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NICOLS – Don Monty

September 27, 1921 – January 6, 2011

Don Nicols, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at the age of 89 years. Don was predeceased by his loving wife Mary in April 2010, after a three year struggle with ALS. Through her illness, as always, Don cared for Mary with patience, tenderness and compassion. He set a beautiful example of love and devotion to his beloved partner and family.

Don had a large family and will be lovingly remembered and sorely missed by sons Meredith Botta (Sharon) and David Botta (Dawn), by his children from the Hartford family Bill (Lynn), Linda, Randy (Cindie), Cathie and Twila, his 18 grandchildren (including Azaria Botta), his 12 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Don was predeceased by all of his siblings: Verna Hartwell,  Eli Botha, Michael Botha, Elizabeth Andruchow, Rose Koshman, Lilian von Hollen, and infants Annie and Rose Botta, and also by his son, Daniel Hartford, in 2010 and his grand-daughter, Tonya-Dawn, in 1985.

Don was born as Alexander Botta and is the last of his generation of a pioneer Romanian-Ukrainian family that homesteaded in Smoky Lake, Alberta. Don was the ninth child born to John Botha (Bota/Botta) (b. 1882, d. 1954) and Maria Zahar (b.1889, d. 1978) who had emigrated from Boian, Ukraine (1902) and Liteni, Romania (1906), respectively. Don enjoyed seeing new places and getting to know other people and customs, and left home and the farming lifestyle at 16 years old to live, work, and travel in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. While attending the Prairie Apostolic Bible Institute in Saskatchewan, he married Alice Gardener in 1948 and had two sons (Meredith and David) that he loved dearly.  Subsequently, his young family settled in Calgary where he started an extended career with Canada Post and where he was a highly valued worker and supervisor. Don changed his name in 1972. 

Don and Mary were married in 1979 and enjoyed a wonderful life that included working together at the post office, travelling and serving together, and enjoying time with their many family members and many great friends. In Masons, Don was a Past Master of Jubilee Lodge, and in Eastern Star he served as Worthy Patron of Mizpah Chapter three times and attained the honour of Grand Representative to British Columbia and the Yukon. Don will be remembered for his gentle, helpful, and accepting nature, and will be greatly missed.

A Celebration of Life will be held at McInnis & Holloway’s Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. Forward condolences through The family wishes to thank the nursing Staff at Unit 93, Rockyview Hospital for their kindness and care over the last few weeks of Don’s life. A very special thanks to Dr. Britt Simmons who treats his patients with utmost respect and dignity. Memorial tributes may be made directly to the A.L.S. Society of Alberta (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Suite 400, 320 – 23 Avenue S.W., Calgary, AB T2S 0J2, .

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Condolence Messages

  1. Vic & Carol Bergmann (Corrie Anne's Mom) :

    Our deepest sympathy to all of Shan’s family. We knew Shan through Corrie Anne and we were very fond of him. He called me around new year’s and we had a great talk on how his life was suddenly coming all together again. He was so happy and really looking forward to the changes about to happen. We are really going to miss him.

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  2. My sincere condolences to Susan and her family. In 1956, we were neighbors to both Don and Mary on 18A Street NW. Both were such good neighbors and we always appreciated their kindness. My husband passed away 27 years ago with cancer and I sometimes recalled how Mary was so good to me when I brought my first baby home from the hospital.

    Miriam Soroka
    (403) 948-1961

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