April 22, 1958 – March 29, 2022
Donna took on her swift and unwinnable fight with cancer in the same way she walked through life – with courage, grace, humour and caring for those around her.
Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Donna’s life was filled with family, including four siblings, many aunts and uncles and over 20 cousins in the Victoria area. The McLean’s lived on Jones Terrace and the families who lived alongside them form another circle of family to this day.
Donna’s first job was working in the concession at the Tillicum Drive-in Theatre in Victoria and from there she went on to manage theatres under the Famous Players and Landmark Cinemas banners in both Victoria and Vancouver.
While in Vancouver she met her long-time partner Noel and the two made their home in Prince George for four years before moving and settling in the Comox Valley.
Donna was mentored in the fine art of food services and taught to make her pastries and baking by her father who was a chef and well sought out caterer. She proudly recalled his words, “that pastry was all in the feel” .
Donna started the Park Café at the Courtenay Air Park and soon had a loyal and appreciative clientele who enjoyed her home-cooked breakfasts and her wonderful baking. You never really lived unless you had her butter tarts. She wanted to thank all her Park Family and you all know who you are. She never forgot a name and all who crossed the doorway appreciated this.
Donna was involved for many years in the Comox Valley Earl Naswell Community Dinner and took great care in making sure all Desserts were put in the hands of the very appreciative patrons.
Donna was predeceased by her spouse, Noel Kearney, her parents, Denis (Red) and Betty McLean and her older brother Denny McLean (Jady). Left to walk in her footsteps are her sisters, Mickey Venables (McLean), and Sandi Lea Gibson (Dave), her brother, Ian Mclean (Michelle) and her 11 nieces and nephews and their families.
The family cannot begin to express the incredible care Donna received in the Comox Valley by the paramedics, and the ICU team at the Comox Valley Hospital. The team at the Royal Jubilee Hospital including nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors and every staff member we were fortunate to encounter, were rock stars. Donna was given a special gift by one of the nurses in Victoria, created by an artist in the Comox Valley. Serendipity or karma? A nurse touched by Donna’s strength felt compelled to give her a dragonfly print and the words below. The dragonfly has always been a favourite for Donna. Donna’s strength through this swift journey touched all those who were there to support her.
Donna wanted to share this with all of you…
“Dragonflies are amazing critters. They have been known to symbolize wisdom, change transformation, light & adaptability in life. Their wings are made from nature’s “rip-stop” material and they have enough redundancy that even when they lose significant chunks, they are able to fly and manoeuvre just fine. Whatever challenges you face today; whatever change or transformation you are going through, may you have enough redundancy in your support systems to keep flying and manoeuvring effectively.
Donna’s caring extended to pets in need. In lieu of flowers please consider giving a donation in Donna’s name to the BCSPCA, Comox Valley medical emergency fund. https://spca.bc.ca/donations/comox/
No Service by Request, a private celebration will be held at a later date.
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