With great sadness we say good-bye to Don who, at the age of 91 years, passed away peacefully on December 28, 2021. Don was a long time resident of Regina, SK and at the time of his passing resided near Balfour, BC.
Born March 10, 1930 in Calgary, AB, Don lived in the city until 1949 when he left his family’s home for Edmonton to pursue a B.Sc. in Engineering (Civil, Geology) from the University of Alberta. He graduated in 1953 with distinction and immediately started a master program with an emphasis in geotechnical engineering.
During his studies, Don took a summer position in Regina with Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) and, after earning a M.Sc. of Engineering in 1955, accepted a full time position with PFRA and began a new life in Saskatchewan. It was in Regina where Don met and then married Marian in 1957 and where they raised their three children, Lori, John and Leanne.
Don devoted his life to his family and his profession as an engineer. On the career front, Don worked with PFRA for 36 years, during which time he served as Chief of Geology and Air Surveys Division and Chief of Engineering Services. He was proud of and committed to the contribution of PFRA in the engineering design and development of water resources for agriculture and communities across the prairies. In addition to his work with PFRA, Don was a consultant on the Geotechnical Review Board for Syncrude from its early years of operation through the year 2000. Throughout his career he enjoyed tackling and solving technical challenges and collaborating with his peers.
On the personal and family front, Don pursued many interests. When his children expressed an interest in the sport of speed skating, he jumped in with two feet, serving as the Regina Club and Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association president for several seasons, as well as the Director of the Canadian Association. He also served as a director of Sask Sport from 1976 to 1978.
One of his other interests of note and legacy gift to the family was his work in genealogy. For two decades, he researched both the Pollock and McIntyre (Marian’s maiden name) family histories and found information dating back to the 1700s. In 2006 he published his findings in hardcover form and titled his work “Our Pillars”.
Don had a strong interest in politics and supporting local and federal electoral candidates and processes. He also had an interest in vegetable gardening and spent many hours relaxing in his garden and tending to his tomatoes.
Throughout his life Don was drawn to the Kootenay region of British Columbia. When the family was young, he and Marian purchased a lot along the north shore of the west arm of Kootenay Lake. It was there that he introduced his children to the joys of the mountains, Kootenay Lake and camping. Eventually they purchased another parcel of land, which became the family summertime gathering place for his children and grandchildren for decades to come.
Don was a curious man. He had endless energy for problem-solving and trying to come up with just the perfect plan. He loved nothing more than to go for a walk with family around the lake property, observing the geology, looking for springs and water sources, sand, gravel or mineral deposits and sitting down with a cup of coffee or glass of wine to consider these beautiful land features.
Don was predeceased by his loving wife, Marian Jean, parents John (Jack) Marshall Pollock and Winnifred May Pollock of Calgary, his sister Winnifred Jean Callbeck, and brothers William George, John Lawrence and Robert Marshall.
Don will be dearly missed by his children, Lori (Ron Kloschinsky), John (Brenda) and Leanne (Stephen Higgins), grandchildren Kim (Mike Bergeron), Karli (Kye Stewart), Kristin (Mike McKay), Katrina (Austin Frie), Elliot Plourde, great grandchildren Stella, Henry, Jack, Jameson and Kylin.
The family is planning a memorial service in Nelson at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in the memory of Don may be made to the charity of your choice.