Donald Leonard Giles
Donald Leonard Giles, a longtime resident of the area, passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Wed., April 29, 2009, following a lengthy illness. He was 85.
A resident of Coyle Drive in Morrisburg for more than 20 years, Don was born on Jan. 21, 1924 in Felton, Ont. He was the son of the late Leonard Barber and Ella Mary (nee McLaren) Giles.
He was the dear husband of Genevieve (nee Black), whom he married on May 24, 1947, and the dear father of Terry (Lois) of Guelph, and Larry (Brendalee) of Winchester. He was the loving grandfather of Leslie of Guelph. He will be sadly missed by his brother Gordon (Marilyn) of Stevensville and brother-in-law Arden (Marilyn) Black of Williamsburg. He was predeceased by his brother Kenneth and sister Marion Giles.
Don’s early years were spent in Mountain in a home close to the railway tracks, thus his fascination with trains, even as an adult.
The family moved to Chesterville when he was 13, and he grew into a dark-haired, stylishly-dressed young man who looked as though he could have played Jack Webb’s younger brother on Dragnet.
To his great fortune, he happened to be attending a hockey game at the Winchester arena one evening in 1945, when a pretty young lady caught his eye. He managed an introduction through a mutual friend and he and Genevieve became friends who would run into each other often over the next few months. What started out as a casual friendship, grew, and Don eventually summoned the nerve to ask Genevieve for a date. After a movie at the theatre in Williamsburg, they stopped at a restaurant where he treated her to coconut pie and ice cream. They courted for a couple of years, and after Don’s proposal they married on May 24, 1947. The rest, as they say, is history.
He was certainly a man of many talents, and during his working career, he did a number of things. After his first job as a barber for his father he opened his own barbering business in Chesterville, then another in Ottawa.
Don and Genevieve operated a general store in Metcalfe, and then left for the Niagara area where Don worked in real estate. After five years they returned to Williamsburg where they opened and ran a general store until their retirement in 1985. It was then that they built their house on Coyle Drive.
He wasn’t shy talking about things he liked or the things he didn’t like. His enthusiasm for cars was probably only exceeded by his obsession for riding lawn tractors. He kept the glossy brochure of every make and model he ever owned. He also wasn’t afraid of technology and kept up with the latest innovations.
He loved the simple things in life – his wife’s cooking, watching the ships on the St. Lawrence, the annual vegetable garden, and visiting his good friend Henry down the street.
He was proud of his family, his home, and one of the brightest lights in his life, his granddaughter Leslie.
In the last five months of his life, when he was in and out of hospital, and during his last days, it was important for him to be with his family and friends.
Friends were received at the Parker Funeral Home in Morrisburg on Mon., May 4. The funeral service was conducted by Pastor Anita Goulet at Inkerman Wesleyan Church, where Don was a member, on Tues., May 5 followed by interment at Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville. The pallbearers were Evan Black, Marcus Black, Arden Black, Gary Gibbons, Henry Hansma, and Dan Keller.
Memorial donations to the Inkerman Wesleyan Church, Dundas County Hospice, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be gratefully acknowledged.
Condolences and donations may be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.