Doris and Harry Stastny Bursaries

Doris Stastny was born in Chingford, Essex, England, on February 13, 1925, daughter of Norman and Winnifred Parker.  She was one of four children, her siblings being Chris, Kay and John. 

In 1947, Doris married her first husband, Ants Eert, and had four children, Michael, Linda, William and Jane. 

In 1950, Doris was one of the first women to earn a degree from Cambridge University, a Master of Arts in Geography, at Newnham College.   In the same year, Doris moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she worked in town planning. 

In 1957, Doris moved her three children, Michael, Linda and William, to Campbell River, British Columbia, to join her husband, where her fourth child, Jane, was born.  For many years, Doris published maps of northern Vancouver Island for sportsmen and tourists.  One of her favorite things to do was to drive the backroads for many miles to ensure that her maps were accurate.  Unfortunately, after the end of her first marriage, Doris was not able to support her family with her mapmaking, so she worked at Elk Falls Mill in Campbell River.  She did not find the work very inspiring and decided to go back to school to obtain a degree in Library Science.  Doris commuted from Campbell River to the Vancouver to attend the University of British   Columbia for a year.  This proved to be a difficult time for Doris; she had her studies during the week, and then she would go back to Campbell River to take care of her four children who would often complain about the housekeepers she had hired to look after them while she was gone.  Apparently, the family went through a lot of housekeepers that year!  In 1966, Doris received her degree and got a job at the University of Victoria library and moved her family to Victoria.

She met her second husband, Harry Stastny, who was also employed in the library, at the University of Victoria and they married in 1967.  Doris became a Canadian citizen in 1969. 

Doris’ passion was gardening and had won a trophy for the best English garden in Victoria.  She also loved the wild areas of northern Vancouver Island.  She enjoyed singing in church choirs and regularly sang in The Messiah at Christ Church Cathedral. 

Doris passed away on July 27, 2006, in Saanichton, British   Columbia, after a 16 year struggle with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.  She was predeceased by her husband, Harry, her parents and her brother, Chris. 

Because of Doris’ experience in raising a family of four alone, she wanted to leave a lasting gift to help other single mothers who might be in a similar situation.

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