August 30, 1930 – August 15, 2005
Our dear, kindhearted and irreplaceable husband, father, grandfather and greatgrandfather went out fighting, after a 5-year battle against cancer, just short of his 75th birthday. Don was a Yorkshireman through and through; he was a miner’s son, youngest of 11 children. Don’s start in life was very difficult, but he always had a funny story to tell and laughed at his own challenges. Gladys was still the light of his life after 58 years together – his Glad was everything to him, as was his family. He leaves behind, with incredible memories and a huge void in their hearts, his wife of 53 years Gladys, his two beloved boys Alan and Glen, his two daughters (in-law) Kate and Rose. Don was very proud of his grandchildren Angela (Dustin), Lesley (Levon), David and Jaxson, and his first great granddaughter Annika “Dawn”. Don started his career in boxing at 16; he won many medals and won the majority of his welterweight fights. From the age of 18 he served his time in the forces as a physical training instructor and represented his unit in the ring. Don then started a very successful logging business, cutting mammoth trees in both Scottish and English estates. In 1965, Don and Gladys embarked on new adventures, packing up their two young boys and making a fresh start in Canada. Don worked at the Chemainus Mill for 10 years, making lifelong friends and then moved on to City of Nanaimo as a painter, until retirement, again bringing his kindness and giving a helping hand to everyone he met. Don shared his incredible and diverse experience in many ways, starting the first gymnastics classes for the City of Nanaimo in 1967. Don trained kick boxers taking 4 World Championships, 7 National Championships and 4 Regional Championships. Don trained models, runners, swimmers, tri-athletes and his trainee won 2nd place in all of Canada in the “Finally-fit Challenge”. Everyone was a winner for having met dad. Don also was an avid gardener with one of the most beautiful gardens in Ladysmith; he grew prize dahlias and won many awards, and generously supplied many weddings. Don was proud to work hard from sun-up to sun-down, all his life. Dad was a good and moral man, a wonderful husband, a great father and an incredible role model. He was always positive and always smiling, even against the odds, he never complained. Don was a self taught and accomplished Professor of Kidology and could spin a tale with the best of them.
We would like to thank the nurses, dedicated home care workers, hospice, Cancer Clinic, respite caregivers and Doctors – as a team, with mom as team leader, without who, his comfort and care at his much loved home overlooking his garden to the very end, wouldn’t have been possible. A celebration of his life and legacy, with memories and stories welcome, was held on Saturday, August 20th, 2005 at the Bethel Pentecostal Tabernacle 1149 4th Ave., Ladysmith.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don’s name to the Child Development Center in Nanaimo, with thanks for all they did for his David, who always held a very special place in granddad’s heart.
** TTFN – RASC **
** UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN **