Obituary of DONALD RUSSELL WARD
On Sunday evening, January 21, 2024, with family at his side, Don passed away peacefully almost two weeks into his 96th year having celebrated his 95th birthday on January 9, 2024.
Don is remembered by his children, Stephen (Teresa), Rod and Nancy, grandchildren Joseph, Erin (Garnet), Rachel, Rebecca and Matthew, his great-grandson Orrin, Pip the cat, Frija the dog, and many nieces and nephews on the east and west coasts.
He was predeceased by Myrle, his beloved wife of 60 years, parents Russell Twining and Mary Regina of Halifax, Nova Scotia, his brother John and sisters Marie and Shirley.
Born and raised in Halifax, Don first met Myrle in 1942 when she and her family moved to Halifax from Amherst, Nova Scotia, and their long courtship began. They were married in May 1955 in St. Joseph’s Church in Halifax.
Don joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1956 and the travel adventures began. His first posting was to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; then on to Vancouver, B.C.; Centralia in southern Ontario; Baden Sölingen in West Germany and finally to Winnipeg in 1968. Three children arrived at three different stops on those travels. Myrle maintained the household while Don advanced his military career which involved extensive travel at times.
Don opted for early retirement from the Armed Forces in 1973 and despite the strong emotional pull back to the Maritimes, Myrle and Don decided to put down roots in Winnipeg. Don went to work with Joe MacDonald at MacDon Industries Ltd. as Director of Human Resources, and the long and happy Winnipeg chapter of their lives began. Don and Myrle would tell you of the fast bond they developed with fellow Nova Scotians Anne and Joe MacDonald.
In August of 1997, Don retired and a contented 18-year retirement for them began. The St. Ignatius Parish community was a focal point for them, particularly the 11 am Sunday mass coffee group – with a smile and glint in his eye, Don would tell you “There’s not a problem in the world that group has not solved”. Also avid members of the “Grant Park Mall Coffee Group”, Dad would relish the opportunity to discuss his Liberal politics and perspectives on world political and military affairs.
Myrle’s passing in 2015, the Covid lockdown and Don’s declining mobility over the years all contributed to limiting his participation in those much-loved activities and groups. He spoke and thought of you all regularly. With great support from his children, Don’s wish to remain in his home as long as possible was achieved. He entered Grace Hospital on November 23, 2023.
The family wishes to recognize the outstanding care Dad received on 3 South Grace General Hospital, and during his all too brief stay on the Sun Valley wing at Oakview Place Care Home.
In keeping with Don’s wishes, cremation has already taken place. A private family service to celebrate Don’s life will be arranged at a later date.
Flowers are gratefully declined but if friends and family wish, donations may be made in Don’s memory to St. Ignatius Parish or to a charity of your choice.
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