Donald Edwin Rogers died on August 7, 2013 at Shuswap Lake General Hospital at the age of 82. Don was born in Calgary, Alberta on April 7, 1931, youngest son of John and Ethel Rogers.
Don is survived by his wife and best friend of 41 years, Irene, son Jim (Helen) of High River, daughter Barbara Clarke of Red Deer, four grandchildren Jennifer, Stephen, Edward and Jeffrey, brother Boots (Is) of Calgary, nephews Don and Dave and sisters-in-law Pat May of Salmon Arm and Joan Primrose (Dale) of Calgary.
Don attended Western Canada High School and Mount Royal College in Calgary and the Banff School of Advanced Management. He spent his early years in the oil industry. In 1976 he and Irene moved to Salmon Arm. Jobs were few and far between in those days so Don worked at a variety of things – property management for Cedar Square, real estate sales, financial planning with Equitable Life Insurance and Canada Permanent Trust, Alderman from 1980-84, Manager of the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, Project Manager for Haney Heritage Park, and Mayor of Salmon Arm 1990-93.
While he was an Alderman in 1984, Don started the Salmon Arm Sonnet Contest sponsored by Martini and Rossi of Italy as a response to a lighthearted ad he read in Readers’ Digest which stated “More people in Canada drink Martini Extra Dry than compose sonnets in Salmon Arm. Just.”. To kick off the 1991 Sonnet Contest then Mayor, Don played Sir John A. MacDonald in a skit called “The Last Spike” written by Rhonda Bourdon which attracted attention to the Sonnet Contest from Adrienne Clarkson of CBC. As a Toastmaster he won the provincial humorous speech contest with “Only in Canada Eh?” and went on to place third in the nationals in Oakland, Calif. As Mayor he initiated the formation of the Shuswap Community Foundation, negotiated with CPR to have train whistles stopped in Salmon Arm and Canoe, saw the inauguration of the Transit System in 1991 and implemented the first 20-year long range plan for Salmon Arm. As past president of the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association he started the development of Haney Heritage Park and had the Mt. Ida Church and North Broadview school moved on site and as Project Manager saw the first walking trails created and oversaw the construction of the new museum building and several outbuildings. As past Chairman of the Okanagan College Advisory Board, Don led a delegation who successfully lobbied the Kelowna College Board and the Minister of Education to keep the Salmon Arm campus open. After retiring as Mayor, Don volunteered as Project Manager for the new Branch #109 Seniors Centre of which he was a lifetime member.
In the past Don was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #62, Rotary, Toastmasters, Chairman of the Fall Fair parade, ESS Director of the Provincial Emergency Program, President of the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association, Chairman of the Okanagan College Advisory Board, Board member of the CSRD, member of the Salmon Arm Golf Course.
Don suffered from rheumatoid arthritis most of his adult life. He loved playing and watching all sports, especially golf. As the arthritis gradually robbed him of his ability to play sports, he turned to bridge and especially enjoyed duplicate bridge. He started a Men’s Bridge Club and taught bridge at Seniors Branch #109 to encourage more men to play. Don was an honest man with a great sense of humour, loved telling jokes, singing, playing the guitar and keyboard, painting watercolours, bird watching, golf and bridge. His nephews, grandchildren and many others will remember Don’s perfect imitation of Donald Duck as well as his sleight of hand shaking dimes out of their ears.