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Born: Oct 16, 1935

Date of Passing: Feb 04, 2018

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DONALD LAWRENCE OAKLEY "I've had a great life." These were the words he spoke as we sat and embraced each other after hearing the news that his time on earth would be coming to an end. But that was my dad, forever the realist, forever the optimist. He was born October 16, 1935 in a quaint two bedroom house in Middlechurch. Growing up was consumed with playing sports, especially baseball and hockey with his brother and his friends. He met the love of his life when he was 18 years old. They were married two years later in 1955 and were married for 47 years until her passing in 2003. To my knowledge he never dated anyone after she died. I would encourage him to find a nice lady friend but his response was always the same, "I had the love of my life. The best person that I could ever hope to spend a life with, anyone else would never compare." Don had two children. His son Kevin and his daughter Louise. My brother was born with significant deficits and while the unknown of having a child with a disability scared my parents, it also made them stronger as a couple. Dad always said that having Kevin "softened" him as a person and taught him the value in caring for others. To say that my dad loved to golf is an understatement. He took up the sport when he was 18 but really got into it in his late 20s. I asked my dad why he loved to golf. He gave me his standard shrugging of the shoulders and said "I just really liked it." So he joined the Canoe Club in the 1960s and of course in true Don fashion was on the Canoe Club board of governors for several years and became the Commodore in 1976. Dad then joined Southwood in 1996 and was a member for 21 years. He played his last game of golf in August at the age of 82. Great friendships, countless rounds of golf, a lot of laughs (and beers) brought my dad great joy. He had three holes in one over the course of his golf life and at the peak of his game achieved an eight handicap. He spent several years volunteering with Golf Manitoba. My dad was a man of integrity who had a generous spirit and was a kind and loving father. He led by example. This beautiful man taught me to live life to the fullest, to challenge myself, and to continue learning. That the hardships in life make us better people and being optimistic can get you through a lot of rough patches. Ours was a family of love and I wish there was a bigger word than love to express how I feel about this man. When you love someone, time is never enough. I will miss our dinner's Dad, sharing a bottle of red and discussing this crazy ride called life. I will miss your daily "g'day g'day" greetings, and your "what can you do" or "there you go" responses to the conundrums of life. Thank you for being my dad. I love you. P.S. the little red fox came around today. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the amazing people who cared for Dad on 3 East at Riverview. From the healthcare aides, to the staff who serve the meals, the nurses and the doctors, you all treated me and my dad with kindness, compassion and respect, and for that I am truly thankful. Dad passed on February 4, 2018. A memorial gathering will be held at a later date however friends and relatives are encouraged to share in a photo-tribute, stories, and condolences for the family by visiting his memorial tribute page at INTEGRITY Cremation & Funeral Planning 204-295-5408

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 17, 2018

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • Don and I spent many years as friends with Don and Jan. We travelled to Texas, golfed at the Canoe Club and finally the 3 Dons (Oakley, Ramshaw and Corner) and Bert played together at Southwood. They amazed a huge number of golf Buddies and were always ready for a game. They all played with such integrity... "everything in the hole." We will miss both Don and Jan. They were great friends, always positive, always smiling. Take heart Louise! They are together... couldn't be any other way. God Bless, Glenda and Don Ramshaw - Posted by: Glenda Ramshaw (Friend) on: Feb 20, 2018

  • Our condolences to all of the family. I played a lot of golf with Don at Southwood and enjoyed many after game discussions and of course a few "snifters", always with the same comment "well what can you do". Also many years of working with him a Golf Manitoba. He was great to be around and I am sure he will be missed and remembered for years to come. - Posted by: Ian Squair (fRIEND) on: Feb 17, 2018

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