July 15, 2021
1933-2021 ~ With heavy hearts, the family of Donald Matthew Prendergast announces his peaceful passing on July 15th, 2021, at the age of 88. Don was the salt of the earth who could conduct business on his handshake and the integrity of his character. He was well known for his fairness, honesty, and inclusiveness in every venture he undertook. No matter where he lived, his neighbours knew they could count on Don’s help and support.
Don was born in Prince Rupert, B.C., which became a busy military port during WWII, which greatly influenced Donald’s future. In fact, at age twelve, the military invited Don to become a “Boy Soldier” in communication. He remained active in cadets throughout high school.
Post-secondary he pursued a military career achieving the rank of lieutenant with the light anti-aircraft Irish Fusiliers Regiment of Canada. Here he gathered a great many stories with which he was more than willing to entertain you.
At 24 (1956), Don left Vancouver to start a new adventure with his dad, buying a ranch together in the Cariboo (Eagle Creek). This venture had a modest start with only five cows, but in time Donald grew his cow / calf operation to well over 150 head. In the early days of his cowboy dreams, Donald led a frontier lifestyle living without electricity and having to cut a hole through the creek ice to draw water.
The learning curve was steep for Don as he had no previous experience with horses or cattle. Still, Donald persevered to become a proficient rancher and a steadfast member of the Cattlemen’s Association. In the 1980’s Donald became Zone Director of 5 Cattleman’s Locals in the Central Interior.
Well respected for his ideas and character, Donald implemented “Silver Dollar Days,” which tangibly demonstrated the economic impact of ranching in the 100 Mile region.
His time devoted to supporting his sons’ in minor hockey will always be treasured by both. His caring presence included flooding the backyard rink, driving kids to games in distant towns and learning to skate late in his retirement so he could participate in coaching. Don capitalized on this opportunity to pass on his love of the game and some of his values.
Driving the Hawkins Lake school bus route for 30 years, he had a strong relationship with students and parents. Ham radio was an interest he enjoyed throughout his life, and he always was eager to share his passion with others.
His family and friends will miss Donald, but now he is happily operating a radio in the sky.
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