Don passed away suddenly on May 20, 2019, at the age of 71, while on vacation in Peru. He will always be remembered by his wife, Deb Sankey, his children, Diane, Christopher (Shauna) and his grandchildren Brendan, Dylan, Matthew and Mark. Don was born in Vancouver, BC to Jack and Helen Evans, who predeceased him in 1975 and 2005 and he is the oldest of three siblings, brother Doug (Bev) and sister Joyce (Fred). He will be also be missed by his many nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.
Don worked for 31 years for BC Tel before retiring in 1996 and starting his own company, DJE Holdings, which he successfully ran for many years and was a graduate of Harvard Business School (1992). He enjoyed building relationships with people through his work and helping other people succeed at what they were doing. He was very talented at seeing the big picture and developing strategies to make visions become realities. He made lifelong friends in his Harvard Business School class and always made a point to join their reunions around the world for new experiences and adventures.
Don was active in Rotary for more than 33 years. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Vancouver (2002-2003) and has held many different positions with his club. He has been active with District 5040 in Strategic Planning, as a member of the District Foundation Committee and as a PETS Trainer. He was named Rotarian of the Year for District 5040 in 2014 and served as District Governor for 2017-18. The friendships he made through Rotary over the years were very important to him and he liked to make a point of stopping in to different Rotary clubs on his travels.
Don had a passion for railway preservation and has been the face of the West Coast Railway Association for decades. Don helped to raise significant amounts of money through fundraising for projects including the building of the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, many railway restoration projects and the newly acquired MP2 Maintenance Shops. At the time of his passing he was chair of the Board of Directors and President Emeritus.
His passion for railways began at a young age and continued to grow throughout his life. His work with the West Coast Railway Association was something he was proud of and excited to be a part of. You could feel his enthusiasm on the subject every time he would talk about a project he was working on. He loved to share his enjoyment of trains with his children and grandchildren as well.
Active in the community, Don is a Past Chair of the Board of E-Comm 911 (Emergency Communications for Southwest B.C.), and a long-time member of the Vancouver Board of Trade.
Don will be sorely missed by the many people in the community who were beneficiaries of his volunteer work and the work of the organizations in which he took a leadership role in.
He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for his community service and in 2016 he earned the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.
As an avid traveler, he enjoyed many trips all over the world with Deb, his camera and his notebook. He loved to document everything through photography and note taking and has amassed an impressive collection of photos to share with family and friends.
Don also found a lot of enjoyment in classic cars (including being the original owner of a 1967 Nova SS!), hiking, cycling and playing the piano.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in the CN Roundhouse, located in Squamish, BC.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either the West Coast Railway Association or the Rotary Foundation (Canada).