Doris Aileen Potts

In Memorial

1927 – 2013
Our beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed away peacefully on Monday May 13, 2013 at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge.
Doris was born in Sointula B.C., the Finnish utopian settlement on Malcom Island, on November 25, 1927 to Harold and Aili Malm (Tynjala). Doris’ mother Aili was the first girl born on the island and Doris’ grandmother was the midwife who birthed perhaps as many as 200 people over the years. Doris attended elementary school on the island and secondary school in Vancouver. Doris was married to James Townley Potts, a combat veteran of WW II and career Vancouver firefighter. They were married for 52 years until his passing in 2000.
Upon leaving Britannia Secondary School, she attended art school, became a commercial artist and did some high profile work in Vancouver until marriage and children changed her direction. Though not working in the field, she pursued painting as a hobby during the time she raised her family. Doris actively pursued and was personally responsible for, the introduction of left-handed scissors to Canada during the 1950’s. For her successful efforts, Chatelaine Magazine made her their Woman of the Year. Once her children were in secondary school, Doris went back to school herself and graduated from the Education Faculty at U.B.C. after years of dedicated study. She taught elementary school in Vancouver for many years and during that time, was a Faculty Associate at S.F.U. She was highly respected by her peers and loved by many of the students whose lives she touched.
Doris is survived by: her son Tom Potts (Helen) of Kelowna B.C.; son Michael Potts of Burnaby; daughter Terri McCafferty (Chuck) of Maple Ridge; grandsons James Potts, Michael Potts, Daniel Potts, Scott McCafferty (Julie); granddaughter Katelin Van der Pauw (Rylan); great grandsons Oliver McCafferty and Greyer Van der Pauw; nephews John Malm of Surrey, B.C. and Steve Hoas (Hilda) of Sicamous B.C.; and niece Laurie Hoas of West Kelowna.
There will be no formal service by her request, though a private celebration of her life by family and friends will take place in the near future. Her ashes will rest with her mother Aili Sophia Anderson, in the cemetery at Sointula B.C. Her humour, strength and unconditional love will be missed by us all.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada at

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Condolence Messages

  1. Terri and Family, Please accept my condolences in the passing of you’re beloved mother. Doris was a wonderful,fun filled person. Just had such a good time when she was about with her big smile and hearty laugh!!
    I stayed with you’re family on one of my few trips to the city,you’re Mum painted a picture of me many years ago. I also use to go have supper when I was taking my LPN and boy did I enjoy her dumplings.
    I will always remember Doris with fond memories.
    Happy she will rest beside her mother in Sointula.
    How many cemeteries are water front??!! It is a lovely resting place.
    I know its been a long haul for you and you all were wonderful children and how she loved her Family. Thinking of you. Pat

  2. Carmel Denenfeld

    Such a beautiful tribute.
    May you all smile at the wonderful memories you have.
    Our thoughts are with all of you
    Carmel and Harold Denenfeld

  3. David and Margaret Patterson

    Our sincere condolences to all of you. She will be missed by a loving family.
    David and Margaret Patterson

  4. Sandy Johnston

    I am so sorry to hear of Doris’s passing.
    She was a much respected teacher at McBride Elementary.
    I have been retired for seven years,myself.
    But we always think of Doris fondly at school as she was instrumental in starting the Charlie Brown Art Corner, which is still on going at McBride.
    Three things I think of when I think of Doris:
    She always spoke fondly of her husband and family,
    She was proud of her Finn heritage.
    She loved the story of Jean val Jean.
    Wishing you all the best of memories of your Mother, Grandmother and friend.

  5. I’m sorry to hear of Aunt Doris’ passing. This is a beautiful tribute. Our thoughts are with you.

  6. This is a beautiful tribute to Auntie Doris. I loved her very much all my life, and even more-so after my mom died, as she filled that hole my life with much love. She was always so uplifting and inspiring and a joy to be around. I will always remember her with fond memories.
    Love & condolences to all my cousins and family.

  7. I along with so many of Doris’ students benefitted from her extra-ordinary skill, and caring. Many a student with challenging dispositions, that other professionals had given up on, Doris rescued and set on a path of personal and academic success. Her focus too, on engendering civic responsibility contributed to an attitude of caring not only in her students, but also colleagues. She was a ‘magical’ teacher, and a stellar person, that I held in such high regard and had the good fortune to work with at McBride Elementary School. To you, her family, I can only imagine the loss you are experiencing, and how fortunate you have been to have been blessed with one who gave much to so many.

    Love to you,

    Norm Friesen VSB Ed. Psych(Ret.)

  8. Doris Potts was my teacher for my Grade 7 year at the Major Works Program at Lord Selkirk School. She was one of few teachers who “saw” me and encouraged me creatively. I will remember her as someone who took a quiet young girl and gave her the confidence to walk through every door. I will miss her and her enthusiasm for life.

  9. Bunny (Kucher) Greening

    Family of Doris Potts…..I just stumbled on the obituary of your moms passing…My mother is Harriet (Malm) Kucher. .Doris Harold and mom grew up in Sointula…My mothers father was Sulo Malm Harold Malm Srs Brother. I am writing to express our sympathies on behalf of my mom and the rest of us Malm descendents – my brothers Bob Barry sister Linda andI as well as our families…Somehow may it comfort you to know that others care ….Sorry we are so late,but just found out tonight …..Sincerely;;;Bunny Greening St John’s nfld.

  10. Tim and Vicki Le Riche

    She was a lady of grace , compassion and love. I was very lucky to know Doris for a few wonderful years. Her family will have fond memories of the life she shared with many. We all loved Doris . Her love of travel , her many bus trips ! She even had some luck on her side from time to time. She watched her family grow as her children’s children had great grand babies. A lovely person that I will remember as I go through life. I will miss Doris but remember the Lady that always cheered me up! Rest with the best dear Doris . My heartfelt sympathies love Vicki xo

  11. Michael Potts (and Tom & Terri)

    Thank you all for all your kind words and sharing memories of our mother. Bunny it touches us deeply to hear from the “other” Malms. Mom and Harriet were the best of friends all Our regards to all the rest of you Malms out there.

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