While we are saddened by Fr. Don’s passing, we are grateful for the many treasured moments spent with him. Fr. Don died peacefully at the Grey Nuns Hospital February 22, 2021 from complications of COVID-19. He was born in Edmonton, Alberta June 4, 1934.
He started his young life in the Calder District, in Edmonton, selling red apples to the Americans and delivering papers and magazines to make ends met during the late dirty thirties. During most of the war years, Fr. Don had to stay with the Atonement Sisters due to his Mother’s poor health and became very attached to their work with the poor and needy. In 1944, the family moved to the Eastwood District, where Fr. Don attended St. Alphonsus School (7.8.9), and finished his high school at St. Joe’s.
It was no surprise to friends and family when Donald entered the priesthood after graduating from high school. He was ordained June 4th, 1960. Fr. Don shepherded many parishes in the Diocese. The highlight was building St. Theresa Church in Millwoods. He loved his priesthood and considered parishioners as his family.
Fr. Don was a huge sports fan. He spent many hours with Father Mike cheering on the Oilers, the Edmonton football teams, and the Fighting Irish “Bo Bauer” of Notre Dame.
Fr. Don is survived by his brother, Benny (Annette); sister, Alice; nieces and nephews, Ken and Kim Heykants, Michael Badger (Holly Edwards), Darryl (Carol) Stein, Donald (Annie) Stein, Tyler and Emily Heykants, and Jordan, Darcie, Braden, and Brianna Stein; his brother priests, and many, many wonderful friends. Fr. Don was predeceased by his parents, Benjamin and Marie; infant sister, and his nephew, Maury Stein.
The family wishes to thank each and everyone who expressed their care and concern for Fr. Don. Special thanks to Archbishop Richard Smith, Father Jim Corrigan, and Father Paul Kavanagh for assisting us in arranging Fr. Don’s Funeral. To his good friend Stef Michniewski, we are very grateful for his help in taking Fr. Don to his many appointments, accompanying him on numerous trips, and always being there for him.
There will be an opportunity to pay respects to Fr. Don on Sunday, February 28, 2021 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 13 Brower Drive, Sherwood Park between the hours of 2:00 pm and 3:30 pm. A private Prayer Vigil will begin at 3:30.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, Archbishop Richard Smith will preside at a private Funeral Mass on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at St. Joachim Cemetery.
When COVID-19 restrictions allow, a Memorial Mass will be celebrated. All will be welcome. Memorial donations may be made to the Priests’ Retirement Fund, the Seminary, the Strathcona Food Bank, or to a charity of choice.