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FIELDER, Donald Ernest

How best to condense 87 yrs of a life lived fully in as many seconds of reading?

It would be easy to fill all of the space with just Don’s education and work career. In the several years that led up to his graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering, he worked at a wide range of jobs, from brick layer’s helper to ‘lab rat’ at the BA Refinery on 9 Ave. S.E. in Calgary. In his own words, over the course of his entire life he was rarely out of work.

And work was the avenue through which Don made so very many of his life long friends, some dating back more than 60 years. It is almost magically serendipitous that Don spent virtually his entire working career in the design and building of pipelines; for what better metaphor for a man with such a vast network of long running and intertwining friendships could there be than pipelines? Over his career, Don worked for Rangeland Pipeline, Peace Pipe, Malaysian Pipeline and Foothills Pipeline and several others since forgotten.

Whether through mutually hosted pot luck dinners or any of many an overseas trip; through long hikes in the mountains or short walkabouts through his neighbourhood, Don maintained those friendships over the course of his life.

Or we could fill that 87 seconds of reading with Don’s love of exercise and fresh air. Curler, downhill and cross-country skier, golfer, camper, trail biker and trail blazer, snowshoer, hiker, fisherman, gardener . . . any of which, if covered in detail, would more than fill the space.

Don had a great love of family and more than once remarked on how important it was, if you wanted to be accepted into the Fielder family, to be able to recite the names of all 11 Fielder siblings in reverse order (what Don referred to as in order of importance) . . . Don, Jack, Pat, Keith, Ted, Beth Judi, Helen, Leigh, Bob and Verne. All who were so lucky to have had the privilege to share Don’s last days in the hospital with him had to chuckle as he flawlessly recited that list to doctors and nurses alike only a few days before his death.

It was as a result of filling in for an absent curler that Don met Irene, his first love, in 1957. Irene and he were married in 1958 and were together with their children, Bill (Jenny) and their son Ernest, and Karen (Paul) and Karen’s son Ryan (Natalie) and their sons Liam and someone else who is undeniably Don’s youngest grandchild, Landon (due date July, 2018). Irene passed away on March 29th, 2000 from cancer. It was because of his wife Irene that Don met someone he often referred to as his ’special’ niece, Irene Rodine.

87 seconds could never do justice to adequately share with you Don’s deep respect and love for his own mom and dad. That love was especially apparent in how he tried to live his own life in a way that would have made his parents proud to call him son. Not a soul who knew him would disagree he achieved all that and so much more. He shared his dad’s love of gentle teasing and corny jokes and many’s the sibling, friend or fellow hiker who found themselves entertained by Don’s humour.

And how could 87 seconds ever capture Don’s last 18 years with Thérèse at his side? And along with Thérèse came his whole new second family, a francophone family, no less, including Brigitte, Erick and Elisabeth and Todd and their two children Elliot and Anaïs. It was exciting to see Don’s French vocabulary swell over those almost 2 full decades of French immersion, to include words like Bonjour, and on other occasions, Bonjour. As with Irene, it was exercise and the outdoors that brought Don and Thérèse together and helped to make them both seem younger and happier as those 18 years went by far too quickly. At one time or another each of us has heard either Don and Thérèse refer to the joy life held since their meeting. We should all be so blessed.

And blessed we all have been to have had Don a part of our lives. If you are able, please attend the

to be held at the
Calgary Hellenic Centre (One Tamarac Crescent, Calgary, AB)

Sunday, April 29th
4:00 PM

For 10 years after Irene passed away, Don volunteered 1 day a week (5 days a week every December) for the Food Bank. It was a passion of his rivalled only by his more than 200 donations to Canadian Blood Services over the years, following the example of his father before him. There will be a donation box available so that we all can share in Don’s wish that donations be made in lieu of flowers to The Calgary Food Bank

Offer Condolence for the family of FIELDER, Donald Ernest

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Condolence Messages

  1. Ted and June Clarke

    Don will be hiking up there telling his corny jokes I am sure

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  2. My condolences on your losing the elder statesman of the Fielder clan, the font of much wisdom and mirth. As an honorary family member who learned to quickly recite the children’s names as a 10 year old I share your and my dear friend Judi’s sadness. He helped make the family what it is…a solid place of strength and warmth.

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  3. Eldest Brother, friend, and so much more.. Always fun, always had a new joke to share with all of us, his siblings ( and sometimes they were accidentally repeated again). He was special to everyone one of us, his siblings, and their spouses! His smile, his sparkling eyes when he was telling a story..and so many other memories!
    He and Irene, then later,Therese, were the best hosts for wonderful meals and..” No one could barbecue salmon like Don! ” We had great times..and we , his siblings will miss his wisdom, care
    and our great times together!! I’m blessed because he was ” My” brother! From the middle kid,Beth

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  4. Sorry to hear about Don’s passing…
    Brian and Helene Fletcher

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  5. Frank and Erlinda Howard

    I missed Don’s corny jokes the last couple of years when he stopped hiking the rough trails of the Rockies but he was never forgotten. Therese, I am sure, passed those messages to him. He entertained us and made us laugh. Some of us, like me, tried to remember his jokes, but failed. I’m sure that Don will farther delight those he meets when he gets to the steps of the golden gates.

    Our condolences to Therese and Don’s family.

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  6. Jean Guy Laplante & Francine Labrecque

    Nous voudrions offrir nos plus sincères condoléances à Mme Thérèse Caron et sa famille ainsi que la famille de Monsieur Fielder.

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  7. Christine Stuart-Smith

    My heartfelt condolences to Therese. Don will be truly missed, he brought friendship and laughter to us all on those SOCC trips to the mountains. Although I didn’t know him well, he will always have a special place in my memory.

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  8. Lyse Carignan22

    I would like to thank Don for giving my friend Thérèse 18 years of happiness. Don was always welcoming when we came to visit.
    My sincere condolences to your family.

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  9. I am so sorry to hear about Don’s passing. Don, Ken Ostick and myself were the first snowshoers in the club and as you can imagine, shared many stories on the trails. I bought Don’s cross country skis when he decided snowshoeing was better way to spend his winter Tuesdays, and his name and phone number still adorns my ski bag. I will truly miss him.

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  10. For many years the hilight of our hikes was always when it was “joke time” with Don! We have missed his jokes and his ever smiling presence on the trails. May you cherish the happy memories of the past 18 years Therese and know how blessed you were to have such a wonderful soulmate in your life!

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  11. So sorry to hear of Don’s passing Therese. If I don’t see you with the club, remember I’m only a block away if you want some company.

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  12. My introduction to pipelining and thoughts of Don go back to beginnings of the Rangeland family, including Whitie, Ken, Al, Don ( Lamond, Hume), et al. To his family; ‘ Pipeliners never die they just rust in peace’. My sincere condolences.

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  13. Maurice and Jean Gaucher

    Maurice and I were really saddened to hear of Don’s passing, and are sorry for your great loss, Therese. We in the hiking club all miss Don’s humour, his smile and sparkling eyes. I recall hiking Tangle Creek with him, one of his last long hikes, when we had time to chat enroute. Therese, we trust memories of all your good times with Don, and the support of your family will lighten your heart in the coming days.

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  15. Patricia and Don Gowing

    What a wonderful eldest brother to have in my life…he was so good to me during my growing up years and, so appreciated. He make a big and wonderful deal of my 16th birthday (when birthday celebrations were rare for a large family, understandably) and – took me to Turner Valley for the day). And on a “date” to the theatre when we were both teens. So thoughtful, always. How many guys would do that????

    And not only that, but just was always there for me. And for my Don and I after we were married. So special and so appreciated.

    He was a good man and while we were not in his life much in the past few years as we moved to B.C., so nice to have to those rare but wonderful visits with him. What a sparkling set of eyes he had and, devoted all his attention when you spoke to him or listened to him. I do not recall his corny jokes, as not around much except in phone calls. Loved him a lot – who didn’t ???

    Yes, we shall both miss him. But do remember us to Therese – she was a blessing to him and such fun and sparkling person for his years also.

    Wish we could be there, but we will be there in heart. Much love – Patricia and Don Gowing

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  16. I am very sorry to learn the passing away of Don. Therese, please accept my heartfelt condolences. May his soul rest in peace.

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  17. Bob and Shirley Ward

    Our condolences to Therese and family on Don passing away. He was certainly an inspiration to everyone who knew him.

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  18. Hélène Brault


    C’est avec beaucoup de tristesse que j’ai appris le départ de ton très cher Don avec lequel tu partageais tellement pendant si longtemps; vous avez vécu un si grand amour! Je pense sincèreement à toi dans ces moments importants pour toi et ta famille. Poursuis, si possible, les activités si longtemps partagées avec Don et gardes ton mémorable sourire. Bon courage, Thèrèse.

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  19. My sincere condolences to his beloved siblings and grandchildren – Don provided my son Ryan with a lifetime of memories they created together and a solid example of what a grandfather”s love and advice can leave as a legacy. As many of those wonderful memories and words of wisdom will live on through my son and passed on to his children (Liam and Landon) as they grow older. My son and I were blessed to have had the privilege of being part of Don’s life. God Bless and God Speed!

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  20. So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

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