Donald Maclean

Donald Maclean

Born 12 May 1931 in Glasgow Scotland passed peacefully at his home in Duncan, BC with family at his side on March 22, 2016, after a brief illness.

Donald was predeceased by his father Alexander, his mother Grace and his young brother Alex, all of Glasgow, Scotland.

He is survived by Christina (née Hamilton), his ever-loving wife of 54 years; his son Alex (Dwight Ferguson) of Toronto; his daughters Tina (Bill Phillips) and Donna (Gerry MacDonald), both of Duncan, B.C.; his seven grandchildren Katy, Donny, Lindsay, Andrew, Ian, Christina and Robert, and his great-granddaughter Paisley, who greatly charmed his life in his final months. He also leaves three sisters: Flora, Grace and Seonaid as well as extended family and friends in Scotland, Canada, Australia and the United States.

Donald served in the Royal Air Force and the U.K. Merchant Navy before moving his young family from Scotland to Vancouver in 1963. He had a lengthy and successful career as a stationary engineer with the Vancouver School Board.

Donald’s defining characteristic was his social generosity. He made a legion of life-long friends throughout his life and work and through his commitment to civic and social activities. In 1972, he sailed with Greenpeace to protest nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands and later helped with Cuban embargo relief by challenging the US blockade among other progressive efforts. For decades, he was a devoted participant of the Vancouver Folk Song Society and later after retiring to Vancouver Island in the 1990s he was an active member of the Cowichan Pipes and Drums. In every venture, he heartily drew people in and blurred the all-too fictive distinction between friends and family. He also loved soccer, guitar, his fishing rod and a ‘wee half’ of Scotch. He was an avid Burns aficionado and addressed many a haggis over the years. Largely self-educated, he read broadly and was a sharp observer of politics and history with an innate empathy for the underdog. The love of his adopted country was never in conflict with his pride in his Scottish origin and history.

In keeping with Donald’s wishes there is no public memorial service and his ashes will be scattered on the Birkenhead River by his favourite family camp spot. If you wish to make a contribution in Donald’s legacy, please do so to a humanitarian or local environmental, historical or civic cause of your choosing. Our family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support at this difficult time and thanks you for keeping him in your thoughts.

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