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Peacefully on February 14, 2022, Donald Jackson of Portage la Prairie, MB, died peacefully at his home after a courageous battle with mesothelioma cancer at the age of 82 years.
He was born June 23, 1939 in Portage la Prairie, MB. Donald graduated from Manitoba Teacher's college in 1959 and his initial teaching position was at a one room school (Tower Island School) in Norway House, Manitoba. In1965, he relocated to Winnipeg as an adult education teacher. From 1966-1981, he was employed with the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern development. From 1981-1994, his role was guidance counsellor at Yellowquill School in the Portage la Prairie School Division, until he retired in 1994. Donald was a member of St. Luke's Anglican Church in Oakville, Manitoba. His travels took him to Scotland, Cuba, Mexico, Hawaii, Spain, Portugal and throughout the States and Canada.
Don is survived by his wife Christine (nee Smillie); daughter Patty (Wayne); sons Paul (Tracy), Michael (Linda) and David (Karen); grandchildren Brennan (Ashley), Colton (Shane), Justin (Zoey), Bryant (Jena), Taryn (Jay) and Havana; great granddaughter Aylee; siblings Marjorie, Gordon (Ethel), Malcom (Margaret Ann) and Jane (Bob)and sister-in-law Theresa.
He was predeceased by his parents George and Susan (nee Adams); first wife Florence Ducharme; infant son Adam; siblings Dorothy, Edward, Johnny and Ralph and mother-in-law Mary Tully.
Of course, he passed away on Valentine's Day. This was fitting for the guy with the absolutely biggest kindest heart. He was the first to lend a hand and never asked for anything in return. He also was laid back, non- judgmental, welcoming and people gravitated to his magnetic personality. Donald was resourceful and very handy, he could fix anything!, he renovated a schoolhouse into a home. He cherished his home and his family. He was an avid outdoorsman... he loved nature, hunting, rural living and wild berries.
Our hearts have a big hole. We were never ready to say goodbye. We will miss you forever. We will look for you in the brightest star in the sky.
Patty and Wayne and Justin remembrances:
Our dad and Grampa,
He was like a big bear in the bush, always foraging for cranberries. Every time Justin took his Grampa golfing, he would turn around and find his Grampa “Big Guy” in the bush picking cranberries or hunting for golf balls.
What can you say, he was the BEST!! Never judged, always saw the best in everyone and put everyone first before himself. He was always ready to lend a hand whenever called upon. He will be greatly missed and his memory will stay strong in our hearts forever!
Paul and Tracy:
Donald was a natural teacher and mentor. He was self-taught in all the trades and could build or repair anything. He shared these skills with me and it motivated me to be the same way. His patience and respect for others defined him and helped make him someone to look up to.
He was welcoming and accepting of everyone. Always interested in what you had to say and loved to invoke conversation with goofy questions.
Donald was famous for saying "take it back". He never wanted anyone to spend too much money on him. He never wanted for anything or asked for anything but was always the first one to offer his help. He had a huge impact on my life and will be missed by everyone who crossed his path.
Mike and Linda:
Donald's influence helped motivate independence, self-sufficiency and "work hard" ethics. He taught the art of "tinkering" with a real purpose. We will miss the phone calls1-2 hours after a visit... Did I leave my cap there? Did I leave my sunglasses there? And always the question... which direction does your house face? Twenty one years in our current house and I don't think we ever got the answer.
Our boys were lucky to have such a kind gentle Grampa that gave them homemade sling shots and whistles whittled from willow branches. He was a cool Grampa! “Captain Jack”
RIP You always said you were "packing your bags" to leave us but we always wanted you around for longer.
David and Karen:
Donald was the social center of the family and a magnet that attracted a wide array of lasting friendships throughout his lifetime.
He had an inquisitive mind, always learning, always teaching. Donald did not like to pass judgement on others. He treated everyone as an equal.
The one thing in this world that meant everything to Donald was one word - "Family". He cherished his time with his family. Add to this good friends and food, the more the merrier... that was his motto. When it came to fatherhood, Donald shone brightly. He was a role model.
Father, grandfather, great grandfather. He was a loving and supportive soul, not only with his spouse and children. Donald would welcome anyone and everyone. He was a father figure to many, and an endearing friend to many many more.
A celebration of Donald’s Life will take place later this spring.
Flowers are gratefully declined; donations may be made in Donald’s memory to a charity of one’s choice.
A tree will be planted and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com 204-857-4021
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