Donald James Bonnett

26/06/1935 - 05/04/2024


Obituary For Donald James Bonnett

June 26, 1935 - April 5, 2024

Don was born in Killam, Alberta, June 26, 1935, and passed away at Beaverlodge, AB, on April 5, 2024. He was the middle child of a family of 9 & the 4th oldest of the 7 boys.

Don was raised on the family farm at Killam AB. & quit school at 16 to go to work as a harvest farm hand. Along life's way, he attended the school of hard knocks to become very proficient in several areas- mechanic roughneck, drayman, sheet metal, trucker, catskinner, pilot car owner, developer, & rancher. He apprenticed under his brother-in-law Cliff Calvert and became a red seal journeyman carpenter.

Horses were always a big part of Don’s life. He was a very good teamster. His older brother Maurice ran the farm & looked after the family when father enlisted in the Second World War after already serving in the First World War. Maurice was a perfectionist & expected the same from Don while he trained him from an early age to drive the teams. Once his mother came out to the field to stop Maurice from letting Don drive the four-horse team & harrows at 8 or 9 years of age by himself. Maurice insisted he was capable. His Mother then tied Don to the seat with her apron so he wouldn't fall off. Later in life he enjoyed several successful years of quarter horse racing & training of his own horses.

Don was a perfectionist & never wavered from his principles & beliefs. He lived by them & tried to instill them in his family. Some were:

You are only as good as your word or handshake.

If you used it, put it back where you got it from and in the same condition or better.

Something we never ever heard Don say was, "That's good enough." He believed in doing it properly the first time.

My Donny was the rock in our family, the go-to guy, whether it was for replacing a garage door somebody drove through 'before Mom got home' or some help to mend a broken heart. Don always put his family first & loved us all so unconditionally & deeply. It’s such an understatement to say, “He will be missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Verla of 65 plus years, his 4 daughters, Dawne, Babe (Rene), Mona (Wade), & Carmen (Kim), his brother, Wade (Jacquie) & 2 sisters, Bonnie & Dorothy, his 7 grandsons, Denny (Jenn), Dwight (Amanda), Michael, Morgan (Jess), Derrick, Dalon, Alex (Sam) and 12 great grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters-in- law, Leona, Carolyn, Elaine, Karen; brother-in-law, Johnny & many very special nieces & nephews and, by 2 very special young ladies our daughters referred to as the “daughters he wished were his also, “Alice Britton & Joanne Toronchuk.

Don was predeceased by his parents, George & Doris Bonnett, father & mother-in-law, Dave & Marge Henderson, his son Ken, granddaughter Deanna Evans, brothers Maurice, Norman, Terry, Allyn, & Gerald, In-laws- Bud, Dale, Ken, Ronnie, Cliff & Murray, Diane, Colleen, Heather, and numerous nephews, nieces, & cousins.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Don in the summer of 2024. Don & Ken's ashes will be placed in the family plot at Riverside Cemetery near Beaverlodge at that time.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742

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  • 22/05/2024

    We are sending our heartfelt condolences to you Verla and your family. I remember spending so much time at your home during my school years with Babe. I remember I used to like rock and roll, but when I hung out at your house, it was country music all the way.. you and Don converted me! And my favorite music to this day is country music. Thank you for all my favorite memories with your family. Maureen Fix and David Madden

  • 17/04/2024

    Dear Verla and family , Sean and I are so sorry for your loss! Don was a good man I do know my mom ans dad had so much respect for him and his work! Our thoughts and prayers are with you Verla and Family . May God guide and bless you all in this time of loss and sorrow! love Sean and Deb Kelly

  • 14/04/2024

    Condolences and hugs to Verla and family. Take time to grieve and remember the good times.

  • 12/04/2024

    My sincere condolences to you Verla and Family. God Bless

  • 12/04/2024

    We are so sorry for your loss. Sending condolences to all Don's family. What a precious memory he left behind! Bill and Laura McFaddin

  • 09/04/2024

    Words are never adequate in moments like these. I will say though, that my heart goes out to you, and I will always remember Don's kindness, wisdom and humour.

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