Whitmore, Donald Alexander

Whitmore, Donald Alexander "Don"

January 29th, 2016

Peacefully at his residence after a long battle with cancer, on Friday, January 29, 2016, in his 79th year. Beloved husband of Roberta Faye Whitmore (née Webb). Loving father of Robert (Kim), Steven (Lori) and Scott (Shelley). Adored grandfather of Kyla (Brian), Christopher (Tanis) and Shane. Dear brother of Shirley (Earl); brother-in-law of James (Verna). Deeply missed by his nephews Geoff (Michelle), Todd, Brian, Allan (Karen) and Ethan; grand-pets Sydney, Zoe, Zena, Grisley, Abe and Lucy. Donald was a teacher, a Class A Mechanic, and the Technical Director at Chippewa Secondary School in North Bay. Donald was a member at RiverBend and Echo Valley, as he was an avid golfer, who often shot his age. He loved snowmobiling, boating, motorcycles, and had a great passion for woodworking. Visitation will be held at WESTVIEW FUNERAL CHAPEL, 709 Wonderland Road North, London, on Tuesday, February 2, 2016 from 2:00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at RiverBend Golf Community, at a later date. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Don are asked to consider LHSF – Cancer Program.

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Book of Condolences

Brian RiskIt is with great sadness that I learn of Donald Whitmore passing on Friday, January 29, 2016. He fought a courageous battle with cancer and was in his 79th year. I had the pleasure of knowing Don from many perspectives and all of them were wonderful. In highschool, he was my teacher of auto mechanics and guided the way I think and see technology. His mastery of fixing/building things and seeing mechanical things in a clever way inspired me to pursue a career not only in technology but in the teaching of technology. I recall talking with him at his house a few years after high school and we discussed how to become a tech teacher. A year or so later, I was hired at Chippewa to work alongside him. It was a career that I cherished. Don was quite influential in making things happen to get me hired. We worked together in the same shop for the next 15 or so years. I learned so much from him and enjoyed his friendship. Education was always about connecting with the students and doing the right thing. I learned how to teach, how to manage a shop, how manage kids of all abilities, how to work with administration, discipline, and more. Then, I watched as he worked as a department head to provide leadership to programs and how to speak out against bad decisions in the school. Don was not a yes man. He lobbied for kids and made things happen. Don could see the big picture. Don was the pioneer shop teacher at Chippewa. In his first year, he taught in the 004 classroom area while the shop wing was being built. The next year, he moved to the shops and created a fantastic facility and program. At its prime, we had 5.5 full shops running and two drafting rooms. It was an incredible program and facility. We were a cross-curricular program well before the terminology became trendy. The construction of the engine re-build lab upstairs in the auto shop was a 10 year effort and was finally finished as he retired. It brought us to a whole new level of programming and education for kids. We connected with kids, kept them in school, and provided wonderful learning opportunities. And, it was his work and inspiration that got us hundreds of thousands of dollars in the donations of equipment from General Motors in Flint, Michigan. Dons educational direction was solid. Teaching aids that were designed and built by him still exist in the school today (built in 1963). Engine and transmission cutaways that were meticulously hand crafted made teaching and learning so much easier. His methods taught me. My teaching career produced at least 3 other shop teachers so the teachings of Don Whitmore will reach far and wide for decades. His legacy lives on. I was able to watch and learn as Don managed many other things in the school including sports programs and various organizations. Don was exceptional at event management which was another skill that I picked up from him. He was great at visioneering, refining the plan, and then making it happen (golf, curling, skiing, Golden Puck, NB minor hockey etc). Don was an outstanding mentor to me. He would provide ideas and inspiration and then stand back. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I scrapped my knees a bit, but always he was there to support fresh ideas and new directions. He was not stuck in an old-school mentality. He liked old school values of timeliness, craftsmanship, and being accountable but he was open to new directions and fresh ideas to push boundaries and make our program stronger. He was a franchise player for Chippewa and our board. Even after his retirement from school, we were able to stay connected. He provided support to me as I went through some challenges in life. He was a lifelong teacher, mentor, and friend to me. A year or so ago, we had beers on his deck. A few months ago, we chatted on the phone. He knew he was sick but he was the same old Don. Positive, upbeat, strong, determined. It was blessing to know and work alongside Don Whitmore. May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family and friends.
Verna Jean & Ewart MagillSorry to hear about Don. We worked together foe 18 years in the Golden Puck Hockey tournament , Many good times during and after hours , Our condolences to Roberta, Rob, Steve and Scott and family. Verna Jean & Ewart Magill
Ken LeggettHeart-broken at my old friend's passing. I remember many fond experiences with Don, including our last hug at the NBGCC. Sympathies to you Roberta and to his boys of whom he was so proud.
Brian DavyAs the founder of the Beach Boy golfing group at Riverbed and on behalf of all our members we would like to extend our condolences to Dons wife and family. Don told me that the time he was a member of our group at Riverbend was some of the best times in his golfing career . Don was a wonderful golfer and a good friend he will be sadly missed
garth goodhewI was shocked and saddened to learn that Don had passed away on January 29.I had the privilege of working with Don at Chippewa S.S. for several years. Don was a committed,dedicated and skilled teacher. He was a great staff person with a fabulous sense of humour. Don was demanding of his students,supportive of their efforts ,consistently showed good judgment in his dealings with them and was always fair in his treatment of them. Don was a good man and he will be sadly missed. My condolences to Roberta and her family.
Marv hallWonderful man wonderful golf swing
Jim StuartOur condolences, go out to the Whitmore family.
Bob NewmanRoberta, Rob, Steve, and Scott: We were all blessed to have had a husband, father, friend, neighbour, and associate, in one person - Don. I will miss him, and think of him often. Out here on Trout Lake, a day doesn 't go by to when I see a reference to Don; something that we worked on together and thereby a memory - a good memory. I will also miss the daily e-mails. It is such a great inner feeling to be left with the memory of my visit two weeks ago, to have talked with Don and had the opportunity to be reminiscent of past experiences - there are too many to list. I, for one, am a very lucky and fortunate person -- I knew Don Whitmore
Jean (John) & Bonnie MontminyDon was always a great neighbour since moving two doors down from his house in 2007. He always stopped to chat when walking by our house. He would always come and use his snowblower to clear our driveway after a snow storm. Just a great neighbour and we will miss him tremendously. All our condolences to his family.
Jack ElliottI met Don about 10 years ago through golf at RiverBend. Always enjoyed playing with him and he made the game look easy. He had a competitive edge but never let bad shots affect his love of the game or his fun loving demeanor. Maybe because he did not hit many bad shots. The past few years I saw Don frequently in the off-season at "The Beaver" and this year at Timmy's. He battled cancer and beat it on a couple of occasions. Always keeping a positive attitude, never complaining, and so thankful that his life was going to continue. He provided inspiration of how to handle illness -- accept it ,fight it, and move on. I send my sympathies to Roberta and her family. I know Don would say he was a lucky man to have such love and compassion to comfort him during his illness.
Tom MooreMy condolences to Roberta and family. Like most staff members, I enjoyed some good fun with Don in the staff room at Chippewa. As well, I enjoyed a few great ski trips with him to the eastern townships of Quebec during the March school breaks. Sorry to hear of his passing.
John and Mary LongworthRoberta and Family, John and I are shocked and saddened to hear of Don's passing. Don was such a wonderful husband, father and friend. May you find comfort in the love of family and friends. With sympathy, John and Mary
London Newcomers Alumnae ClubRoberta, Your many friends at London Newcomers Alumnae Club wish to send condolences to you and you family at this difficult time. With sympathy, Mary Longworth, President LNAC
The Webb FamilySending our love and support to Roberta and the sons he cherished. He was a much loved friend, brother-in-law and uncle. We will miss him dearly. A tribute has been sent to LHSF in his memory. Jamie, Verna, Geoff & Michelle, Todd, Inanna, Dara, Tucker and Christabel.
James RichardsonHe was a great teacher.He taught me when I was at Chippewa .He told me that I was good on working on cars but he help me out on the practical side .He will be missed by all his students that he taught.
Robin PurcellDear Steven, I am very sorry to learn of your Dad's passing. I remember that beautiful summer day, long ago now, when he tried to teach me to water ski. I wasn't overly successful, but he was patient, kind and wouldn't let me give up easily. That is a fun memory for me and a simple reminder to embrace life. My heart goes out to you and your family, but most especially to your Mom, Roberta. ...My deepest sympathy for bearing such a great loss. Robin Purcell
Jim McAuliffeSteve and family, my condolences. There were many fond memories of your Dad. We had a very nice chat at the last CSS reunion. My thoughts are with you and your family. Jim McAuliffe
Ron LidkeaSo sad to hear of Mr. Whitmores passing. He was a wonderful teacher and had a great sense of humor. Much sympathy to his family. Still using what he taught me in '72 and '73 to repair my own vehicles to this day. He instilled confidence and made learning a pleasure. R.I.P. Mr. Whitmore, you were one of the good ones.
David BiroSaddened to hear of the passing of Don . I had the pleasure of knowing and golfing with him for many years at Riverbend . Always remember him for sharing his Werther's candies as we played . He will be missed.
Pat and Don LittleReally going to miss this guy. We have shared some great times with Roberta and Don, travelling, going to Stratford for the annual picnic and theatre outings, dinners together. Loved Don's sense of humour and laugh. Condolences to Roberta, Rob and Kim, Steven and Lori, Scott and Shelly, Kyla, Chris, and Shane. Those pups will know that someone is missing when they come to visit.
Darren BrimsonWhile working at RiverBend Golf Community, I had the privilege of getting to know your husband and father. I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was a great human being, with a zest for life and laughter that we should all try to emulate. One of the greatest guys I have ever met, I will always remember fondly.
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