Dorothy Agnes Maud Roman, the oldest woman in Bonteheuwel, closed her eyes one last time a week ago.
Ma Doris, as she was fondly known, was 101 when she died on Tuesday August 4, after battling a short illness. She is survived by 11 children, 31 grandchildren, 69 great-grandchildren, and 21 great-great-grandchildren.
Ma Doris grew up in Goodwood with her family and moved to Bonteheuwel in 1962. She became a member of the Bonteheuwel Methodist Church when it opened.
Ma Doris was an avid reader of fiction and loved going for walks on the beach and drives around the coast, says her granddaughter, Rene Jumat.
She described her grandmother as an “outdoors person”, straightforward, but also kind and loving, a pillar of strength for her family and her community.
Ma Dorris developed a bladder infection after falling about a month ago. She was admitted to hospital but not allowed any visitors because of Covid-19. The infection affected her kidneys, and although she was sent home on Friday July 24, she wasn’t completely in the clear, and her condition worsened.
“She never opened her eyes really once she got home, and she wasn’t herself,” Ms Jumat said. “I think that not seeing her family for two weeks really got to her as she was emotional. We never had a chance to tell her that we would not be able to visit her at the hospital, and I think that’s what got to her at the end.”
Ms Jumat fondly remembered the times her grandmother would sleep over at her house on weekends or during school holidays and ask to be taken for a drive to the beach.
“We would read together and exchange books all the time. It has been a sad time for me and my family, but we have all accepted it. She has had a good, long, full life. She was a people’s person and would always give to others, even if it was her last.”
Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie said Bonteheuwel had lost a stalwart and a legend. “Ma Doris will be remembered for many many years. Her story will be told, her life detailed and experiences shared. A large part of Bonteheuwel has left us, while it is sad as a family, Bonteheuwel is proud of you, Ma Doris, rest in peace.”
Because of Covid-19 regulations, Ma Doris’s funeral is by-invitation-only and will be at the Baptist Church in Jakkelsvlei Avenue, tomorrow, Thursday August 13.