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Date of Passing: May 26, 2023

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1932 - 2023

It is with deep sadness we announce that Don Willcox passed away on May 26, 2023, in Winnipeg after a brief illness.
Don is survived by his son Rob (Calgary), daughter Donna (Winnipeg) and many nieces and nephews. Don was predeceased by his wife Olive (Flack), parents, Elgie and Mary Willcox, sisters, Eunace (Evanochko) and Marlene (Verdes), and brother Dale.
We would like to thank the doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff at Grace Hospital and Tuxedo Villa who treated and cared for Dad during his times at those institutions.
Don was born in Regina in 1932, into the middle of the Great Depression, but always considered his home town to be Bulyea, north and west of Regina.
After finishing high school, Don began looking for work. Seeking adventure, he joined the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) Inland Stores division as a junior clerk in July 1951. Thus began a 47-year career with the Company, first with HBC and later when his division became the Northwest Company.
After six years, Don requested a transfer to head office in Winnipeg as an assistant accountant. It was there he met and later married fellow employee Olive Flack. Soon after they married, the newlyweds were off to Montreal. Over the next 25 years, they lived in Montreal twice and Edmonton twice, before moving back to Winnipeg for good in 1984. It was during the first time in Montreal that their son Rob and daughter Donna were born.
Volunteering was very important to Don; 30 years with Scouts Canada, over 25 years with Fort Whyte Alive, as well as the Edmonton Classical Guitar Society, both the Edmonton and Winnipeg Jazz Society and CJNU, the local oldies radio station and with the Winnipeg Police Service.
Don and Olive regularly attended Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball games, Manitoba Moose hockey games, and for a few years Winnipeg Jets games.
As he reached his mid-80s, age and occasional health issues occasionally intruded and Don began to slow down his volunteer efforts. However, he still managed to continue his longstanding lunches with his old HBC colleagues every week – Wednesdays with one group and Fridays with another.
With the help of his daughter Donna, Don managed to live at home on his own after Olive’s passing in 2021, until his final few months.
As per Don’s wishes, cremation has taken place.
If you wish to make a donation in his memory, Don would be pleased to know it went to Fort Whyte Alive nature centre.
To leave condolences and share memories, please visit Don's page at



As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jun 03, 2023

Condolences & Memories (3 entries)

  • I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Don was a true Norwester through and through. He and I worked together many times at Northern and he was always understanding, compassionate and willing to share his skills and knowledge. He loved to tell his scouting stories as well as stories about his family. He will be missed by all that knew him. Take care of each other at this time of loss. - Posted by: Dee Opperman (North West Company) on: Jun 04, 2023

  • I had the privilege of knowing Don for 16 years in my former capacity as Director of Human and Volunteer Resources at FortWhyte Alive. Don Willcox was one of those FWA Volunteers who was always there, ready to wear whatever volunteer hat might be offered. And many hats he did wear over the years: he could be counted on for tasks as diverse as flipping burgers for events such as Sunset Goose Flights or manning stations in -25 degree weather for the Eco-Adventure race on Earth Day. He was ready to lend a hand with fundraising ventures and most latterly, with all things accounting. Don was at his best though at the Info Desk on weekends and leading Public Walks given his gift for story-telling and his interest in social and natural history. He had a knack for engaging our FWA visitors. He was the ultimate FortWhyte ambassador both on and off site. He will truly be missed. - Posted by: Michelle Eldridge (Former Director of Human and Volunteer Resources at FortWhyte Alive) on: Jun 04, 2023

  • I first met Don early in my career with HBC he was doing an audit and stayed with me. He was a great house guest and always helped out with meals and chores. He called me, late in his career to come visit me in one of the few stores he’d never been to. I, of course, was delighted. He got to cross another store off his list. I got the pleasure of his company. In later years after he retired he would seek me out at WPC and sit with me during the annual company dinner and awards. He was welcome at the “old timers” table. Deepest sympathies Rob and Donna. I hope it’s some small comfort to know others share your loss. I’ll post of his passing on The Moccasin Telegraph my FB page for retirees. RIP Don off on your final posting. Keep the light on for the rest of us. ❤️ - Posted by: Gregory (Greg) Turnbull (Fellow HBC employee and friend ) on: Jun 04, 2023

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