A lifetime resident of the Chesterville area, Donnie Irven passed away at the Ottawa General Hospital on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. He was 74.
Donnie was born in Finch Township, on February 16, 1940, to his parents Lorne and Helen Irven (nee Armstrong).
He worked at Nestle’s in Chesterville, for many years before going to work at Rohm and Haas in Morrisburg, until he retired.
Donnie was an exceptional person – caring, loving, kind-hearted, honest to a fault and his life revolved around his work, his family and the community. He was a man of love, strength, integrity and courage.
Donnie loved sports – especially hockey and broomball. He loved fishing and hunting, and he was a crack shot. He loved growing flowers and vegetables, and he was an outstanding cook.
His all-time specialty was barbecue chicken – people would come from all around for that particular meal at the Irven household.
According to his children, Donnie was the best father ever.His strength was palpable, and so reassuring. He was patient and kind, even when Billy shot all of Donnie’s hunting arrows into the barn roof or left Donnie’s tools strewn all over the property.
There was no problem Donnie couldn’t find a solution to. He was such a good listener, and gave such sound advice to his children and grandchildren, always. There was also nothing he couldn’t fix.
Donnie was also the best grandfather, ever. He would get up at 5 a.m. on camping trips to spend special alone time with his grandchildren. He had the patience of Job when it came to explaining anything and everything to them.
He always advised his children to take the time to talk every day to their own children, and to never raise their voices.
He was the grampa who would pull bushes down (even though his fingers might get pricked way too often) so his grandchildren could pick berries more easily. He was the grampa who was always waiting at home to hear and celebrate any and all of his grandchildren’s accomplishments – at school, in sports, in hunting or fishing.
Donnie was fortunate to have found love twice in his life, for 50 years with his dear wife Marlene who passed away in 2009, and then again later in life with Millie. Their life together was not for very long, but it was a wonderful love story filled with joy, contentment and fulfillment.
Donnie is survived by his wife Mildred Stewart, his children Lisa Irven (Glenn Brousseau) of Dunbar and Bill (Tammy) of R.R.# 1 Chesterville and his grandchildren Kaitlin and Natalie, Matthew and Haylee.
Donnie will be fondly remembered by Mildred’s children Robby, Sharon and Roger.
He was a dear brother to Dorothy (Oscar) Godard of Brockville, Greta (Ken) Harrison of Stittsville, Marie Kinnear of Russell, Lorna (Bob) Lobb of Ottawa and David (Kim) of Chesterville and a dear brother-in-law of Betty Irven of Ottawa.
He was predeceased by his wife Marlene Barkley, his infant brother Dalton and his brothers Harold and John. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Chesterville, on Friday, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service was held at Christ Church United, Chesterville, on Saturday, April 19th, at 11 a.m., with Rev. Debbie Poirier officiating.
Interment followed at Morewood Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Gordon Elliott, Garry Elliott, Brian Waddell, Mike Barkley, Mark Barkley and Ralph Merkley.
Donations to the Ottawa General Hospital Palliative Care Unit would be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.