Wednesday (March 13) was the birthday of the century for South Surrey’s Doreen Reid. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Great ‘deck of cards’ for South Surrey centenarian

Doreen Reid says her decades of life have left her with no regrets

Looking back, Doreen Reid can’t say definitively how she’s managed to log as many years as she has – 100 as of this past Wednesday (March 13).

She was a smoker for a while, so a lifetime of clear lungs is not the answer.

And, she retired early from her position as a probation officer due to health issues related to the job, so life hasn’t exactly been carefree.

“It was a pretty stressful job, so I ended up with high blood pressure,” the South Surrey senior told Peace Arch News last Friday, of the role she was the first woman in Saskatchewan to hold.

Good genes, then, is Reid’s best guess – and they apparently came from her mother’s side.

“My mother lived to be 100,” she said. “She wanted the letter from the queen.”

Relaxing in her suite at Whitecliff Retirement Residence the day before celebrating her centennial milestone with family, Reid said while her life has been a largely healthy one – aside from a nasty virus about 11 years ago that left her paralyzed for two months – “the years are catching up.”

“Actually, I think they’ve caught up,” she quipped.

“Hard to believe I’m going to be 100. I sit here sometimes and think, how the hell did I get here?”

Raised in Saskatchewan, Reid said she had planned from a young age to move to B.C., but love got in the way. While at a welcome-home party for her older brother, who’d just returned from the war, she met a soldier who had spent five-and-a-half years overseas.

Though she was engaged to a Mountie at the time, Reid said rules that prohibited her fiancé from getting married until he had been an officer for seven years only made her decision to say goodbye easier.

“I wasn’t looking for something better,” she noted.

But it turned out to be a good decision. Four months later, in February 1946, she and the soldier, Robert, were married, and they spent the next 47 years together, raising two sons and sharing whatever trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows life threw at them, until he passed away in 1993.

Seven years after that, Reid finally reached the West Coast.

In a video created six years ago by a trio of local students, Reid says her years have taught her “to accept people for what they are, not what they might be.”

The once-avid bridge player told PAN she likens life to a deck of cards – “you play the hand you’re dealt.”

“That’s all you can do,” she said.

Sadly, Reid’s deck has included the “hardest thing you have deal with,” the death of her oldest son when he was 64. As difficult as it was, Reid said she didn’t give up on life.

“He would be so angry” if she did that, she said.

Instead, “you get up in the morning, you put a smile on your face and you go,” she said.

“You have to realize dying is part of living.”

The determination has only contributed more to an already bountiful cache of memories.

“I’ve had an amazing life and I certainly have no regrets, ever.”

Just Posted

Surrey man mourns the loss of classmate killed in New Zealand mosque attack

When he heard news of the attack, he sent a message to his friend

Semiahmoo Ravens win first two games of peewee hockey provincials

Peninsula team hosting Tier 1 tournament at White Rock’s Centennial Arena

Surrey RCMP search for missing woman

Deborah-Lynn Hurshman was last seen on the 13600-block of 102 Avenue on March 12.

Vehicle plows through White Rock business

Incident happened at Kidazzles (1253 Johnston Rd.)

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

5 to start your day

Gas prices go up, a deadly single-car crash in Coquitlam, big day for Alphonso Davies, and more

Man enters unlocked B.C. home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Greater Victoria early Sunday morning

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Driver dies in fiery crash in Coquitlam

Police say speed was factor in single-vehicle collision

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Most Read