A great man, who will be missed by many, has left us.  Don was born in Edmonton, Alberta to Norman and Elizabeth and grew up across from Oliver School, attended Garneau High and 2 years at the U of Alberta in Geology, before joining the RCMP in 1950.  Don and a good portion of his Troop, upon graduation from training, was sent to Victoria, BC as it was at the time of the takeover from the BC Police and manpower was needed right away.  From Victoria, he served in Lake Cowichan and Port Alice.  He applied for the Laboratory Branch and was sent to Regina for assessment and some training, then back to Victoria and when accepted into the Fraudulent Cheque section, he was transferred back to Ottawa where he became an expert document Examiner and attained his degree in Psychology from Carleton U.

He designed the early font style for the Canadian passport and was the first to train and become the Polygraph Examiner in Canada.  He was promoted to Officer in 1967 and became Officer in Charge of the Crime Detection Laboratories in Vancouver and instrumental in designing the new laboratory building there.  Don was transferred one year later to be in charge of Regina Lab and subsequently promoted to Assistant Director of Labs and Identification in Ottawa, then Scientific Advisor prior to retirement.

Don will be greatly missed by Dawn, his loving wife of 65 years.  His two daughters Wendy (Len) Meilleur, and Laura Duke (Mark) and the grand children Amy (Frances) Dicaire, Alice Meilleur (Doug), Robin Cole (Patrick), Diane (Kevin) Leroux, Travis Cole (Arianne), and Corey (Jamie lee) Duke-Laplante. His great grandkids Beatrix and Jackson Leroux, Finnegan Dicaire, Lukas and Charleston Duke-Laplante.

Don had a full retirement and enjoyed The RCMP Veterans association; Music, especially the Tower bells and the Hand bell choirs at Metropolitan and First Metropolitan United churches; Square Dancing; Trailer travels; ‘Snowbirding’ in Arizona; Cruising and tours to other countries;  reading and TV.  While he had some major health problems over the last 25 years, he never lost his love of life.

Our heartfelt thank you to all of his doctors over the past 25 years, the Beacon/VIHA morning care service professionals the last 2 years and now especially to Dr. Brabant and Dr. Behroozi and the staff of 8 North at the Royal Jubilee Hospital who provided superb expertise and caring comfort to Don and our family during his last week.  To all our family and friends, thank you for your loving support.  It is immeasurable.

A Celebration of Don’s Life will be held Saturday, February 29th, 2020, 2 pm at First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Road, Victoria, followed later in the year to his final resting place at Beechwood Cemetery’s RCMP Memorial Gardens, Ottawa.

In lieu of flowers, support is welcome to Victoria Hospice, First Met United Church Music Program or your favourite charity.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens




  • Eleanor (Purves) Cameron

    To Dawn, Wendy, Laura and family. Sincere sympathy for your loss. I know your memories will comfort you and always be a blessing for you to count on. I enjoyed Don’s positive attitude toward life and his total commitment to his family. Love to you all.

  • Barbara Uibel

    I am the daughter of Betty (nee: Payne)and John Uibel of Calgary Alberta. I remember visiting the he-Don and she-Dawn many times in Victoria with my mother, both when I lived in Victoria and when I traveled there with mother. Visiting their beautiful home looking over the ocean always a wonderful welcome and time to reminisce. So sorry to hear of the death of Don. Both of my parents have died now but I am sure that they would want to send regard and to remember Don fondly.

  • Alison Uhrbach (nee Rogers)

    Dawn, Yesterday would have been my dad’s 101st birthday, and as I thought of him, I thought of you and Don, and many happy times that he had with you in Victoria. As I was looking for your address today I found out about Don’s death, and want you to know my thoughts are with you. I was going to tell you about the birth of our new grandson, Karen’s third baby, born on Feb 11th. I miss being able to tell my mom and dad about such momentous events. Don was an amazing man. His influence was wide, in that he is fondly remembered not just by Corvin and I, but also by our kids. His humour, his faith, and his positive attitude are a lesson to us all. I’m so glad that you have family around you at this time. Please take care. Alison (nee Rogers)

  • Herb & Dorothy Martinson

    Dear Dawn and family: Our sincere condolences to you on hearing of Don’s recent passing. He will be remembered as a kind and gracious man who rose above his health issues. Herb and Don had an early RCMP connection, being troop-mates when they graduated from Ottawa training in 1950, with both ending up in Victoria (Herb in S & I, Reg. #15985). We both recall Don and Herb’s (& wives) 50th Year Troop reunion (1999)in Richmond, B.C.(along with Florian Schmidt),and meeting again on the Vancouver RCMP Veterans’ AGM Cruise to Alaska in 2012. Unfortunately, we are unable to attend Don’s “Celebration of Life” on February 29th, but you, Don, and your family will be in our thoughts.
    Herb & Dorothy Martinson, Vancouver, B.C.

  • Pat Hapgood

    Dawn, I am sorry to hear of Don’s death. I have lots of memories of you and Don up on Camrose Court. I haven’t seen you for a few years now but knew that Don was in poor health. My deepest condolences to you and your daughters.

    Sincerely Pat Hapgood

  • Cindy Mae Thornton

    Dear Dawn, Wendy and Laura,

    I learned of Don’s passing just today, and made sure to led Dad know. Ronald Thornton asked that I extend out heart felt condolences with the recent loss of your beloved Donald. Our thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time, he will be remembered fondly. Cherish all the wonderful memories you each share, in them he will never be far away.

    Much love,
    Ronald, Regan & Cindy Thornton

  • Glen Thornton

    I have many wonderful memories from childhood of Don, Dawn, Wendy, and Laura. Don was such a upstanding gentleman, and I remember his gentle voice as he addressed a young boy not much older than Wendy all those years ago. My thoughts are with you all as I remember a special man from a
    special time in my life.

  • Ria Koster

    My sincere sympathy goes out to Dawn, Wendy, Laura and all the other members of Don’s family. We were neighbours for some time in Blackburn Hamlet and I have many great memories of that period: Christmas events at your house including Grandma Duke, singing around the Christmas tree in the centre of the Court and hot chocolate in your garage after, and so many other occasions.
    And here we are many years later. Last year I moved to Cape Breton NS to be closer to Nancy and Michael, so I will have to miss the service later this year but you will be in my thoughts – I can still picture that special section at Beechwood.

  • Nancy Jarman

    Mrs Duke, Laura and Wendy… My sincere condolences to you and your families on the passing of Mr Duke.

    Although living on the Court seems like forever ago, I do still have fond memories of being neighbour and friend in the 1970’s.

    Thinking of you all during this difficult time…

  • Maxine Brook

    Dawn and family
    My sincere condolences to you at this time.
    I remember many happy times in Ottawa many years ago.
    You are in my prayers.
    Maxine Brook

  • Carl and Joyce Dukeshire

    Dear Dawn and Family – Please accept our heartfelt condolences at this sad time on Dons’

    passing, he will be missed by many. Our chance meetings were always pleasant and catching

    up was easy, at Member functions, or hospital or in the aisle of a grocery store – we will miss

    these nice surprises. Our thoughts are with you.

  • Claudette Lalonde

    My deepest sympathies goes out to you Dawn, Wendy, Laura and your family. Don will always have a special place in my heart. He was a very special man with a beautiful smile. It was always a pleasure to discuss with him he always made you feel special. May fond memories of Don bring you comfort during this hard time in your life. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Steve Leblanc

    Sorry for your loss. My condolences go out to you Wendy and Len.

  • Betty Rankin

    Dawn and family: Sending sincere sympathy and thinking of you at this difficult time. I have fond memories of the early days at Headquarters. Please take comfort in knowing Don is now resting comfortably. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Betty Rankin.

  • Len Meilleur

    I could write a novel about this man and the title would be Loving Without Judgement. I am son-in-law by title but consider Don to have been my Dad. We did a lot of things together and never once can I recall us arguing. I feel a void in my life and can only imagine how wife Dawn #1 mother-in-law must feel along with daughters Wendy (my love and partner) and her sister Laura. Don planted many good seeds in the minds of his grandchildren, and now they will carry on his legacy. Great grandchildren were also privileged to have known him too! A great man who was proud I joined the Force, but prouder when I succeeded at all I did. He was mentally tough as nails and triumphed over his many health issues. I could never honour in words what Dawn has done to support him over the years. She is such a rock. They were two peas in a pod.I am proud to have known him and love him dearly.

  • Bryan Walker

    I met Don in Ottawa in 1982 after discovering that he was a troop mate of my father Court Atkinson. I had been in touch with my birth mother and it was she who had confirmed that Court was my father in May that year. A co-worker who knew the names of many of the senior members in “HQ” noted after our search through the 1950 General Orders, that Don and Court had trained together and had consecutive regimental numbers. Court’s was 16020.

    Don was the O i/c the Lab in “HQ” and located next door to my office in the Ident Tower.
    Taking the initiative, I called Don, explained my quest and he readily offered to meet with me. When we met, he provided 2 photos of Court that were taken while they were in training. I kept those copies until I finally met Court in person in the fall of 1986 when he was visiting his family in N.S.

    Following that meeting, Court and I developed a long lasting relationship for well over 30 years until his death in Dec 2017. It was over those many years that he thanked Don for having helped us meet, for allowing a father and son to build the relationship we had. Court frequently commented on Don and Dawn as being the perfect couple, always enjoying those infrequent meetings at AGM’s and over the phone.

    I thank Don for being part of the 6 degrees of separation that exists amongst the Forces family.
    And I thank Don for having been a friend of Court’s.
    May Don rest peacefully with that knowledge.

    BRW Sgt 29610 Retired

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