Dorothy Agnew of Abbotsford celebrates her 100th birthday on March 18 and, because she can’t have a celebration due to the pandemic, her family is asking that the public send her birthday cards.
Agnew (nee Alman) was born March 18, 1921 in New Westminster and was raised in Vancouver. She was the sixth of seven children.
During high school, she played as a field hockey goalie despite doctor’s orders to avoid strenuous activity due to a heart murmur.
Agnew worked at Active Trading in Vancouver and Commercial Steal in Burnaby.
She married her first husband in 1941 and had three children – Joseph, Marilyn and David. Over the years, Agnew lived in New Westminster, North Vancouver, Powell River, Burnaby and Mission before settling in Abbotsford in 1984.
She married the love of her life, Fred Agnew, in 1970.
Agnew enjoyed singing and was a member of the Sweet Adeline Chorus and then the conductor for the Happy Gang.
“She was littlest of us all, but she ruled with a rod of iron,” said her friend Betty Preston.
Agnew was also active in serving pancake breakfasts at Friendship House, where the Happy Gang would practise on Tuesday mornings, followed by carpet bowling in the afternoon. On Wednesdays, the group would perform at seniors’ homes.
The breakfasts raised money for the choir’s road trips, which they started when the former conductor fell ill and moved to a nursing home up country. They used the money to rent a bus and stay overnight in a hotel so they could visit him in his new home and perform.
Agnew still lives on her own and does all her own cooking, baking and even moving furniture, despite the objections of her family. She also did all her own grocery shopping before the pandemic.
Her 97-year-old brother, Jack – her only surviving sibling – lives in the same building, and is also doing well.
In addition to her three children, Agnew has five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with her first great-great-grandchild due in June.
Anyone who would like to send her a birthday card can send it to: PMB 674, A-33771 George Ferguson Way, Abbotsford, V2S 2M5.