wish to send our sincere condolences to all the Govier family on the loss of Doris Govier. Terence and Edith Penelhum.

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  9. Andy and Margo Warren :

    Dear George,

    We are sad to hear of your loss. It was evident to all that Doris and you had a very special relationship those 75 years. A gift that many would envy and we trust will live on in wonderful memories.

    Andy and Margo

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  10. Jan and Garry Gregory :

    George, Jan and I were very sorry to read of Doris’ passing. We hope that your best memories of the past 75 years will help to comfort you in the times to come. Our thoughts are with you and all the members of your family.
    With best wishes …

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  11. Victor Bohonos :

    Dear George,
    I was saddened to hear of Doris’ passing. My sincere condolences to you and your family for this great loss. Doris will be missed by all who knew her.

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  12. David Surplis :

    In September 2004, my wife Davina and I were in Glasgow for a bus tour of Scotland. When we met with the others in the group at a hotel, Davina asked, mostly in jest, if I saw anyone we might know. I looked around the room and said, “there is a couple I have met.” When I was asked how I knew them and how well, I replied, “I’ve only met them a few times but I do know the man’s nickname. It’s Iron Man Pants and his wife Doris, the Goviers whom I met through the Thorssens in Calgary.”

    Davina and I thoroughly appreciated meeting and travelling with George and Doris for our tour of Scotland. It was a delight for us “younger” seniors to see the pleasure they derived from diving into everything with great energy and interest.

    My hope is that Doris and George continued to share their evident joy in each other’s company to the end. Having lost my Davina last year, I wish George the strength of the “Iron Man” to carry on after his loss and many consoling memories of a great life together.

    David Surplis

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  13. Marie Rhodes :

    Dear Sue, I am so sorry to learn of the passing of your mother.
    What a talented, wonderful, resourceful woman. Her life is a marvellous example of a life well- lived. I’m sure you are proud of her as she is of you.
    Sincerely, Marie Rhodes

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