DONALD DAVID CHADNEY
May 16, 1942 - June 4, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Donald David Chadney. Don passed away at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre surrounded by his children on June 4th, 2021, at age 79.
Don is survived by his six children, Dawna (Winnipeg, MB), Catherine (Brian) (Tyndall, MB), Maura (Winnipeg, MB), Rhonda (Campbell River, BC), Kim (Calgary, AB) and Faren (Joanne) (Ste. Anne, MB); thirteen grandchildren, Ashley, Cassandra, Ethan and Thomas, Ridge and Brittany, Clayton (Laura), Jonas, and Derek, James and Jennica, Tylo and Brayden; five great-grandchildren, Emma and Adalyn, Alexis, Payton and Emilie; and many other family and friends.
Don is predeceased by his parents, Sarah and Walter; his wife, Elaine; and grandson, Tyler.
Don was born in Rose Valley and raised near Kelvington, Saskatchewan, where he worked on the family farm and at various other odd jobs. At the age of 18, he moved to Manitoba, where he met his first wife, Victoria, eventually settling in Lynn Lake. They had three daughters but divorced after a few years. He met and married the love of his life, Elaine, in Lynn Lake. They supported their blended family of 6 children by working at the Sherritt Gordon mine, where Don was a shift boss and president of the union. Don and Elaine moved to Winnipeg in 1980, where Don became an instructor at Glenlawn Collegiate, teaching diesel mechanics as part of one of Manitoba's first co-op education programs. After that, Don moved on to work for South Winnipeg Technical College (now MITT), teaching Heavy Duty Mechanics until he retired in 2007.
Throughout his life, Don was heavily involved in shooting sports. He was instrumental in establishing the gun range in Lynn Lake, where he and others would demonstrate trick shooting. Don was a member of many shooting sports clubs, including the St. Hubertus Game and Fish Association and the Selkirk Game and Fish Association. Don taught many students as an instructor for the Manitoba Hunter Education Program and as a coach for Manitoba Junior Rifle and Shotgun programs and the Manitoba Provincial Rifle Association. He would share his knowledge and passion for shooting with anyone interested.
Don was ever the teacher. No matter the subject, Don could provide some insight. He loved sharing his knowledge about the outdoors, including plant and animal life. Many of the ATV rides he led turned into impromptu lessons on native Manitoba plants, especially orchids – his favourite being the Lady Slipper.
Don was a generous man who gave freely of his time to anyone in need. He would often stop to help people on the side of the road or give hitchhikers a ride, even if it was hours out of his way. Don was there for his family any time, night or day. He would lend tools, money, vehicles, etc., to his family, friends and even strangers, without expecting anything in return. Don had a big personality and a jolly spirit, and he loved children.
He will be missed by the many people whose life he touched.
Following his wishes, cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will take place once public health restrictions lift.
The family appreciates donations to CancerCare Manitoba.
Don Chadney – Our Father
I have spent many days trying to come up with the words to describe our father. The problem is not that there are too few stories, but rather so many.
Our father was a man with whom you knew where you stood. Although gentle with everyone, especially children, he could be tough when he needed to be. In his younger days, he was known to be a bad man with whom to mess. Raising five daughters, he had to be. On more than one occasion, he came to the rescue of one of his children, occasionally putting himself in harm's way to protect them from themselves or others. He was the epitome of a family man. He was proud of his family and did everything he could to set his children on the right course, often despite themselves. For a while, he was the sole provider for his family. Even so, we went snowmobiling, trapping, camping, swimming and even to the movies – he helped at the Roxy Theatre in Lynn Lake. We never went hungry, and we often received the treats or small gifts for which we asked. Once we moved to Winnipeg, where the money was better, and our mother was working as an accountant, he was able to help more. Whether we needed a banker, a carpenter, a mechanic, a driver, a protector, or a counsellor, he was there when we needed him, always.
Our father was an outdoorsman. He taught his children how to fish and hunt and how to clean our catch. He took us camping in the middle of nowhere, all of us crammed into a canvas tent that was pitched on a bed of cedar bows. He taught us to identify and harvest various berries by having us pick a gallon of each. One of the fondest memories of these trips is the campfire cooking: bacon and eggs in a cast-iron skillet or tinfoil-wrapped cabbage cooked in the coals of the fire. He loved to share his knowledge of plants and flowers. He could, and often did, talk for hours about native Manitoba plants. In one quad trip, he could show you where half of Manitoba's orchids grew. On more than one occasion, he rescued injured animals. We have had everything from foxes to cranes in our garage, waiting to be handed over to the conservation officers. When he was a young man, he even raised a bald eagle whose mother had been shot. With his guidance, we learned to love and respect nature.
Our father's first love, next to his wife and children, was hunting. He would spend every available moment reading about firearms or hunting. He loved to hunt grouse, ducks, geese, deer, and moose. Every fall, he would spend as much time as he could hunting. He especially enjoyed the times his wife joined him. He would take anyone interested in hunting with him. He was his children's first hunting partner and that of many of his grandchildren. He was always patient and never complained when his inexperienced partner made mistakes that resulted in an unsuccessful hunt. He was always excited to hear others' stories and see the photos of a successful hunt, especially when it was a novice hunter. He would always have enough food in the truck for an army. To him, hunting was a form of stress relief. He would often sleep either in his truck or while in the forest. One of his favourite stories was of the time he fell asleep while lying beside a deer trail, only to wake with a buck within arm's reach. The deer was quicker than him and lived to see another day. After the blizzard of 1986, we shovelled for nine hours to get the truck out of the street as the opening day of deer season was the next day. Our father did not miss hunting season for anything.
Our father was a great teacher, both inside the classroom and out. During his career as a teacher, he taught mechanics to hundreds of students. He stayed in touch with many of them. He also coached hundreds of children in firearm and hunter safety. He found great enjoyment in helping form a young person's perspective on the safety and ethics of hunting. He taught his children the basics of carpentry and mechanics. He believed that a woman should be just as capable as a man. He was a teacher who took the time to listen to his students and gave many a second chance. He gave them responsibility and held them accountable for their actions. One example of his skill was when he heard of a conflict between two groups of students. The main offender was large and intimidating. Our father subtly enlisted his help to resolve the issue. Giving the main offender the responsibility to stop the behaviour taught him the values he was missing while bringing a peaceful end to the conflict.
Our father left a lasting impression on those he met. His kind words and jolly demeanour endeared him to others. He was approachable and made everyone feel accepted. He loved to tell stories and jokes, and his laughter was contagious. He was most kind to those who were in trouble or down on their luck. He helped many students, friends, and strangers through tough times. He took extra interest in children. He loved his children and grandchildren but was "uncle" or "grandpa" to countless more. He was not afraid to let his beloved granddaughters put makeup on him or paint his nails and was proud to show the results of their efforts to anyone he met. He still had nail polish on his toes the day he died.
We will miss our father beyond words. He lived life to the fullest and loved with all his heart. He missed his wife terribly after she passed away. He struggled to find ways to honour her, the way I struggled to find the words to honour him. Once, when I complained to him about the troubles I had, he said, "Good." When I asked him why he said that, he said, "Because you can handle it. You are taking the burden from others." Our father served his family and friends this way – by taking their burdens and giving them love and encouragement. He was a great man. You cannot measure his greatness in the history books or the amount of money he made, but by the way he made you feel. He made you feel listened to and important and loved.
Our father left this earth too soon but lived with the zest and vigour of a man half his age. We can all learn a lesson from him.
A Successful Man
By Bessie Anderson Stanley
That man is a success –
who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men,
and the love of children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who leaves the world better than he found it;
who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty,
or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others,
and gave the best he had.
As We Look Back
By an Unknown Author
As we look back over time
We find ourselves wondering …..
Did we remember to thank you enough
For all you have done for us?
For all the times you were by our sides
To help and support us …..
To celebrate our successes
To understand our problems
And accept our defeats?
Or for teaching us by your example,
The value of hard work, good judgment,
Courage and integrity?
We wonder if we ever thanked you
For the sacrifices you made.
To let us have the very best?
And for the simple things
Like laughter, smiles and times we shared?
If we have forgotten to show our
Gratitude enough for all the things you did,
We’re thanking you now.
And we are hoping you knew all along,
How much you meant to us.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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