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Dorothy Kings

Kings Photo

Dorothy Alice Louise Kings (nee Alston)  passed away peacefully on July 26, 2019 at the age of 95.  In recent years she suffered from dementia and was a resident of John Joseph Place in Owen Sound.  Dorothy Kings was a singular woman, loved and admired by many.  The daughter of Ernest and Ida Alston she had one sister, Peggy (all deceased).  Dorothy was married twice, to Grover Book and to Dennis Kings and has one daughter, Cecile (Book).  Dorothy started to teach elementary school during WWII; over the following years she periodically took summer courses at Queen’s University, earning her BA at the age of 70.  She loved to learn and her curiosity about all aspects of life – especially the natural world – was one of Dorothy’s dominant characteristics.

In the 1960s Dorothy and Grover were members of the Ottawa Flying Club.  She gained her pilot’s licence and in 1966 she and a friend purchased a tiny, bright red Ercoupe airplane which they named “Pussycat”.  Dorothy and her second husband, Dennis, lived in Guyana for a number of years, retiring to Port Elgin upon their return to Canada.  Their home in Saugeen Shores was the Alston family cottage.  It was during this time that Dorothy began to actively pursue her love of birding.  Dorothy was a steward of the environment, a conservationist, birder, nature observer and gardener.  She was a member of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists and the Saugeen Field Naturalists, was involved with the Baillie Birdathon and ran the Walkerton-Hanover Christmas Bird Count for many years.  She also volunteered in her community in a variety of areas: palliative care, the Horticultural Society and Southampton Museum, was a member of CFUW and active participant in the CFUW book club.  Dorothy and Dennis wintered in Florida for many years.  In latter years she travelled widely with nature groups, as close to home as the Flowerpot Islands and as far away as the Amazon.  The month of May always found her augmenting her birding life-list at Point Pelee.  Dorothy will be missed by her family and many friends, in particular her daughter Cecile and niece Carolyn, and a host of nieces and nephews.  Special thanks go to John and Judith King who so kindly included Dorothy in their family and helped handle her affairs, to the staff of Hampton Court in Southampton and those at John Joseph Place in Owen Sound.   A private burial will be held at a later date in Toronto in the Alston family plot at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.  Online condolences may be made at


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