Daniela "Danica" Dolenc


Daniela Dolenc passed away peacefully at the Hanover and District Hospital on Monday, April 15, 2024, shortly before her 95th birthday.

Born on May 31, 1929 in Mala Nedelja, Slovenia, the youngest of eight children, our beloved mother, grandmother (Babsie), great-grandmother, aunt and great-aunt saw her early years defined by an idyllic family-farm life, filled with love, song, books, drama, a hard work ethic and academic pursuits which ultimately took her to the city of Maribor - all against the backdrop of the Great Depression, followed by the outbreak of civil war and World War II. During the war she was cruelly separated from her family, forced to abandon her language and culture, and was reeducated under the prevailing Germanization program. She was 13 years old when she was taken to a Maribor prison camp notorious for executions and narrowly escaped such a fate herself, saved only by the Allied bombing raids on Maribor in April of 1945, which resulted in her release.

After the war, she met the love of her life, Ivan, in high school, married him two years later, gave birth to three children and worked as a medical records clerk to help support the family while he pursued his undergraduate studies and subsequent career in journalism. Political considerations led to his self-exile from Slovenia (then part of former Yugoslavia), and once again she had to survive on her own. Two years later, she found herself making a TransAtlantic voyage to Canada with three daughters in tow to join her husband in Brandon, Manitoba, whereupon they soon welcomed a fourth daughter.

Immigrant life was harsh, particularly in small-town Manitoba at the time, which offered limited employment opportunities. The family moved from Manitoba to Ontario, settling primarily in Toronto, and for a brief period in Owen Sound. Daniela and Ivan then lived in various Ontario cites and towns during their retirement years.

Daniela maintained a household while working full-time and was primarily employed in the healthcare sector, first as a nurse’s aide and then secretary at the historical Lambert Lodge Veterans Hospital turned Seniors home for almost a decade and then two decades as secretary to the Chief of Surgery in Sunnybrook Hospital’s Cardiac Surgery Department, valued for her tireless dedication to doctors, patients and surgical staff, including interns.

Profoundly missed by her family and friends, Daniela (Danica/Dana/Babsie) will be forever cherished for her charm, strength, generosity, beautiful singing voice, amazing cooking, love of theatre, opera, history and politics, and her magical story-telling.

Daniela is predeceased by her husband of almost 60 years, her parents, her siblings, one nephew, one great-nephew, one niece, her in-laws, and many dear friends, co-workers and neighbours.

Mourning her loss are her loving children, Alenka, Manica (Ted), Danica (Rale), Jane (Doug) ; nine grandchildren, Cindy, Julia, John, Kate (Mike/Justin, Lucas), Robi (Sean), Mark (Holly), Steve, Will, Michael (Carley); four great-grandchildren, Taylor (Griffin), Jesse, Lila, Harrison; many nieces and nephews and their children in Europe, along with numerous friends In Canada, Europe and the United States.

A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Heart & Stroke Foundation may be made.


Public Condolences

It was always a pleasure to see Daniela at social events. She was a wonderful friend to our Mom Irene, always chatting and having fun.
Her stories were both heartbreaking and entertaining at the same time.
Our sincere condolences to the whole family.
Dave and Karen

- Dave and Karen Woolley
April 29, 2024

Sending condolences to all the families with love Doug and Carol.๐Ÿ’•

- Carol young
April 29, 2024

What a gift she was to anyone who met her. I remember her delicious cooking, and easy laugh, and the stories she shared with Papsi. They were both of a stronger and more courageous generation, who found love and laughter and compassion in the hardest of times. And the ability to endure and move forward in life. My love and light to you all, and to both Babsie and Papsi. Dave A

- David Andriole
April 27, 2024

Mighton Funeral Home
123 10th Street
Hanover, Ontario N4N 1N4
Phone: 519-364-3660
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