2020 Dora (Lucas) Basmajian Cl’45F

DORA (LUCAS) BASMAJIAN March 21, 1923 – December 19, 2020 At ninety-seven years of age, Dora Basmajian still read voraciously, baked nonstop for friends and family, attended exercise classes, and relished get-togethers with her children Haig (Lynn), Nancy (Mark Phillips), and Sally (Kevin Conway), grandchildren Matthew and Colin Basmajian and Jocelyn and Peter Conway, and great-grandson Connor Basmajian. Although her eyesight and hearing were failing and she’d needed a hip replacement a year ago, her positive attitude was an inspiration to those who knew and loved her. Her death came as a surprise, but not a shock. Dora was born on Pelee Island in 1923 to Sam and Maggie Lucas and attended high school in Leamington, Ontario, living with her older sister Velva (Clayton Dresser) before training as a nurse at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. She adored working with babies, becoming a head nurse on Infant “A” Ward. (Note: Dora was her Class Representative for the Alumnae Association, Hospital for Sick Children School of Nursing). In 1945, she met John Basmajian, an intern at Toronto General Hospital, and they were married two years later. Dora supported John through his near-fatal case of tuberculosis in 1947/48, never losing faith that he would make it out of the sanitarium. Their three children were born in Toronto in the early 1950s. Family came first for Dora, who focused on childrearing to allow John to pursue his career as an anatomist and pioneer in physical rehabilitation research, which took them from Toronto to Kingston in 1957, then to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1969, and back up to Hamilton in 1977. Following John’s retirement, they lived in Ancaster before moving to Burlington, where Dora continued living independently after John’s death in 2008, bolstered by family, a large circle of friends around the globe, and her neighbours and the staff at Hearthstone by the Lake. Among Dora’s many interests and talents, quilting and gardening ranked high. She loved music and, until her hearing failed, had subscriptions to orchestras in each city she called home. With John, she travelled all over the world, collecting a prized silver spoon from every trip. She took special pleasure in sponsoring many children from abroad through Plan International Canada, often maintaining contact with them for decades. Dora found joy in entertaining, throwing marvelous themed parties and serving delectable homemade cakes and pastries. A devoted correspondent, she wrote countless witty letters to her friends and family, keeping them informed and engaged in all her exploits. At this time, there will be no memorial service. She’d want everyone to stay safe, but would surely be pleased if you’d lift a glass-or a brownie-for a toast to her life and her unique spirit. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory to SickKids or Ecojustice Canada would be appreciated.

Link to full obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/dora-basmajian-obituary?pid=197347691