In Memory of




Obituary for Audrey Dorothy McDougall

nee Challen
1937 - 2023

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of Audrey Dorothy McDougall,nee Challen on January 19th in her 85th year.

Mum was born on April 28, 1937, in Send, Surrey England to Bill and Dorothy Challen. Mum was predeceased by her brother Raymond Challen and his wife Marg, and her brother-in-law Dickie Bird. Her sister Pauline Bird still resides in New Milton, England. Mum helped out her parents in the family business, Send Service Garage, for many years.

She was a selfless and amazing mother to her three children: Janet McDougall Gudbjartson, Ian McDougall and Beth Ohnysty(nee McDougall). She was also a cherished mother-in-law to Scott, Robin and Dean, and a remarkable Grandma to six grandsons: Brodie, Conor, and Declen McDougall; Aiden and Wilson Ohnysty; and Oliver Gudbjartson. Mum’s pride in her grandsons was evident whenever she spoke of them. Mum also created family out of friends and leaves behind many in Vesterland which was her home for 46 years. The Robinson family was the most cherished and the many Christmases that Brenda and Harry hosted for us cemented a lifetime bond. Mum had so many friends but a special thank you to the ones that helped her in her final years especially Sue, Carol O., Florence, and Carol S, as well as all her neighbours at Vesterland Villa.

Growing up in wartime fuelled her fighting spirit and perseverance that defined her character. Mum trained in Plymouth as first a nurse and then a midwife working in several different districts and helping over 3,000 babies safely enter the world over her career. After immigrating to Canada in 1965 she put her education to good use working in maternity wards in St. Catherine’s and then in Kenora, Ontario where she rose to become Head Nurse of Maternity. Then moving on to The Misericordia in Winnipeg and finally Thunder Bay Hospital.

Mum met and married Allan McDougall while working in Kenora and they had 19 years of marriage. Gimli became their home in 1976 and she happily enjoyed becoming a positive member of the community. Special achievements included being a life member of the Kinettes Club, becoming a board member for the Gimli Handivan and being part of the local bells group playing concerts for others in the community. Mum was an active congregation member at St Bartholomew Anglican Church in Winnipeg Beach. Our Mum’s love for all animals was a keen part of our home life, whether it was a dog, cat, fish or rabbit. They all held a soft spot in her heart.

When it was time to re-enter the work force Mum was embraced by the wonderful people at the Gimli Children’s Centre. When she chose to further her education, she received her certificate in Teaching Assistant and joined the staff at the Gimli High School working with students of all learning levels until her retirement.

Mum’s enthusiasm for travel started early with family driving trips to Devon and Cornwall and she did a great job instilling that love in her children who follow in her footsteps by making it a priority. She felt it was the best way to understand other cultures and people. She often entertained us with her stories of hitchhiking throughout Europe. Mum enjoyed many cruises with her friend Gwen that took her to Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, Japan, Russia and China. As well as a family trip to Mexico for a Christmas. She never made it to her dream destination of New Zealand but her children will carry that torch for her to the finish line.

“100 years from now it will not matter what your bank account was, or the sort of house you lived in, or the kind of car you drove. But the world may be different because you made a difference in the life of a child”- Anonymous.

No truer words have ever been spoken when you look at the accomplished life of Audrey McDougall. She truly made this planet a better place and we will continue to be inspired by her example of service. She leaves as our Hero and her soul will become one with the world.

The family would like to thank Dr. Adegbesan and his staff for their wonderful care and taking a special interest in Mum’s wellbeing over the years. The staff at the Health Science Centre Unit GB2 and all the support staff and nursing and aide staff led by Donna at the Gimli Community Health Centre. You all worked so hard to help us care for Mum in her final months. As well as all the Home Care workers she had.

A Celebration of Life will occur at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Audrey’s favourite charities: CNIB Guide Dogs Program or Gimli Humane Society.