In the early morning hours of Sunday, September 29th, 2019, Don, beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend to many, passed away peacefully at St. Paul’s Residence, The Pas, Manitoba, at the age of 85 years.
Dad was born Wednesday, January 31st, 1934, to Fred and Mary Zaharia, the fourth of six children. He grew up and was schooled in St. Lazare, Manitoba. Following that, he made a move to The Pas where he started his career at CN and also met his future wife, Irene. Dad and Mom (Irene Godin) married on May 3, 1958.
CN took Dad to Cranberry Portage, MB, and then once married, they went to Alberta, where they lived in Peace River and Grimshaw before returning to The Pas in 1969. During this time, the 5 of us were born - Dennis, David, Derrick, Dannette and Dale.
The first order of business when they moved back to The Pas, was building their forever home on Bell Avenue. Dad retired from CN and went to work for Gulf Oil and finally decided to start up his own business. Hence, Don’s Welding and Industrial Supplies was born. During this time, our mom was diagnosed with cancer and sadly, she passed away on May 13th, 1977. Dad was then left to raise us on his own. It took a village – Grandma Godin and many friends and family members. While it was a very difficult time in his life, he worked hard and provided a great life for us. He continued to work at his business until he retired at 75.
Dad was very active with the Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, he was very proud of being a 4th Degree Knight. He played a key role in the restoration of the Riverside Cemetery and he was also very proud of his work with the restoration and move of the Charlebois Chapel/Museum. You could always find dad in the very last pew at Mass and you always knew he was there because firstly, he was extremely loud and secondly, he was usually causing a ruckus of some sort - making babies cry and teasing everyone around him.
Dad became a Legion member in 1975. He loved it so much he became a member of the Legion executive in 91/92. He followed that up with becoming President from 95-98 and then he shared the Presidency in 2004 with another member. In 2001, he was thrilled to receive the Meritorious Service Medal which is the highest award to be granted to a Legion member. He loved the Legion.
Dad is survived by his daughter, Dannette (Roy); sons, Dennis (Lynda), David, Derrick (Keri) and Dale (Cheryl); his siblings, Rose, Lillian, John, Paul and Shirley; Grandchildren Aimee (Matthew), Kristin (Michael), Corey, Laine (Sabrina), Dawn (Gary), Dayna (Ryan), Kennedy; Great-grandchildren Connor, Madison, Kayson and Asher; special God Daughter Pamela Tetrault; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial to Celebrate the Life of
Donald Nickolas Zaharia
Saturday, October 5, 2019 1:00 pm
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, The Pas, Manitoba
Presider: Fr. Paul Bringleson
Music Ministry: Rochelle Rydberg
Memories of the Heart: Dawn Gawliuk, Dayna Paddock (Granddaughters), Pam Tetrault (God Daughter)
Scripture Readings: Pam Tetrault (God Daughter), Kennedy Zaharia (Granddaughter)
Riverside Catholic Cemetery, The Pas, Manitoba
Royal Canadian Legion Hall, The Pas, Manitoba
Knights of Columbus Honour Guard
Ted Hlady, Gene Hrabarchuk, Ken Kelly, Richard King, Dave Mancini, Willard Matechuk, Bill Otchenash and Vaughn Wadelius.
In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, 193 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 2B7, which is dear to all our hearts.
Canadian Cancer Society
193 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg MB R3C 2B7