(Aug. 19, 1916 – Feb. 8, 2008)
“We’ll Meet Again”
Perhaps the above titled song was playing in Don’s head to accompany his thoughts of Alma as he passed away peacefully late Friday night with his son, Don, by his side. He had been taken from his residence at George Derby Centre to Royal Columbian Hospital earlier that day.
He is survived by sons: Don (Lucie) and Tim (Darlene); grandchildren: Nadine (Tajh) Leitso, Leona, Amy Plowman, Derek (Erin), Trevor, and Jocelyn (Nick Pelletier); great-grandchildren: Willem, Xan and Ava; and sisters-in-law: Evelyn and Betty.
He was predeceased by wife Alma; son: Eric; grandson: Shawn; and siblings: Bruce (Viola), Tom, Madge (Jerry) Norlen, Sidney and Roy.
Don was born in Birkenhead, England and moved to Canada with his family settling in Chilliwack in the early 30’s. It was here that he met and married Alma Hanna in 1939 and after more than 60 years of marriage still considered her “the best thing that ever happened to him”.
Together they brought much laughter to those fortunate enough to know them with their humour and props ranging from bags of wigs to seatless shorts.
Don served as an airframe mechanic and sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force in WWII and was very active with the Royal Canadian Legion after the war.
He served as Club President and as Chairman of the Building Committee for the Jubilee Housing project, the first seniors housing complex in Chilliwack, which was funded by weekly Bingo nights over many years. He was a partner of Gleig Brothers Sporting Goods for almost 40 years and an avid golfer for many more. He was Chilliwack Golf and Country Club champion five times, the last time at the age of 69, and traveled the province to compete in seniors tournaments.
Big Band dancing and family gatherings were other favourite pastimes. He caught the trophy fish at the annual Vedder River steelhead derby one year. Many Sunday afternoons (after golf) he took his sons and cousins fishing only to find he was alone with five rods in the river and having to whistle to the owners to get them to return if a fish was biting.
Memories of his many stories and our experiences with him will ease the sense of loss. Remember the good times!
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Mt. Cheam Funeral Home, 45865 Hocking Avenue, Chilliwack.
All family and friends are welcome to attend and celebrate the Don’s life.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: George Derby Centre, 7550 Cumberland Street, Burnaby, BC V3N 3X5