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5 years 4 months
Submitted by katrina on Thu, 12/07/2023 - 09:06:AM


Don led a full life - seeking the best for his family in all things, and enriching his community in the arts, aviation, car racing, politics and philanthropy. He was predeceased in 2020 by Patricia, his wife of 58 years. A generous and gentle leader, he is remembered and missed by his son Duncan, daughter-in-law Christina and grandchildren Naomi and Caelan. Born in Saint John and growing up in Halifax and Moncton, he cultivated a Maritimer’s interest in music performance on piano, saxophone and clarinet, as well as a lifelong commitment to the skills and principles of the Scouting movement.  He studied Science at Acadia University and spent summers in the Royal Canadian Air Force reserves. Don settled in Montreal where he worked in the aviation industry, leading to opportunities in technical writing, journalism and the emerging field of information technology.  An avid participant in car rallies, his creative modification of a Morris Minor helped him dominate the class in the 1958 Keene Mountain Hill Climb. Just before Christmas 1960 he met and fell in love with Patricia, and they were married in August 1961. Work called him to new adventures in Halifax and then Toronto, where Duncan was born. His young family settled at last back in Montreal, where he and Pat remained until 2015. The purchase of an off-grid Laurentian cottage in 1974 defined the tone for the next 40 years as the family developed its love of the outdoors, its ethos of efficiency and penchant for practical problem-solving.  Don and Pat enjoyed many trips to the UK, often with Pat’s cousin Adrienne and her husband Alan.  Back in urban Montreal, and in their later years in Ottawa, Don and Pat were committed patrons of the arts, enthusiastically supporting Centaur Theatre, Lakeshore Players, the NAC, and whatever music or theatre Duncan was doing.  A private graveside service will be held at Beechwood Cemetery. Donations in Don’s name to The Ottawa Hospital and to the Canadian Aviation Historical Society are appreciated, and may be given online at

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/07/2023 - 09:33:PM


June Harrison

May the wind always be at your back
May the road rise to meet you, and
May you and Pat meet again and continue
Your journey together through a serene eternity.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 12/11/2023 - 11:11:AM


Sara Rutley

Dear Duncan, Christina and Family,
Deepest Condolences to you all. Your Dad sounds like an amazing man.
Thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/13/2023 - 11:59:AM


Bill Clark, Ottawa

My condolences to Don's family. I have enjoyed chatting with Don at many CAHS chapter meetings and national conventions. Don was a quiet man, but very interesting. We will miss him.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/13/2023 - 06:43:PM


David Evelyn

A gentle and quiet man which is surprising with all of his accomplishments. I feel honoured to have known him through his son Duncan for 40 years. His passing diminishes anyone who has known him.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/14/2023 - 03:55:AM


Jim Bell

I will miss Don. He was a regular at our annual Canadian Aviation Historical Society conventions, no matter where they were held. He could always be counted on for a great conversation.

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