Donald William Kickbush passed away in his sleep, on a Lodge trip to Keremeos, B.C., with his Masonic Brothers, Don Birdsell and Jim McIlroy Thursday, June 12, 2003.
Donald (Don) is survived by his loving wife Margaret Elizabeth, of 58 years; daughters, Donna and Betty; and son Frank; Betty’s husband Robert, and Frank’s wife Kathryn; 10 grandchildren – Donna’s children, Willie and his wife Lisa, Wenona and her husband Ernie Victor, Dilah and Helena. Betty and Bob Bedard’s children, Jalean and her fiance Darryl, Norman and his wife Michelle. Frank and Kathryn’s children, Nathan and his partner Megan, Mori and his wife Marnie, Benjamin and his wife Christa, and Dan; 13 great-grandchildren, Willie’s children, Austin, Cassidy and Mackenzie. Wenona’s children, Jade and Justice. Dilah’s children, Devon, Tsandlia and Faith. Helena’s daughter Summer. Jalean’s son Weston. Norman’s daughter Isabella. Mori’s son Dylan, and Ben’s daughter Morgan.
Don is also survived by his loving sister Lorna McKinnon (Bill) and sons, Phillip (Betty) and Jim Teichgrab of Chilliwack; sister-in-law Florine (Flossy) Gordy and family of Yakima, WA.; sister-in-law Violet May and family of Calgary, Alta. Also his constant companion Cindy Girl.
Don was predeceased by parents, former Chilliwack Sheriff Frank Kickbush and Mary (nee Richardson); grandparents, former Chilliwack Reeve Fredrick Kickbush and Cynthia Ann (nee Huck) and local artist Norman Richardson and Margaret (nee Rounsefell); and nephew Donald Teichgrab.
Don was born and lived his whole life on the farm that his grandparents homesteaded (1800s). In addition to working the farm for many years, Don also worked at the AI Station (also past president) and 15 years at the Agassiz Research Station. Don’s activities included a partnership in the Chilliwack Art Gallery, membership in the Chilliwack Curling Club, OES #49, Ionic Lodge #19, and member of FVMPA, past Board of Stewards and member of Carman United since the 1950s. Catcher for the Valley Ramblers ball team.
Don will be remembered for his devotion to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, never missing the opportunity to attend a sporting event that they might be involved in. He had a strong connection to his family and deep interest and knowledge of his ancestral roots including Sto:lo history.
Don was an avid reader, he particularly enjoyed sharing stories of B.C. and historical sites. He was very knowledgeable about nature, animals, birds and trees (planting well over 100 trees on the Kickbush place during his 80 years). Don had a strong affinity to the land, nicknamed Johnny Appleseed, he had to plant something (usually trees) every spring. He was also a target for every stray cat or dog that showed up.
Don is widely known and appreciated for his skill as a carpenter and cabinet maker completing numerous projects for friends and family. His cheerful, engaging nature always lead to lasting relationships with his customers.
Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 at 2 p.m. at Carman United Church (Vedder Rd., Sardis). Dr. and Cheryl Wickham have provided the “Kickbush Heritage House’’ for tea and tours. At this time the family will be planting a tree in Don’s honour.
Interment of ashes will be attended by family members only in Chilliwack. The graveside service will include a traditional native prayer song by Ernie Victor using a drum framed by Don. Dedication of the grave will be offered by Elder Frank Kickbush.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the B.C. Heart and Stroke Foundation, B.C. Children’s Hospital, or a charity of your choice will be appreciated.