Donald Maurice Gilbart
January 22, 1935 - November 10, 2021
It is with great sadness, mixed with gratitude of a life well lived, that the family of Don Gilbart announce his passing at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre.
Don was a loving husband of 66 years to his wife Del (nee Kirkness), Dad to his 3 daughters Cheryl Dawn (Bob) Skazyk, Barb (Doug) Cieszynski, and Malene (Murray) Rach. His grandchildren had the best Pops ever, Jarrod (Bridget), Keith, Michael (Carly), Courtney (David), Amanda (Sean), and Brett (Brent), and his precious great-grandchildren, Cali, Maddison, and Emmett.
Don and Del met at canteen in Selkirk and were married on November 25, 1955. They spent over 66 years being each other’s best friend. They loved to travel and traveled to many places in the world. Don loved to drive so it was not a surprise that when they retired they bought themselves a motor home and off they went.
Family was very important to Don. He lived in a house with 4 females and one bathroom, and made it work! Eventually the family got a dog Pepper and Don finally had another male in the house. The years the family spent at the Gull Lake cabin making memories, such as riding in the “transpanic” boat, all 5 of us and Pepper will never be forgotten! If there was something one of his girls wanted he was right there to help and when his girls got married he opened his arms and welcomed his sons-in-law into the family like they had always been there.
Don had a special relationship with each of his 6 grandchildren. Pops always made time for all his grandkids and spent many evenings/weekends watching and cheering them on with whatever sport or activity they chose. He was Pops to many of his grandkids friends and their door was always open.
There were so many good family times. We will cherish the memories made when the entire family took 2 Christmas ski trips to Jasper and Panorama. Don and Del also took each of their 3 daughter’s families to Disney World and rode any and all rides or roller coasters each of the kids wanted them to ride. What could be better!
Don started his career as a funeral director by training in Winnipeg at Bardal Funeral Home. After he attained his Funeral Director license he became a partner in the Gilbart Funeral Home family business and after many years as a funeral director, opportunities took him down a different path. Don entered into business partnerships with his brothers-in-law opening a Pizza Place in Selkirk and purchasing A&W franchises in Selkirk and throughout Manitoba and Ontario. In addition to his business endeavors Don drove school bus for LSSD. Over the years, whenever Don and Del would run into his "bus kids" they always told him he was the best bus driver ever. We heard many stories.
Don was proud to call Selkirk his home for his entire life. He strongly believed in giving back to his community and volunteered for many different organizations. He became a member of the Selkirk Volunteer Fire Department while he was still in high school and retired in 1995 after decades of service. Del remembers the time when dating, Don stood her up because a fire call came in and of course he was off to fight the fire. Even after retirement whenever the fire siren sounded his ears perked up and off he went. Don was also an active member of the Selkirk Kinsmen Club working on many fundraising projects and served as a Director for District 2. He was honoured with a Lifetime Kinsmen Membership for his dedication. Don always enjoyed sports and felt the children of Selkirk should have opportunities to be involved; he was a long time referee for the Selkirk Youth Football League. Don served on the organizing committee for the Selkirk Centennial School Reunion. He was a member of the Selkirk United Church and was instrumental in the creation of the Church's Memorial Rose Garden. Don could always be counted on to lend a helping hand for any community event.
Don had many friends; the neighbours on Dorchester Avenue; the annual families weekends at Windigo; the Saturday snowmobile group; Gull Lake cabin friends; horseback riding and the midnight riders; the midnight construction crew; A&W coffee guys; Friday breakfast bunch; the Thursday evening dinners and MTC couples; Arizona snowbird friends; and the Happy Gang. Friends were an amazing part of Don's life.
Don was predeceased by his parents Maurice & Muriel Gilbart (nee Dixon), his three brothers Eric, Mel and Roy, and Del’s parents Jeff & Eva Kirkness. He will be missed by his in-laws Beryl (Charlie), Allan (Gloria), Jim (Georgetta), and Lorna, and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. in the Gilbart Funeral Chapel with Reverend Cole Grambo officiating. Proof of vaccination is required. The service will be live streamed via the following link https://youtu.be/L44LTYicMRA
In lieu of flowers, donations in Don’s memory can be made to the Selkirk United Church or the Selkirk and District Community Foundation.
Condolences may be left on his tribute wall at www.gilbartfuneralhome.com.
Gilbart Funeral Home, Selkirk in care of arrangements.
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