Doris Birchander

Doris K. Birchander, 91, of Derry, formerly of Saugus, Mass., died Feb. 22, 2013 at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, surrounded by her family after a lengthy illness. Born Dec. 14, 1921 in Forties Settlement, Nova Scotia, Canada, she was the daughter of the late Frank W. and Bertha (Hiltz) Gates.

She moved to Peabody, Mass., as a young girl and graduated from Peabody High School, Class of 1939.
She married Oscar E. Birchander in 1942, moved to Saugus, Mass., and resided there until moving to Derry 11 years ago. She returned to school after her husband retired, and earned an Associate’s Degree in Gerontology, Class of 1982. She was a participant in the Annenberg PBS Special in conjunction with the University of Hawaii, “Growing Old in a New Age.”

She enjoyed volunteering and was active in the community when she lived in Saugus. She also enjoyed sewing. She is survived by two daughters, Ellen L. Birchander and her husband, Chester Blasczak of Derry, and Sheila A.B. and her husband, Robert Schaefer of Derry; one brother, M. Frederick Gates of Danvers, Mass.; and four grandchildren, Gabrielle E. Schaefer, Benjamin G. Schaefer, Emma L. Blasczak, and Vanna D. Blasczak, all of Derry. She was predeceased by her husband, Oscar E. Birchander, with whom she shared 70 years of marriage; a
son, Oscar E. Birchander Jr., and a sister, Louise Skala.

A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Transfiguration, 1 Hood Road, Derry on Friday, March 1, at 11 a.m. to which relatives and friends are invited. A reception will follow at the church. Memorial donations in her memory may be made to Rockingham VNA and Hospice, 137 Epping Road, Exeter, NH 03833.
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