Don Shannon

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Don Shannon, circa 2018

Donald Alexander "Don" Shannon (15 April 1929 - 20 May 2019) was the husband of Vivian Shannon.


Don celebrated his 90th birthday on 15 April 2019. [1]


The Shannon family is grateful for the long and joyful life of Donald Alexander Shannon.

Don passed away on May 20, 2019 at age 90 surrounded by loved ones. Left to cherish a lifetime of memories are Don’s beloved wife of 68 years, Vivian (Buxton) Shannon; daughter Deborah Shannon; son Ronald and daughter-in-law Elaine (Chambers) Shannon; daughter Nadine (Shannon) and son-in-law Art Kampen; his four grandchildren and their partners – Tyler Shannon, Evelyn Kampen and JP Carrière, Alexander and Alicia (Comeault) Kampen, and Keith Kampen; and sisters-in-law Betty (Buxton) Upsdell and Marlene (Phillips) Shannon. Don bids farewell to his many cousins, nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews, whom he dearly loved. Don and Viv consider their dear friends as part of the extended family.

Don was predeceased by his parents Florence (Ferguson) and Evelyn Shannon; parents-in-law Ronald and Edna (Cooke) Buxton; brother Tom and sister-in-law Trudy (Niesler) Shannon; brother Robert Shannon; infant grandchildren Jonathan and Benjamin Shannon-Calkin; and other dear relatives and friends.

Born April 15, 1929, Don enjoyed his school years growing up in Transcona and he liked playing soccer and hockey as a youngster. He worked on his grandpa’s farm and at Steep Rock Iron Mines as a teenager and was an officer with the Cameron Highlanders Cadet Corps at 16. Don spent two summers during his years at United College training in the University Naval Training Division in B.C. on the Canadian Navy’s HMCS Ontario.

Don started dating his sweetheart Vivian when he was 14, and they were together as a couple for an adventure-filled 76 years. Don and Viv married on April 20, 1951 and they loved raising their children Deborah, Ronald, and Nadine. A generous and hard-working man with a big laugh and kind heart, Don lived life to the fullest. Don and Viv were long-time residents of Winnipeg, with six years spent in Edmonton. They resided happily in Gimli for the past decade where they have cherished their wonderful new friends.

Don was an entrepreneur. He spent a great portion of his business life working in the electrical industry and in 1960 he launched Shannon Sales Company, which he ran for 10 years. During his 50-year career, Don held multiple leadership positions and owned a manufacturing company. Don finished his business career at age 70, retiring as executive director of the Mechanical Contractors Association.

Music was always part of Don’s life. He was well known and respected as a pianist and was classically trained. Don had his own band at age 14, the Eight Buddies, and he played at the Royal Alexander Hotel and most of the major hotels in Winnipeg over the years as a solo performer or leading a group. Friends often dropped in to hear him perform at the Hotel Fort Garry’s Palm Room. His favourite memories of the Palm Room were spontaneously playing a duet with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor, Bramwell Tovey, and chatting with Robin Williams at the bar. He enjoyed playing the organ for one season in the old Jets arena and liked to tell people, “I used to play for the Jets.” Don was a well-liked performer with a special touch on the piano that was appreciated by everyone. Friends and family enjoyed the music, laughter, and singing around Don’s 1914 Steinway grand at their Kildonan Drive home. Memories of making music with Don on piano and Viv on violin are treasured by all who visited them.

Travel was high on the list of enjoyments for Don and he loved his trips with Viv. They travelled extensively in North America, took road trips with the kids, and visited favourite places like the Caribbean, Jamaica, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. They undertook a trip of a lifetime in 1996 on board their 100-year old wooden boat, the Pelican. They travelled for three months, joined by guests for part of the journey, down the Mississippi River to Biloxi on the Gulf of Mexico.

Don’s larger-than-life personality and generous spirit will be remembered always and cherished forever.

The family will host a celebration of Don’s life on May 23, 2019 at 11:00 am at Neil Bardal Funeral Home, 3030 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg.

The family extends heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated healthcare teams at Gimli Hospital, Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, and Selkirk Regional Health Centre. For those wishing to make a memorial gift, kindly consider donating to the Canadian Kidney Foundation or Canadian Diabetes Association.

— Obituary, May 2019 [2]

My Dad's life journey came to an end this morning. Donald Alexander Shannon passed away on May 20, 2019 having just reached the age of 90 on April 15.

We are grateful for Dad to be at rest following a period of intensive care. His funeral will be at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre at 3030 Notre Dame Avenue in Winnipeg this Thursday, May 23, at 11 am. Dad's obituary will be posted on the Bardal website tomorrow and in the local paper on Wednesday.

Our folks, Don and Viv, celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on April 20, 2019. We know our family and friends are thinking of our dear Mom with much love and keeping her in their thoughts.

These past days have been very special to us as a family. Dad was surrounded by our family members in his final days. Mom, Deb, Ron and Elaine, Art and I, the grandchildren - Tyler, Evelyn and partner JP, Alexander and Ali, and Keith, were all present with Dad along with other family members and friends. Dad's healthcare teams provided professional and thoughtful care to him and support to our entire family.

Our lives have been filled with music and laughter and love thanks to our wonderful parents. Although we will be without Dad's presence going forward, we will cherish his memory always and are thankful for having shared in his long and rich life's adventure.

Thank you, dear Dad. Rest now, in peace and grace.

— Nadine Kampen, 21 May 2019, on Facebook [3]