May 20, 2022
In Loving Memory of
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Don Yates, beloved husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, uncle and friend.
Don passed away peacefully on the morning of May, 20, 2022. He leaves behind his loving wife of 67 years, Kozy, and his only child, Janice, who had a wonderful bond with her dad. The family enjoyed so many special memories together, including boating, ski trips, summer trips to Saskatchewan to visit Kozy’s family, and many visits to California after Janice moved there. Don also leaves behind his son-in-law, Rob Valone, who became the son he never had, and loved their home projects together and beer breaks, complete with many laughs.
Don’s pride and joy was his granddaughter, Sydney, who attends UCLA and shares Don’s interest in photography and compassion for nature and animals. Sydney even wrote an article for Environment America about Don’s life in the forestry industry. She will always remember her summers on Vancouver Island and walking the island beaches and picking up crabs with Grandpa Don.
Together with Jan, Rob and Sydney, Don and Kozy held wonderful memories of trips to Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Florida, Hawaii, and a New Orleans-Mexico cruise as well as numerous fun Vancouver Island day trips.
Don grew up in Cowichan Station, where he lived with his mother and grandmother, and shared amazing memories of fishing, and playing at Cowichan Bay with his brother, Sam.
Don’s family loved to hear Don’s stories of Cowichan Bay and his time in the Merchant Marine from age 17-20. With the Merchant Marine, Don travelled to China, London, the Panama Canal, Singapore, and Durban, Djibouti and Zanzibar in Africa. There have been many laughs over drinks about the antics of young Don on the ship in these foreign locales.
After the Merchant Marine, Don worked in logging in Port Renfrew then LeFarge Cement in Vancouver. After Jan was born, Don and Kozy moved back to the island and Don drove a logging truck for BCFP. Later Don worked for Truckline Parts as a parts manager and more recently as a parts salesman for P&R. Don loved his job with P&R and all his friends there. He didn’t want to leave but finally retired at 89 years old!
Don spent his life near the ocean and enjoyed taking photos of the wildlife at the bay. He loved traveling the world and even a trip to London at age 85. Don looked forward to his daily coffee visits and 4pm happy hours with his neighbors and good friends, and will be greatly missed by all.
Don, we are toasting you with your favorite, rum & coke, and we will always have incredible fond memories of our time with you.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks to consider donating to an ocean conservation charity or animal shelter.
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