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DONALD GARRY DREGER
It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved Donald Garry Dreger at St. Boniface Hospital on April 13, 2023.
He is survived by his stepchildren; Kristina Krause and Chris Honke. Grandchildren; Kaelen (Kristie), Lukas (Alison), Kyle (Montana), Kendall (Riley), and Kady (Davis). Great grandchildren; Bentley, Braxson and McKenna. Sisters; Evelyn (and Clarence Ratchinsky), Betty Anne, and Diane, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Don was predeceased by parents Elsie and Godafred Dreger, brothers Wilfred, Ralph, Bryan, and Howard, sister Margaret (Ludman), and his partner of 20 years Barbara Krause.
Don was born on February 22, 1950 in Morris Mb. He was the youngest of 9 children raised in Dominion City, MB. He was affectionately known by his family as Donnie his whole life. He moved to Winnipeg in grade 12 and finished his schooling at Elmwood High. He lived with his mom in a tiny apartment on Talbot Ave. He told tales of the many people that fit into that apartment for family gatherings. He later bought a house on Harbison Ave. just down the street from his brother, Ralph. Each winter, armed with their trusty snow blowers, Don and Ralph, would clear practically the whole sidewalk between the two houses. Don (and Ralph) loved to help out their fellow neighbors wherever they could. This was, of course, thirsty work which always ended with them downing a beverage or two! Many good times were had on Harbison Ave. including fond memories of Donnie hosting Christmas Eve celebrations.
Don spent most of his career as an accounting clerk with the Manitoba government. He worked hard, barely missing a day, and he played hard! He loved to attend Friday evening ‘choir practice’ regularly with one of his good workmates.
Don was the most likable guy! He loved comedy and could often be found in his chair watching the Comedy Network. He had an amazing sense of humor and often would do impressions or speak in different accents. He would easily have the whole room laughing. He was telling jokes right up until the very end. Including one morning when his nurse brought him his meds and he said, “aww I didn’t get you anything”. He also had a sentimental, caring side. He always put others before himself. He loved kids and it really showed because they loved him too. He was definitely a ‘Funcle’!
In 1995 he met his life partner, Barbara, and instantly became a stepdad and a grandpa, and then in later years was quite excited to become a great grandpa.
For the next 28 years, his life centered around his family as he was a very hands-on grandpa.
The grandkids remember building stuff in Don’s ‘workshop’ in the garage, road trips to the States, playing catch or playing dolls, helping him in the garden, water gun fights, and so much more. He went to every Christmas concert, sporting event, fundraiser, birthday party, etc. It was a fulltime job, and he loved every minute of it!
Don also enjoyed regularly visiting his late father-in-law, Charlie Krause, at Deer Lodge Centre on Saturdays.
Don was affectionately called ‘The Don’ or ‘The Don-father’. Over the years his family became very familiar with his ‘Don-isms’ for example:
“Count your gazintas”
“Brush your teeth, especially the ones you want to keep”
When he’d help blow a nose he’d say “you’re down a quart”
“Look there’s Elvis”
“Watch your toes, Rose”
“I need a new writer”
Don's last years were spent in the new condo in Transcona, which he and Barb had enjoyed together. When she fell ill, he never left her side. He was an extremely loving and devoted husband. He would follow Barb anywhere. Whether it be doctors’ appointments, visiting family, or road trips around the province while Barb set up a table to sell her jewelry, Don was her co-pilot. After her passing, he continued to enjoy his condo and had family gatherings every chance he got. He liked to play charades with the family and although he didn’t love to play a lot of other games, he would always try, and he always loved being in the action, even when just observing with a smile. He would also partake in Friday night happy hours in the common room at his condo complex. He made some good friends there too.
He loved to help his friends and family and enjoyed driving people to appointments, especially when followed by bacon and eggs at the Jolly Mug with Clarence and Evvy. He enjoyed making a daily trip to Starbucks for his Venti mocha frap and had many tv programs saved to his PVR that he enjoyed watching, including the news! He was the guy we called when we needed to know what was going on! He was very practical and kept track of everything such as phone numbers, appointments, and birthdates, on sticky notes on his kitchen island. He also had a ledger where he kept record of all his monthly expenses from 1973 -2023!
Don was a very simple man; very kind, very loyal, very loving and today he is so very very missed by so many people.
In lieu of flowers (Don was not a flowers guy) please consider making a donation to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation or a charity of your choice in Don's name.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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