We said goodbye to Dad/Grandad on a beautiful afternoon in Penticton, BC only a few months after his cancer diagnosis. Don leaves behind his children: oldest son & family, Leona (Jeff Harries), Deborah (Doug Barry) and Jennifer (Graham Bolton); his stepdaughter Denise Baker; his brother Richard (Mary Salvador); his grandchildren: Molly (Marcus Constantine), Hu, Rose, Stephen, Jeffrey, Katherine, Angus, Maggie, Andreas, Bruce, Aria, Emmett, Annie and Seth; his great-grandson Enoch; his nieces and nephews and many very dear friends. He was pre-deceased by his parents Alfred and Helen, sister Barbara, wife Sarah and ex-wife Sharon.
Don was born in Vancouver, BC and spent his early childhood on Vancouver Island, moving to West Vancouver for primary school. He attended West Van HS and graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering in 1962. Don met Sharon Dundee at UBC and they were married in December 1962. Don began his career with BC Hydro, working on site at the Mica Creek Dam project. With three young children they traveled to California where he obtained his Master of Science in Construction Engineering at Stanford University in 1967. With the addition of a fourth child, the family lived in cities across Canada before finally settling in Calgary, AB in 1975. Unfortunately, his marriage to Sharon dissolved in 1984 and Don relocated back to Vancouver. In 1988 he married Sarah Hanson and enjoyed life in downtown Vancouver until his recent illness.
There were some struggles in the middle years for Don and his family as the result of his overuse of alcohol. He managed to overcome his addiction in 1993 with the help of AA and remained sober until his death. He and his family were extremely proud of his ongoing sobriety.
Don was an avid outdoorsman and loved skiing, fishing, horseback riding, camping and raging campfires. He loved going on road trips and in later years traveled the world extensively. His wife Sarah passed away in July 2016. He remained working as a self-employed engineering consultant and later transitioned to work as a quantity surveyor until the age of 78.
Don was well known for his superior intellect and vast knowledge on a wide breadth of subjects. He was an interesting conversationalist but also a wise and nonjudgmental listener. Ever pragmatic, Don had a kind and gentle nature. He was also unfailingly polite. He was gregarious and loved to chat with others, including complete strangers.
Don was immensely proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandson, especially their educational/career and family accomplishments. Don was an early proponent of gender equality and empowered his own daughters to pursue the careers of their choice. Birthdays, holidays and graduations were all marked by thoughtful gifts and cards. He loved being in the center of family events, including wood cutting and stacking parties, ice wine picking in the middle of the night, taking pictures at baptisms, setting up in a lawn chair to watch prom parades, and frequenting favorite Vancouver restaurants with visiting family. Don loved Triple "O" hamburgers and a good fire roasted hot dog (aka tube steak); he will always be remembered for his "hollow leg" when it came to a good meal and his sweet tooth. We had a wonderful celebration of Don's 80 Birthday last August in Penticton with family and long-standing friends; we were sorry to miss those who were unable to attend.
A gathering will be held on a date TBD. In lieu of flowers, if you so wish, please consider a donation to St. Paul's Foundation. We love and miss you Dad/Grandad.
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