A week after celebrating his 96th birthday in Sidney, BC, Don said his final farewell to Wilma, his wife of almost 70 years, and his three children; Douglas, Blair (Zoe) and Suzanne (Kit). He also leaves behind his two precious grandchildren, Alanna and Cailean, two sisters and many nephews and nieces.
Don spent most of his long life on a farm in southern Ontario, raising beef cattle and growing a variety of crops. He took great pride in his property and his home truly was his castle, where he planted countless trees and created beautifully landscaped grounds for his family’s enjoyment.
Having worked one summer in his youth on a farm in Saskatchewan, Don was always smitten with western Canada. In 1997, he finally got his chance to move West for good, this time all the way to Victoria, where Suzanne’s family now lived. He and Wilma sold everything and drove across the country to their new home and new life.
Don kept active with gardening, downhill skiing, swimming, walking and traveling. He was a voracious reader, especially of biographies and Canadian history. He also enjoyed investing and most recently was tickled to enjoy a 500 percent return on a marijuana stock he had the foresight to pick.
Always up for adventure, Don often accompanied Suzanne on her travel-writing assignments, including a backcountry heli-hiking trip in BC’s Bugaboo mountains when he was 89. For the first time in his life he put on hiking boots and a backpack and had in “the best days of my life,” flying over glaciers to reach choice hiking (and napping) spots.
Don had a big heart, giving money to people on the street and to charities, including the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation. A donation to the Foundation would be a wonderful way to honour his life.