Doreen Margaret Shafizadeh, 91, of Missoula, Montana, passed away peacefully from natural causes on Monday, December 19, 2022, at The BeeHive in Missoula.
Doreen was born to Charles and Rosina Wigley on June 19, 1931, in Birmingham, England. She and her two sisters grew up in the industrial center of England during World War II. Despite, or perhaps in part because of, some extreme conditions during the war Doreen and her sisters were a trio of “tough old birds” who could get through just about anything with a smile and a laugh, especially when it involved taking care of their families.
Doreen met Fred Shafizadeh at a dance in Birmingham. When Fred had finished his PhD he was offered a six-month grant-funded research position at Penn State University. Doreen waited somewhat patiently in England for his return. When the six months was up, Fred was offered another position at Ohio State University which he accepted and sent for Doreen. Doreen, who had never left home, flew to the other side of the world so they could marry. Fred and Doreen were married March 2, 1954, in Columbus, Ohio. From there they moved on to Seattle for several years before finally making their home in Missoula in 1966. Fred and Doreen were proud to become naturalized US citizens in the mid 1970’s.
Doreen was the consummate wife, mother, and homemaker. Always a “people person,” Doreen also had many dear and wonderful friends. She enjoyed dancing, singing (including karaoke), cooking foods of all kinds of ethnicities (especially Persian), and entertaining – at which she was an expert. She had many interests and hobbies and became quite an accomplished artist, taking classes at the university and sharing a downtown art studio with an artist friend at one point. She and Fred enjoyed weekend garage sales and estate sales, looking for fine art and antiques. She was a member of a sewing group, numerous reading groups, the DBE (Daughters of the British Empire) until its dissolution, a square-dancing group with Fred, the Missoula Museum of the Arts, the Holy Spirit Altar Guild, the Red Hats, and so much more. She volunteered with the “Reading for the Blind” program as well as at Partnership Health, and was extremely active in her church, Holy Spirit Episcopal. She loved to travel, especially when it involved an opportunity to see her family in England.
Doreen was fearless when it came to joining her husband and daughter in activities. They talked her into snow- and water-skiing, horseback riding, and all sorts of crazy things (even a few jet ski rides, when she was in her 80’s). In the 60’s, she and Fred bought a very small shell of a cabin and proceeded, with the help of friends along the way, to make it into the most cherished place for the family.
Doreen is preceded in death by her husband, Fred Shafizadeh, her sisters Joyce (Reginald) Rea and Pauline (John) Bradford, and her nephew Mark Davis.
Survivors include her daughter Alexandra “Zandy” (Thom) Startin, her grandchildren Taylor (Emily) Startin of Kalispell and Sam (Ryan) Wolf of Missoula, her three great-grandchildren Emerson, Zoey, and Nolan, as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A memorial celebration of Doreen’s life will take place at 11 am at Holy Spirit Parish in Missoula, MT, on Saturday, July 15, 2023. The Rev. Gretchen Strohmaier will officiate. There will be a reception held at the church following the ceremony. Attendees are encouraged to wear hats and bold, bright colors.