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Don Gannon

Image by Nick Andréka

DONAL (DON) GANNON

March 19, 1944 - February 1, 2024

Our dear father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle and friend slipped away peacefully on February 1. Although we miss him terribly, we are consoled that he is free from his health challenges, and can truly rest in peace with his beloved wife Ann Catherine. 


Donal (Don) Patrick Joseph Gannon was born on March 19, 1944 in Dublin, Ireland, and emigrated to Canada in November 1957, making Winnipeg home. 


After graduating from Tech Voc High School, where he played the tuba in the high school band, he went on to study at the Manitoba Institute of Technology (now Red River College) where he trained as a chef and was a pastry chef at the Royal Alexandra Hotel.  He later graduated from Mechanical Draughting (1964) which he applied at Standard Aero and Bristol Aerospace working on Black Brant rockets, and later at Winnipeg Hydro and the City of Winnipeg.


Don met Ann Catherine Trudeau through St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and they married on April 4, 1970. They happily welcomed their children Jennifer in 1971, Margaret in 1973 and Sean in 1977.


Don achieved his Bachelor of Arts attending evening classes while working full time at the City of Winnipeg and raising Jennifer and Margaret – with the tireless support of Ann Catherine. Don studied late into each night and on weekends for years, driven to care for his family.


Near the end of his career, he managed the Neighbourhood Improvement Program with the City of Winnipeg, helping local neighbourhoods like South Osborne Village to thrive. As President of the Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers (WAPSO), he negotiated better treatment for staff during layoffs.


Don’s main focus was family! His cooking and hospitality brought together family and friends, there was always room for one more.  His annual flaming of plum puddings were equal parts delighting and terrifying. He was honoured and proud to walk his grand-daughter Caitlin down the aisle at her wedding. His camera was always close at hand for vacations, trips, weddings, birthdays, baptisms, graduations and regular life. He always printed doubles to share, later giving out CDs and thumb drives. He and Ann Catherine camped all across Canada and the States with the kids, and spearheaded epic camping trips with the families of St. John Brebeuf. Don and Ann Catherine shared the best fires, the funniest sing-a-longs, and the gooiest smores. He was always up for a construction project, a toilet repair, or additions to cottages, which were profoundly helpful and appreciated - and inspired hilarious stories. He would show up halfway across the country just to help you move or pop in for a visit, and made it sound like it was no big deal. The weekly zoom calls with his siblings maintained their closeness and connection through COVID and beyond.


There were many lasting friendships made with winter retreats to McAllen, Texas and later in Arizona at the Sunflower RV Resort.


Don’s heart was broken when he lost his life partner on April 9, 2005. He continued to host family gatherings, impromptu picnics, and hot tub parties while he lived on Carpathia Rd, with Margaret and Caitlin’s help. His door was always open and the coffee was always on. We miss Don teasing Ann Catherine, and her laughingly crying out “Really, Don!”


His move to Fred Douglas Place in 2019 brought a new circle of friends, and he enjoyed dinners, camaraderie, and their support for each other – especially during the COVID lockdown. He always got a reaction when he asked his new friends to “prove it” during debates. It tickled him to stir the pot.


Although he faced many health challenges, he kept his health complaints mostly private, instead cherishing the good times with his children, family and friends - lunches at Chios, drop-in visits, and phone calls. 


Donal was predeceased by his father, Paddy (1967), his mother Grainne nee Donnelly (1972) and his wife Ann Catherine nee Trudeau (2005) and his cousins Grainne Gannon (2020) and Marie Willett (2021). He lives on in the hearts of his children Jennifer (Jamie) Mollins, Margaret (Jordan Evans) and Sean (Lara), his grandchildren Caitlin (Chase) Mayor, Gwendolyn, Oliver, Stephanie, and Catherine, his great grandchildren Riven and Juniper, his siblings and their partners Jim and Dianne Gannon, Patrick and Christine Gannon, and Catriona and Bill Younger, his cousins Ann Maguire O'Sullivan, Jacinta McLoughlin (Ambrose) in Ireland, and his in-laws Ted and Brenda Trudeau, Rosemary and Tony Van Rosmalen, and Lawrence and Diane Trudeau, as well as many nieces and nephews - Rob (Leiann), Todd (Krista), Andrea (Jim), Stephen (Trichia), Tara, Michelle (David), Marc (Kathy), Connie (Rod), Jason (Virginia), Kris (Brad), Mark (Dara), Mike T (Katrina), Tim (Emily), Kathleen, Michael Y (Lindsay), Natalie (Erik), Jeffrey (Kelby), Meghan (Dan) and their children.


Join us for a celebration of Don’s life on Sunday, February 11 at 1:30 p.m. at Fred Douglas Place, 333 Vaughan at Ellice. This celebration will be streamed live for those who are unable to join us in person. This video will remain available after the celebration.


Click here for the live stream of Don’s Celebration of Life


Donal is remembered as a good man, who loved with all his heart, laughed with great gusto, and enjoyed a special relationship with each and every one of his relatives and friends. He will be truly missed.


In lieu of flowers, Don’s family asks that you make a donation in his honour to Harvest Manitoba or a charity of your choice.


Don's family kindly requests that all of his friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour his memory by watching the photo-biography above. Please, also consider sharing your own photos, memories, and stories by making use of the comment section on this page.


ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

Memories, Stories and Condolences

 

Please share a story, photo, memory or condolence for the family by completing the form below and clicking "comment".

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Comments (9)
Guest
Feb 12

Sorry I could not be there in person but I have some mobility issues .Don was a great friend and loved his family very much as he told me many times when we were together..Margaret the storm you mentioned was a F1 tornado that killed two people 5 miles south of where we were camping. It was great. to see you all on the livestream. All the tributes were done.bob baril

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Guest
Feb 11

Awhhh just watched the beautiful celebration for your beautiful dad & grandpa❤️ The memories you hold dear to your hearts will help him to live on forever…we too share precious memories of a kind fun loving riend and feel Blessed to have known him & your mom❤️ Peace is with them both as they are united eternally❤️ Sending you all big hugs & much Love ❤️🙏🏼❤️

Sincerely..John & Deb

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Guest
Feb 10

I am so sorry for your loss. From the video it was an amazing and sacred journey. Gods peace to all of you 🙏❤️ This from a cousin you have never met. .... Judy Sackmeister Dollar, Oak Island ,N.C.

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Guest
Feb 10

We got to know Don shortly after his arrival at FDP and always enjoyed his positive outlook and sense of humour. We know how much Don loved his family, and you have our sincere condolences. We will remember Don when we hear that beautiful song by Womack.

Glen and Ruth Krentz

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Guest
Feb 10

Condolences from south of the border. I was fortunate to be present at Don and Ann Catherine's wedding in 1970. We got to see Don on periodic trips to Winnipeg. We plan on attending the

Celebration of Life via video stream. Well done on the photo biography. The song "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack brings a tear to my eyes every time I hear it.


John & Vicki Sackmeister

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Guest
Feb 10

Having worked with Don for several years at the Planning Department, both Kathy and I have fond memories of his jovial disposition and good nature. Sincere condolences to Don’s family at this very sad time. Sincerely, Gord and Kathy Courage

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Guest
Feb 10

Meeting him in Killeshandra in 1957 when he and Paddy were staying with Auntie Una and Uncle Stephen. So glad to have met him that one time. Also met Sean and Lara when they visited Ireland when they were on honeymoon. Your cousin Ann

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Guest
Feb 10

The obituary and video are an incredible great reflection of your Dad and Mom's life! As you've portrayed it in pictures and words, that's how we remember them. A life well lived in spite of some of the health challenges. We will miss them both!


With our love,

Tony & Rosemary van Rosmalen

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Guest
Feb 10

I only met Don a few times in the last few years, he was a very kind and thoughtful gentleman. Rest in Peace Don.

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