Don passed away on March 30, 2016 at St. Joseph’s Hospital at age 85, nine days after a sudden stroke. He was a vigorous, active, going concern for his entire life, right up to the end.
And what a life he led. Despite losing both his Ontario farming parents when he was a teenager, he managed with the support of his aunt and uncle to get a Forestry degree from UNB in 1952. He never forgot the help they provided, and the great opportunities he had as a result, and he returned the favour by assisting them greatly in their old age.
He moved to the west coast in the early 1950’s to work 34 years in the logging industry with Crown Zellerbach and its successor companies. Early in his career he worked on the rigging as a Hooktender, then worked on the forestry crews (engineering and cruising) on southern Vancouver Island. In the mid-1950’s he accepted a job as a logging side-foreman in Bella Coola, and from there took the position of mid-coast log production superintendent in Ocean Falls in 1959.
It was there that he learned to fly, and purchased his first Cessna floatplane. He logged 4000 hours on three aircraft over the next 20 years, flying into logging camps all over the coast between Campbell River and Kitimat.
From Ocean Falls he transferred to Kitimat as Divisional Manager from 1972-77, and finished his career in 1985 after eight years as Manager of Courtenay/Johnstone Straits Division.
Don loved his work, and the people he worked with. He often said “if you’re in the company of loggers, you’re in good company .“
Retirement was no less productive – every day started at 5:30am sharp. He was an avid runner, skier, fisherman, golfer, pilot and pursuer of seemingly endless projects around the house. Around the house….not in the house. On his best days he’d run early, play 18 holes with his friends, and go fishing. Or some combination of that, depending on the weather, tides and what other projects he might have on the go.
Over the years he was a generous donor of his time with friends and neighbours, and a consistent supporter of many charities.
He will be missed by his wife Yvonne, son Peter (Eileen, Kate, Alex) and the many friends he made in his 85 years.
On Don’s behalf his family would like to thank the staff at St. Joseph’s for their compassionate care.
Flowers gratefully declined. Please consider a donation to the Red Cross Society or St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Private family arrangements.