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April 5, 1938 - November 28, 2019

With heavy hearts and great sadness, we announce that Donald Cleaver passed away on November 28, 2019 in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the age of 81 years.

Don was born in Portage La Prairie, MB in 1938. He resided in Birch River, MB where he attended school, in the early part of his life.


Don has had many endeavors during his time with us. He worked in the oil patch in Alberta, also worked as a cook for Salisbury House in Winnipeg. He was stationed on the D.E.W line (Distant Early Warning) in the Arctic. Don was an entrepreneur and opened his own restaurant in Selkirk, MB in 1965 with the love of his life Hazel May (Griffiths).

Don was a Gold Seal Chef, while working in Churchill he cooked for many dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth. He was the food and beverage manager at Walking Eagle Motor Inn, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.  


Don was an entrepreneur, owning several ventures with his family, including catering many weddings and social events.  One of the most frequent was helping with Veronica's wedding.  


Don, Hazel and family also operated the Swan Motor Inn, Nelson and Valley Hotel restaurants in Swan River including many cafeterias and concessions throughout the province. 

Don shared his love of cooking with those that shared his passion even if they didn’t know it yet. He was a commercial foods Instructor at DRCSS in Dauphin, SVRSS in Swan River, MB. He also shared his knowledge in many communities such as KCC in The Pas and Thompson as well as Norway House and Rolling River and other Indigenous communities in central and northern Manitoba.


Don finally settled in Winnipeg, MB, with his granddaughter and great granddaughters.


Don enjoyed traveling and visiting with family, he loved to go camping, hunting, and fishing.


His children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were his life. He was a loving, extremely generous person and an amazing father. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

He was predeceased by his wife Hazel, his brothers Harold, Norman & Doug. Father Harold Herbert (Bert) Martha Helena nèe Marks (Burton). Remaining to forever cherish Donald’s memory are his loving brother Gerald and sister-in-law June, sister in-law Dalene, son Mark and daughter in-law Karen, daughter Daina and son in-law Al, son Dennis and daughter in-law Ikuko; grandchildren Kristin (Will), Chad (Aspyn), Megan (Scott), Melissa (Luke), Matthew (Johanna), and Dallas. Great grandchildren Morgan, Malia, Maddy, Millie, Kayden, Gary, and Gabriel.

In Accordance with Dons wishes, cremation has taken place and no formal service will be held.

The family will be holding a come and go tea on Sunday, December 8, 2019 from 2:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the banquet room at the Westwood Inn, Swan River, MB. All family and friends are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the Diabetes Foundation or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Friends and relatives are encouraged share memories, stories, and/or condolences for the family by using the comment section on this page. 

Who they were; their interests, accomplishments, passions etc. this is your opportunity to tell their life story in as little or as much detail.

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