Our dear head of the family, Donald James McEwen passed away on the morning of Sunday, November 5, 2023. He was 93 years old. Don leaves his cherished wife of 60 years, Barbara, as well as his four boys Keith, Bryan, Rob and Colin, four daughters-in-law and 9 grandchildren. Don had a rich career spanning 60 years, primarily spent at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) where he was the Head of the Institute for Space and Atmospheric Studies (ISAS) for over 20 years. He was considered a global expert on the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), having designed and deployed various equipment to both Poles as well as several space flights. His research work continued until 2016.
Don was born in Riverhurst, Saskatchewan and was raised on the family farm. From an early age, he developed practical skills as well as a strong work ethic working on the farm as well as neighbours’ farms and formed an interest in farming that persisted through his life. Academics were also important to him and he became a teacher at a very young age in Boldenhurst, Saskatchewan. His pursuit of higher education led to several research positions and eventually a PhD in spectroscopy at Western University in London, where he met Barbara and his first son was born. A professorship at the U of S brought him back to Saskatchewan and the U of S in 1969.
Don has a long history of community service in Saskatoon, notably at the Grosvenor Park United Church (GPUC) and with local Cub Scouts and soccer. Additionally, he was a Life Master bridge player, enjoyed curling and was a Life Member of the Saskatoon Scottish Country Dancers. A celebration of his life will be held at the GPUC in late December. The GPUC can be contacted for updates as the date nears.
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