Our “Sweet and Petite” Donna passed gently into the arms of her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.  She was born in Cayuga, a small town in southern Ontario to Fred and Jessie Baird, and moved to Victoria when she was about five years old.  She is survived by her husband Phil, son John and sister Betty Baird.  She also leaves many nieces, nephews, and friends, especially Judi Fletcher, her long-time and special friend and card partner saddened but thankful to have shared in her life.  On graduating from the  Commerce program at Vic High, she accepted her first job at Royal Trust as a stenographer, where she remained for 10 years.

Donna was very active in the community over the years.  As a child and teenager, she and her sister learned to dance (tap and ballet) with Florence Clough and participated in many dance reviews. As a member of the Victoria Girls Drill Team, she rose through the ranks and was involved with teaching new members the skills and routines used in parade performance. Donna’s life was filled with music both at her church and with the UVic Chorus for over 30 years.  In addition, she and Phil helped chaperon members of the Oak Bay High School band program as they travelled in Canada, the U.S, and Japan.  At first, a reluctant camper, she got to love it and looked forward to our trips in the summer exploring the Island, Rockies, most of the Western U.S., and especially our Cross-Canada trip.  However, for those of us who knew her well, or just in passing, it was her kind and caring ways that endeared her to us.  We were pleased to call her Sweetheart, Mom, Sister, Auntie, or Friend. You will be in our hearts forever.  Bless you and thank you for your unending love for all of us.

A very special thanks to the Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, and staff at RJH for the kind and thoughtful ways shown to Donna, Phil, and John during this most difficult time.

There will be no service due to COVID.

Anyone wishing to leave a message for the family may do so at www.mccallgardens.com or if desired make a contribution to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Wilson Block, 1952 Bay St., V8R 1J8  https://www.victoriahf.ca/

  • Luigi and Louise Peluso

    It is with great sadness that we heard about Donna’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and John as you grieve.

    Luigi and Louise Peluso

  • Marjorie Chatterton

    Dear Phil and John,

    No words can express the deep sadness I feel with Donna’s passing. I have wonderful memories of the time we spent together when I visited in 1998. Sadly due to age and the length of travel we did not meet again, but enjoyed many telephone conversations. Donna was one in a million, a very special person, God Bless you, you are now at peace.

    Cousin Marjorie – England

  • Lou de Macedo

    Phil and John, I offer my sincere condolences on your loss. you are very much in my thoughts now. Lou


    Phil & John, we are so sorry to hear of Donna’s passing. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

  • Don Recchi

    It is with deep regret that we respond to the news of Donna’s passing. She was a lovely, warm person who put people at ease. We enjoyed hearing her participate with the Victoria Symphony in performances of choral masterpieces. We offer our sincere condolences to Phil and John.
    Don and Marlene

  • Andrea Hopewell

    I was saddened to hear of Donna’s (Mrs. Garsides’s) passing. She was such a kind and thoughtful person, who always had a warm smile. After I moved away from Victoria she kept in touch, even sending cards and balloons for my daughters’ birthdays. She will be missed. My thoughts are with you.


  • Betty Baird

    Donna, my big sister I will always cherish the wonderful memories I have of our childhood & all the crazy, fun things we used to do. You were taken from us way too soon but God has plans for all of us. I will miss you so much & miss our shopping trips. I will always love & miss you so much. You were the best sister anyone could ask for. Rest In Peace my sister & best friend. Your loving little sister, Betty. (Bubby).

  • Natalie Hopewell

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Donna was always so inviting and caring as I grew up next door, and into my adulthood. My thoughts are with you John, Phil and Betty.

  • Gloria and John Hopewell

    Donna was a wonderful neighbour and friend for many years. When we moved next door she welcomed us and said she hoped we would stay for a long time. She was a very caring and thoughtful person. We are so sorry to learn she passed away and send our condolences and best wishes to Phil and John.

  • Donna Holmes

    Dear Phil, John, and Betty. Someone told me that God gave us memories so we could have roses in December. I have some lovely memories. One I remember clearly is when Auntie Donna came to Nan Lucy’s, still in her drill team uniform, to meet up with Uncle Phil. I was so in awe, and I wanted to be just like her, she was so inspiring and such a role model for me. Over the years she remained a role model as a unique being, In this crazy world sharing her kindness and interest in life. Donna will be missed greatly and my heart goes out to you all at this most difficult of times. Love Donna

  • Judith Fletcher

    Donna will be always remembered and forever missed. My very dear friend.


  • Tracy Norton

    Sending my deepest condolences. I know she will be greatly missed. Thinking of you, John, and your dad and hope the loving memories of mom and wife will help you navigate these sad days

    Tracy Norton

  • Wendy Percival

    Dear Phil, John and Betty:
    We are so sorry to hear of Donna’s passing. We are thinking of you all, here in Ontario. We will treasure the few times we got to visit out in Victoria.
    May our loved ones in Heaven be reunited with Donna.
    Love, Wendy and Murray Percival
    (Ruth and Howard Alexander’s daughter)

  • Dennis Zozula

    Phil. I have often given credit to you for keeping me from doing something stupid as a school administrator. I thought about you and Donna many times. Today I am profoundly sad that this time has arrived.

  • Maureen Lund

    Those we love are never really gone. They have a cherished place in our hearts where they will always be remembered for the kindness they showed, the love they shared, and the happiness they brought. Donna was a wonderful cousin. Caring thoughts are with her family at this sad time

  • Doug and Betty

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you Phil and John

    Doug and Betty

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