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RICKARD: Donald Murray, May 8, 1955 – August 21, 2020. It is with great sadness that the family of Donald Murray Rickard announces his passing at Boissevain Health Centre, with his wife Debbie and family at his side, on Friday, August 21, 2020. Donnie was born on Mother’s Day, May 8, 1955 in Deloraine, Manitoba, the oldest son of Arthur and Louise Rickard and brother to Beverley, Tommy, and Kenny. Since he was born on Mother’s Day, he only gave his mom Mother’s Day gifts when it fell on his birthday, those gifts usually were roses and the number of flowers she received would be his age that year. The last year Mother’s Day fell on his birthday he gave her 61 red roses. He is survived by his wife and soul-mate Debbie of 31 years, step daughter Linda (Ernie) Fidder and grandchildren Ashley (Evan) and Ernie, his mother Louise and siblings Bev (Chris Wells), Tom (Lucy), Ken (Kim) and foster brother Dean Janz, nieces and nephews Chuck (Kim), Sarah, Shawn, Ashley (Matt), Josh (Katlyn), Andrew (Quinn) and Justin, great nieces and nephews Maverick, Sadie, Rain, Penny, Jayce and Lane. Don was predeceased by his father Art and step son Tom Gallmeyer. Don was raised on the original homestead of his great grandparents, George and Annie Rickard. He started his education at Bayview School and graduated from Deloraine Collegiate. His first employment was processing honey at Merkley’s Apiaries, from there he worked for Drings in Boissevain and in 1974 he went to Fort McMurray, Alberta at the age of 19. He went to work for Gable Brothers Construction and worked their until 1990. During the first 20 years he was in Fort McMurray he continued to participate in the family farm, coming home in the spring to plant crops and in the fall to take them off. The last few years he spent quite a lot of time on the farm running equipment, with his last endeavour a cattle operation with his brother Ken. Donnie was a hard-working man and started Rickard Excavation a logging and construction company in 1990 with one dozer. Over time he built his business and employed a multitude of people including several young men from the Deloraine area and some as far away as Newfoundland. At any given time, he would have between 60 and 150 employees. On March 17, 1989 Donnie met Debbie, who would be the woman he would spend the rest of his life with. He fit right into Debbie’s family and soon became her best friend and a wonderful stepfather to Linda and Tom and eventually Grampy to Ashley and Ernie. He graciously took on the role of Grampy and made sure he was there for his grandchildren in many ways, attending most every birthday, holiday, sporting event and milestone throughout their lives. He was their confidante and teacher – helping Ashley purchase her first truck and showing her the way to garden. He spent a great deal of time with Ernie bringing him to Manitoba for a couple of summers teaching him about farming, cattle, and various equipment. He loved sledding and made several trips to BC with the Gable family. He loved to travel and went to France with his graduating class. Donnie and Debbie traveled with his parents including a trip to England, Scotland and Wales and to Alaska, Ontario and through the northern states. As a couple they traveled to Fort Meyers, Florida, Crawford Bay, BC, Helendale and San Diego, Calif. and Yuma, Az. with Ernie, Linda, Ashley and young Ernie. Donnie and Debbie walked 800 kms across Spain and traveled extensively in Canada and the U.S. They went on several motorcycle trips with friends. Also including a European river cruise and 3 Country Music cruises. Donnie was also a Nascar fan and went to multiple tracks to watch the races. Donnie was the best Mother’s Day gift you could be given and was a great son, brother, husband, grandfather and friend. He will be sadly missed by both family and numerous friends. He had a generous and selfless heart and would help anyone, always there when you needed to talk or share a story. When Donnie was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, he took the news the same way he lived his life “It is what it is” now let’s try and fix it. Although he did everything he could, including traditional and non-traditional treatments he lost his uphill battle after 2 years of fighting. Public viewing was held Wednesday August 26, 2020 at Smith Funeral Home followed by a private interment at Del-Win Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Donnie may be made to Boissevain Health Centre Palliative Care, Box 899, Boissevain, Manitoba, R0K 0E0.
2020-09-12 issue of the Brandon Sun