John Donald (Don) GABBOTT

(Feb. 16, 1919 – Aug. 11, 2007)

Don was born in Manchester, England. He left us quietly on Saturday afternoon at Chilliwack General Hospital.

Don had spent many of his younger years cycling, with his father and his brother, around England. He built up his love of the English countryside, particularly the Lake District, during these excursions.

Don met Edna, his future bride when he was 17. The two of them spent many happy times either on bicycles or on horseback and were actively involved in the Scouting movement before getting married in 1944.

Following their marriage, Don taught school in Southwold, England before he, Edna and their three children moved to Hong Kong in 1958.

Don continued teaching in Hong Kong for eight years, through the British Forces. In 1966, Don and his family moved back to England where he taught in Suffolk prior to moving to Chilliwack in 1968.

During Don’s teaching career in Canada, he touched many lives through Cultus Lake Elementary School, Ryder Lake, Bernard Elementary, Langley and Sardis.

He retired from School District #33 in 1984, but continued to take an active role by working for Distance Education.

Don’s involvement with Chilliwack groups included the Skye Club, Kiwanis, the Golden K, and the Retired Teacher’s Association.

Throughout his life, Don has shared, with many people, his love of the countryside, the oceans with their limitless horizons and his sense of adventure. His knowledge and his desire to know about the people and their culture, of countries in which he’s lived and visited, had no boundaries. He took that enthusiasm and applied it to the people he met on a daily basis. People responded to that interest. Don will be remembered by many as “the person that cared enough to ask…”

Don will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Edna, of 63 years; his three children: Dave (Shannon), Jenny (Bill), and Helan; grandchildren: Benji, Kevin, Kirsten, Michael (Carol), Brant (Shawna) and Aric (Cheryl); and great-grandchildren: Amanda, Trevor, Jake, Jerica, MacKenzie, Katana, Kyle, Logan and Kiera.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Diabetes Foundation.

Memorial Service to be held at Carmen United in Sardis on August 25, 2007 at 1:30 p.m.

“If I could plant a seed every time I think of you, I could walk in my garden forever.”