June 6, 1948 – June 30, 2022
Don began his life’s journey on June 6th, 1948, in Winnipeg Manitoba. He had a strong passion for life, living each day as if it was his last. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness 7 years ago, he fought the good fight, and against all odds, survived setbacks, new diagnoses, more surgeries, new treatment plans and continued on one day at a time. On June 29th he requested one more surgical procedure to prolong the good life, but all was exhausted and nothing more could be done to fix the ‘fixer’. He accepted the news with “I guess it is the end of the road.” And with that, he went to sleep and surrendered. Don passed away on June 30th under the compassionate care of the staff in the North Island Hospital Comox Valley.
Don was the eldest son of Ruth and Richard Lippens. He later became the big brother to Frank, Bonnie, and Barb.
Don met his wife, Jo Ann, at a country dance in Swan Lake, Manitoba. She was initially taken by his wonderful sense of humour, and the gusto and enthusiasm that he put into his story telling. They were married on May 29th, 1971.
Don went to Assiniboine School and St James Collegiate. As a young teenager he worked at building fences, shoe repairs, painting houses, building cars and motor bikes. His first job was with Woods Bag and Canvass. In 1969 he started his career with Manitoba Telephone Systems. Don had a passion to travel. His favourite trips were Vancouver Island, Florida, Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Alaskan Cruises. The Island was always pulling at our heart strings and in 2006 after Jo’s early retirement, they took up stakes and moved to the beautiful Comox Valley. As their golden years fast approached, Jo suggested that perhaps they should move back to Winnipeg. Don’s response was “I am sure going to miss you.”
The Lippens’ and Grift’s siblings and in laws all enjoyed each other’s company. So many of them, Frank, Bonnie (Walter) Barb (Bob), and on Jo’s side, Bert (Penny) Ed, Larry (Fran) Marlene (Ed) Arch (Maria) Mary Ann (Mike). Don and Jo would host annual family get-togethers at their cottage in Grand Marais, MB. The Lippens’ clan were so disappointed when they heard that Don & Jo were moving to BC. They said that they really were going to miss the Grifts.
Don and Jo Ann were proud parents to Terry (Guy) and Jeff (Kristin), proud grandparents to Katrina, Calum (Evan), Phil (Marianne), and proud great grandparents to Gabriel and Raphael.
Don’s hard work ethic, generosity, the love he had for his family, his love for bargain hunting, his wonderful sense of humour, being a prankster, and his passion for life in general, will be remembered always.
Thank you to the wonderful medical team in Emergency and 3rd floor at the Island Health Hospital.
The funeral will be held at Christ the King Church, Courtenay on July 15th at 2:00 p.m.
Toneff Funeral Services are handling funeral arrangements. Condolences may be offered at www.telfordtoneffboyd.ca.
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