Donald Dyck

Obituary of Donald Stewart Dyck

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Donald Stewart Dyck on April 4, 2023 at the age of 90.

Donald is survived by his wife of 65 years, Claudia; sons Dean (Rhonda) and Shaun (Brandy); daughters Judy Rissling and Lorna Misselbrook (Lee); granddaughters Stephanie (Curt), Alexandra, Kristina (Jeff), Michelle (Jared), Alysha, Taryn, and Cayla; great-grandchildren Katherine and Lawrence; his siblings Gerald (Cleone) and Wendell. He was predeceased by his father and mother Alfred and Anne Dyck and his sister Loverna Hiebert.

Donald was born on the family farm near Borden, Sask., growing up with his older sister Loverna and two younger brothers, Wendell, and Gerald. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan’s Vocational Agriculture program in 1955 and married the love of his life, Claudia Goodrich in 1958. They ran a successful grain and hog farm near Borden where they raised four children: Dean, Judy, Lorna, and Shaun. Claudia and Donald built a new house in Borden after selling the farm in 2008.  They later moved together to the Village at Stonebridge in Saskatoon in 2008.

Donald’s passion for farming helped shape his life. He worked many hours on the family farm growing up. On his and Claudia’s farm, Donald harvested grain, bred prize-winning swine, and worked with Claudia to raise champion purebred collies. He educated himself constantly and was an avid reader. He spent much time designing, building, and refining things around the farm, ensuring everything ran well and the business was successful. Donald retired from farming in the 1990s but would continue working in agriculture with a pilot program for Saskatchewan Agriculture called “Save Our Soils”, demonstrating the benefits of direct seeding. After working on the program, Donald worked throughout central Saskatchewan, helping prevent the spread of invasive foreign plant species and pests. At the age of 76, Donald fully retired but still spent time planting in his large garden.

Donald enjoyed carpentry and woodworking. He upgraded the first home on the farm with an extra bedroom and helped build the hockey rink, curling rink and hospital in Borden. He also helped to build houses in other towns nearby. In 1965, he started work on a new home on his farm. He would finish the house in 1967 along with new pig barns, out buildings, and grain bins.

Sports, hunting, fishing, and mechanics were a big part of Donald’s life. He played hockey and baseball and curled as a teen. As an adult, Donald was an avid curler, bowler, refereed hockey, and was always ready to cheer for his favourite teams, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Every year, he hunted around Borden and with friends in southern Saskatchewan. He also enjoyed many fishing trips with the family. In his spare time, he worked with his sons to rebuild a 1966 Fargo ½ ton truck and a 1964 Valiant Barracuda.

Music was also a mainstay in Donald’s life. In university, he performed in adaptations of the musicals Brigadoon and Finian’s Rainbow. After university, Don continued to sing in Borden with the United Church, with his family at Christmas Carol Festivals, and with the Borden Lion’s singing group known as Archie’s Angels. He passed that love of music to his children, who are all talented musicians.  He spent many years driving them to practice and music festivals and was very proud of their ability.  He made a point of traveling to see them perform, well into his 80s.

Donald was always community-minded, volunteering with the local 4-H club, the local school board, as a lineman for the East Borden Rural Telephone Company, and with the Borden Friendship Club. He served as president and as a regional official with the Borden and District Lions Club for many years.  He spent many hours raising money for good causes with the Lions, through catering and other events in and around Borden.

During retirement, Donald devoted his time to woodworking, with a focus on carving. He carved life-like ducks, loons, and songbirds. The old machine shed on the farm became his woodworking shop. He made sure he had another shop when he moved to Borden, be it for carving, building a fence, or finishing the basement of their new home. When he moved to Saskatoon, Donald helped expand the woodworking shop at the Village at Stonebridge and continued to carve.

Donald’s love for his family and ability to make friends wherever he went will forever be missed.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Village at Stonebridge for all their help to make Donald welcome and comfortable during his final years. The family would also like to thank the staff at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon for their care during Donald’s time with them.

A celebration of Donald's life will be held on May 13, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Community Centre in Borden, Sask. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Borden and District Lions Club or the charity of your choice.

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