Cover photo for C. Barrie Donald's Obituary
C. Barrie Donald Profile Photo
1944 C. 2021

C. Barrie Donald

December 27, 1944 — August 29, 2021

The funeral service was live streamed for Barrie Donald,  please click here to register and view the service .

C. Barrie Donald, beloved husband of Victoria and loving father to Ingrid and Garth passed away peacefully at Portage General Hospital on Sunday, August 29.  Barrie was born in the Portage Hospital on December 27, 1944, son of James and Annie Donald.  He attended school at Ferriss, Westward, Fort la Reine, Prince Charles, and Portage Collegiate.  Early in his career, dad was employed at Simpsons Sears in Winnipeg and later ventured up for one winter to Flin Flon to work for Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. He worked in Alberta for two years prior to returning to Rossendale to begin farming in the spring of 1964.  In 1967, dad’s youngest sister, Doreen, introduced him to the love of his life, Victoria.  They were married in the spring of 1968 and enjoyed 53 years of marriage and welcomed two children, Ingrid, and Garth.

Dad farmed on N ½ 18-10-8 for over 45 years, which included grain, cattle, and hogs.  He battled floods, drought, fires, hailstorms, and other challenges that nature through at him, but these tests did not deter his love of the land nor his animals. Dad possessed an amazing mathematical mind and was incredible problem-solver, which served him well in running a successful farming operation. He was a very hard worker and was meticulous to ensure things were done right.  In the winter months, after supper, he could be seen reading the Manitoba Co-operator or Country Guide in his recliner.  He constantly sought out new ways to improve production. Nothing made dad happier than having his son, Garth, by his side. The two could be seen together riding in the green three-ton truck, Versatile tractor, combine, doing chores or attending numerous auction sales, which added many “interesting” treasures to the farmyard.

During his farming years, dad spent two-terms on the Rossendale Community Centre, six years as director at Edwin Pool elevator, and three years on the Pool sub-district council. As well, he served as a volunteer fire-fighter for the Rossendale area.

With the selling their livestock in 1994, Dad and mom embarked on a new chapter of their life – winter vacations. Dad loved to take travel adventures, and he would constantly take the road less travelled to see new things and meet new people, regardless of whether it meant additional hour(s) of travel time. His adventurous and fun-loving nature came from his mother, Annie Donald.  Several days before a trip, dad would be seen plotting out his travel route on his trusty CAA map.  GPS could not touch Dad’s ability to arrive safely at a new destination, and he had an incredible knack of finding a soft ice-cream shop in any town or city he travelled in.

For the next ten winters, dad and mom packed up their bags and headed out for adventures on Vancouver Island to house sit in Nanaimo, Pender Island, Salt Spring, and Ladysmith, BC. Dad’s adventurous spirit was noted during an earthquake tremor that hit Chemainus, BC.  He saw it as an amazing experience that he would never have had on the Prairies.

Dad was able to fulfill some lifelong travel dreams which included crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, witnessing the beauty of the Redwood Forests in Northern California, beholding the splendor of the Grand Canyon, and spending several winters in Mesa, Arizona.  Hosting family and friends, dad and mom enjoyed beings unofficial Arizona tour guides taking folks on excursion to Sedona, Montezuma Castle, Canyon Lake, the Grand Canyon, and numerous outlet malls. Dad enjoyed meeting new friends from all around the United States and Canada while taking part in poolside happy hour.

Dad retired from farming in 2010 and five years later, he and mom made the move to Portage la Prairie.  Over the past six years, he made many wonderful friends in the Brookside Crescent neighbourhood.  He enjoyed sitting in the garage and having friends stop by for a chat and a Coke Zero.  As well, he was highly popular with every dog in the neighbourhood because of his amazing dog treat stockpile. Charlie, Juno, Omaha, Mikka, and Storm had a very special place in dad’s heart.

Dad loved kids of all ages.  For many years, he was the unofficial Halloween chauffer for not only Ingrid and Garth but his nephews, and children of close friends.  He loved visiting neighbors as we filled our treat bags, and we understood that the only payment he would accept was turning over the popcorn balls that we received from Kathy Anderson.  He always said she had the best recipe in the entire area.

Music was an important aspect of dad’s life. Opening the front door, you would be greeted by the music of Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Charlie Pride, Tom T Hall, and many other country artists as he and mom preferred to listen to music streaming through their cable provider than watching tv.  He purchased a piano for Ingrid and enjoyed listening to her play.

Dad was a people person. He had an innate ability to make anyone feel welcomed, valued, and appreciated. He was kind, generous, caring, compassionate, and held a depth of integrity that is not often observed in today’s world. He enjoyed the simple things in life: holding mom’s hand, receiving, and giving hugs, giving to others in need, eating delicious food, spending time with those he loved, and always telling his family that he loved them.  Family was THE most important element in dad’s life.  Dad was very proud of both Garth and Ingrid’s professional achievements. Garth attained his  agronomy diploma and later becoming co-owner of Decisive Farming in Alberta; and Ingrid achieved her Master’s degree in Education and her became staff development consultant in Brandon School Division.

Dad was predeceased by his parents James and Annie, brothers Walter, George, Herbie, and Laurie; brother-in-law Mel Burton, Dave Sauder, and Mike Henitiuk; sisters Marilyn Sauder, Doreen Douglas, Freda Burton, and Audrey Henitiuk, and sister-in-law Mary Donald.

Barrie is survived by his wife Vickie of 53 years, daughter, Ingrid (Mike) Gross, son, Garth (Alexie) Donald, brother, Gordon of Edmonton, sisters-in-law Eunice and Elaine of Portage la Prairie.  He is also loved by numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews as well as two great, great nieces. Special thanks to nephew, Darren (Bonnie) for his help, kindness, and support during dad’s lengthy illness.

Gratitude is expressed to the amazing staff on the rehabilitation and medical ward at the Portage General Hospital. Special thanks to Cheryl, Brittany, Rahj, Diane, Emily, Lisa, and other support staff.  The family wants to thank Dr. Michael Omichinski for his exceptional care and compassion in supporting dad with his medical needs.

A private family service will be held at McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel led by Rev. John Dolloff with interment to follow at Rossendale Cemetery. The service was livestreamed to register and view, click here .

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Barrie’s memory to, Parkinson Canada,  414 Westmount Dr. #7, Winnipeg, MB R2J 1P2   or Diabetes Canada (Manitoba), 401-1 Wesley Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4C6.

A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of C. Barrie Donald, please visit our flower store.

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