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HN Issue 15: Remembering Kelly

A PASSIONATE TEACHERS LEGACY LIVES ON THRU THE PEOPLE AND CHARITIES SHE LOVED.  
BY CHERYL HANKS AND CARISSA YOUSSEF. 


When Kelly Doig heard about an opportunity to teach in Rwanda, she signed up mere weeks before the departure date. Other teachers had been preparing for months and weren’t sure Kelly could catch up. But this wasn’t her first international adventure, and she ended up thriving that summer. Of course there were good moments and hard ones for the nurse-turned-teacher, but her antics kept everyone laughing and on their toes. 

A memorable moment for Kelly was meeting Uwimana, the young Rwandan student she sponsored through Food for the Hungry. After getting to know Uwimana through letters back and forth, Kelly was moved to tears at their first meeting.


The teaching trip was over ten years ago, but Kelly’s mom still receives Christmas cards from Kelly’s friends in Rwanda. Roberta Wilson sees it as a tribute to her daughter’s life and character – she made friends everywhere she went. When Kelly was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, long-time friends from Rwanda even came to Canada to see her.



Kelly handled her illness the same way she lived her life – with faith, friends, humour, and Tim Horton’s. Always known for her funky and creative outfits in the classroom, she also held onto her love of fashion. When they cleaned out her house there were 18 pairs of boots and almost 40 pairs of shoes. Even now, when her friends see something she would have liked they’ll say, “That’s a Kelly!”

Roberta remembers a conversation they had before Kelly passed away. They were sitting in the backyard when Kelly told her that she didn’t have a will and wanted to discuss her estate. Roberta asked her daughter not to leave her any money, but suggested that Kelly instead consider leaving it to charity. Food for the Hungry was the first charity to come to Kelly’s mind, and today it is one of four organizations continuing to walk out her legacy.


Kelly’s memory lives on with her family and friends, with Uwimana – now a graduate of the FH sponsorship program – and with the work of the four organizations closest to her heart. In 2010, Kelly’s memorial service was full of people whose lives she had touched. Just over three years later, her generous and loving spirit has impacted more lives than she could have ever imagined.



If you have questions about honouring a loved one through estate giving, please contact Cheryl Hanks at 1-800-667-0605 ext 107 or estate@fhcanada.org.

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Food for the Hungry: HN Issue 15: Remembering Kelly
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