Donald WILLIAMS

March 28, 1922 — December 2, 2014


Donald Mack Williams, son of Ray and Addie Williams, died in Chilliwack Hospital at the age of 92, in the presence of family. He is dearly missed and always loved. Born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Don grew up during the Depression on the family farm in Bow Island, Alberta, before serving his country overseas during WWII as a surveyor and gunner in the Royal Canadian Artillery, taking part in the liberation of Holland. After completing his service, Don graduated in 1950 from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Engineering. He worked throughout his life as both a civil engineer and a high school teacher. Don found his true partner in life and love in Jean (nee Pritchard). They were married in Edmonton in 1954. The young family moved from Alberta to Saltair, Vancouver Island, BC, where Don built a log house by the ocean. The family travelled overseas with 4 children, age 6 and under, when Don accepted two-year stints with Canadian External Aid (now CIDA) at a teacher-training college in Ghana, West Africa, and later in Trinidad. He then taught at Malaspina College on Vancouver Island, then worked with CUSO in Botswana and Kenya as a surveyor and thereafter Nigeria. Jean and Don retired to beautiful Salt Spring Island, enjoying building, walking and golfing. They next moved to Comox for a few years and then finally to Chilliwack, B.C. where Don faithfully cared for Jean throughout her vascular dementia for 13 years. When Jean had to move into extended care, Don visited her almost every day until her death in 2013. He lived with his eldest daughter Gwynneth and husband David in great happiness and peace, enjoying daily walks along the Vedder River trail and to the library. He walked several kilometres a day until the last months of his life and kept his sharp mind and international outlook until the end. Don was a profoundly private and modest person, a true gentleman, possessing an unbridled curiosity about the world, a fascination for politics, sports, and crossword puzzles, and a wry sense of humour. His long and varied life reflected the essence of his kind and gentle soul. Don was a supportive and loving father to Gwynneth O’Brien (David), Anne Williams (Kirk), Don Williams (Wendy), and Hugh Williams (Les), and loved by his grandchildren: Audrey, Jordan, Logan, Mac, Joseph andClaire. He is survived by his sister Allyene Keay of Camrose, Alberta. Following Don’s wishes, cremation occurred and no service was held.