Donald Stanley Osborne Couch
It is with great sadness to announce that our dearest father, Don Couch, 94 years of age, passed away peacefully and gracefully Monday evening, April 13, 2015.
Don is survived by his sons Bradley and Jeffrey, and grandsons Steven, Bryan and Gavin. He was predeceased by his wife Olive and his parents Osborne and Gladys Couch.
Dad lived a heroic life on many levels. He was born in 1920 in Swan Lake, Manitoba from a long line of hardworking homesteaders who forged Manitoba’s agriculture-based economy. During his boyhood in the Great Depression, his family moved to St. James, where his father Osborne stoically put food on the table as a grain elevator manager.
As the evil spectre of fascism and socialism darkened 1940s Europe, Dad enlisted in the RCAF as an airframe mechanic – repairing the legendary British Mosquito bombers and Spitfire aircraft that were a major factor in winning the war. Years afterward, he was blessed with much joyful fellowship with his comrades from RCAF’s 410 Squadron.
After the war, Dad met his beautiful wife Olive through their common interest in figure skating. After they married, they built a home in the VLA settlement of Rivercrest in West St. Paul, where they lived for over 60 years and raised their family. In the early years of family life, Don worked with the Canadian Grain Commission as a humble grain inspector. In his free time, he explored his many interests and passions, like beekeeping / honey production, camping / fishing, building things in his workshop and flying his Taylorcraft airplane with his kids onto frozen lakes and rivers.
Dad was blessed with the good fortune of an early, active retirement. In this stage of his life, he initiated a successful real estate development venture, and a small agricultural commodity export business. He became an active member of the Khartum Shriners – engaged in many charitable fundraising activities for the Shriners Hospital Childrens’ Burn Unit in Boston. He also took great pleasure in providing comfort and hope to other Shriners during their time in the hospital.
In his later years, Dad took great pleasure in reading copiously in his much-loved sunroom. As a lifelong Conservative, he had phenomenal political instincts that were the source of much spirited and friendly discussion on those warm spring afternoons.
Despite much adversity throughout his life, Don was a man of great strength, wisdom wit and grace. He was a selfless friend to the many who met and came to know him. He had a lasting impact on many. We loved him more than life itself, and will forever.
Cremation has taken place and there will be a service of remembrance held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2015 in the Henderson Highway Legion, 3600 De Vries Avenue, East St. Paul.
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