Landscapes 17

Dawn Lucile (O'Donnell) Remington

April 26, 1946 ~ November 18, 2021 (age 75)


Dawn was born in Billings, Montana on April 26, 1946, to Harley and Lucy O'Donnell. Growing up she lived on the family turkey farm with her parents and two sisters.  After high school Dawn attended Montana State University and U of Minnesota, subsequently earning her MSc in Environmental Biology at Tulane University in New Orleans. She met medical student Bill Remington through a blind date in Billings Montana, and two years later, on August 26, 1966 they married. 

Dawn taught school in New Orleans while Bill did his military duty as a doctor. They enjoyed camping on the beach in Florida and took a year long trip through South America, living in the back of a pickup rigged out as a tiny camper. In 1973 Bill and Dawn came to Canada and bought property on the Telkwa High Road, starting their homestead adventure. Bill did locums for existing doctors in Smithers until he opened his own practice, and Dawn worked as an environmental biologist, eventually forming her own consultancy. 

For the next 30 years Dawn did water quality monitoring and assessment on a broad range of projects.  Her work was primarily in the Skeena watershed, although on one occasion she did some water quality research on the Colorado River.  Dawn earned a reputation as a highly competent consulting biologist and was never short of work.

Over the years, Dawn and Bill created a small paradise on their property with a self-built log home, an orchard, a trout pond, sauna, greenhouses, large garden, raspberry patch and huge garden. In the mid 70’s they met Alan and Anne Picard, who subsequently built their own octagonal log home on the Remington property.

Dawn and Bill also loved their cabin on Hudson Bay Mountain, where they enjoyed ski coaching and racing. They competed in BC and across the US. They also enjoyed kayaking off the coast of Haida Gwaii in a two-man Klemperer kayak. Dawn began to paint in the late 90’s, and some of her work has been exhibited in local galleries. 

While they loved their property on the Telkwa High Road it involved a lot of physical work to maintain and when Bill and Dawn aged, they decided to move into town.  Dawn was always a passionate gardener and she developed a beautiful garden with raised beds and a greenhouse.  She spent many happy hours in that garden, continued painting, and started singing with local groups.  

She also became active in environmental issues.  After she retired, Dawn decided to turn her expertise into volunteer pursuits.  She was one of the founding directors of Friends of Morice Bulkley and became its lead spokesperson.  Dawn had the rare ability to be a highly effective campaigner without overstating the case being made and without causing offence.  She was pleasant but firm in her resolve and had a strong sense of environmental justice.   

Dawn is predeceased by her parents Harley and Lucile. She will be deeply missed by her husband Dr. Bill Remington (retired), sisters Sue Delger (Ron) and Patricia Wiggins (Jack). She will also be sadly missed by the environmental community and many good friends. 

Dawn was cremated and a Celebration of Life is planned for the summer.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the BC Cancer Society and Friends of the Morice-Bulkley.

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