October 1, 1937 – April 30, 2021
After truly a life well lived, Don said a peaceful goodbye from Campbell House Hospice in Collingwood. He leaves behind his beloved wife Joan (nee Brown) of 62 years and broken-hearted children Richard (Shelley), David (Valita) and Debralee (Corey). Cherished grandfather of Jacob, Jonathan, Hayden, Aubrey, Byron, Grace, A.J and Nicolas Rancourt. Loving brother and brother-in-law to Clarke and Helen, Gerald (deceased) and Leatha, Bob (deceased) and Marnie (deceased), Graham and Ila, Ruthann and Vic and Sally and Vic. Generous and treasured uncle to many nieces and nephews. Don was born and raised on Manitoulin Island with his many siblings. He was proud to be a “Haweater.” At the age of 18 years, Don left the Island to pursue a career in sales and marketing. He worked for Campbell Soup, Domtar and Bata Footwear, developing a stellar reputation particularly in the shoe industry. He married the love of his life and together, he and Joan raised their three children, instilling in them what dad thought were the most important things to pass onto your children; good morals, values and a love of the Manitoulin. Most summer holidays were spent making the annual pilgrimage to the Island to visit family, friends and of cours, teaching his kids what it meant to be an honourary Haweater. Don was also an avid “shoe dawg.” He loved the shoe industry! After leaving Bata Footwear, he and Joan opened their own importing business, Bowlake Footwear and then a retail store Country Cobbler Shoes in Bracebridge. Dad was an expert in sales and marketing. He was generous with his time and expertise and consulted with others (e.g. Kiddie Cobbler, Proper Fit, etc.) in the business. Don will be missed by his many former colleagues. Don and Joan were fortunate enough to spend their “golden years” retired on Manitoulin Island. They built a home on the waterfront in Kagawong. Dad was able to spend his time doing the things he loved: building, gardening, walking his black labs, swimming in the North Channel, tending to his bees (producing Manitoulin honey), fishing, helping with the maple syrup and hunting with friends and family at Motor Hunt Club and Sons of Antlery. He was at his happiest when outside enjoying nature and spending time with his family and friends. His whistle was infectious and could be heard everywhere. His passion for and whistling skills is shared by many of his grandchildren (no doubt due to his influence). Eighteen months ago, Mum and Dad moved to Collingwood to be closer to their family. Dad also gave back to the community. Growing up he was an altar boy at All Saint’s Anglican Church in Gore Bay. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, volunteered with Ducks Unlimited and chaired the Canada Day Planning Committee for Snowbirds in Panama City Beach, FL. We would like to acknowledge all of the comfort and support from his caregivers these past few months. Due to current restrictions, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date on Manitoulin Island. Arrangements entrusted to Chatterson Funeral Home, Collingwood. In lieu of flowers, please consider one of Don’s favourite charities: Arthritis Society, Hospice Georgian Triangle-Campbell House or a charity of your choice. We encourage you to share your special stories and condolences at ChattersonFuneralHome.com.