Don McMillan passed from this world to join his wife and life partner, Ivy, on January 9, 2014. Don is best defined as a ‘family guy’… he loved his family more than anything and unabashedly demonstrated it. Don was born in Ontario Jan 5, 1930 but sadly lost his mother at the tender age of three which fractured his ‘family unit’. Don, along with his younger brother, Dwayne and oldest brother, Dean, were sent to live with relatives, while another brother, Austin, went to live with different relatives. This tragic loss made Don determined to keep family at the forefront of his life thereafter.
Don worked hard throughout his life doing a variety of jobs but mainly a heavy equipment operator building dams and highways, mining, and, Don’s personal favorite, logging. Don’s jobs kept his family on the move every few years with the final stop in Salmon Arm in 1970, which became the family base for the next 34 years. Don then traveled for work on his own, so missed much of the family functions for several years. He was injured while working on the Coquihala Hwy in the mid-eighties and was forced to retire early.
Don and Ivy had five children, Robert (Bobby), Dean, Sheryl, Gene and Reginald (Reg) but were sadly predeceased by Bobby in 1954 and Gene in 1986. Don and Ivy have eight grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. Don lost his wife, Ivy, to cancer after 47 years of marriage, on Sep 17,1998. Don supported Ivy in everyway possible during her difficult and painful journey and was left exhausted and heartbroken on her passing.
Don’s next chapter brought him to Victoria to be close to his daughter, Sheryl, for his final years and was very active with the family assisting with every move, with house building, landscaping, babysitting etc. He took up exploring every corner of Victoria and Sidney with a vengeance, hiking and bicycling, not to mention his agility at a fast game of nerf-gun with his great grandboys.
In May 2012, while at the beach visiting with family and friends, Don had his hip broken when caught in the midst of a dog-walker’s pack of five. This changed Don’s ability to ‘enjoy’ his life and he was waiting for a hip replacement when he suffered another medical emergency requiring yet another surgery on Sep 17, 2013. He was unable to recover fully and after 3 long months in hospital, passed away peacefully in the company of much of his family, including his older brother, Austin. He was at peace and felt fortunate to be able to say goodbye.
At Don’s request, there will be no formal service, however, we will be gathering in Salmon Arm on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. to honour our dad, grandpa, pappy, great-papa, brother, uncle and friend by laying an engraved memorial brick on the McGuire Lake Memorial Walkway. We will get together afterward at one of Don and Ivy’s favorite haunts, Herald’s Park, for a day in the sun to celebrate his life, share some stories and remind each other of the importance of loving relationships until we meet again on ‘the other side’.