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Donald Royston

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Donald John Royston

July 2, 1929 - November 6, 2023


Donald John Royston   July 2, 1929 – Nov 6, 2023

Don pictured here on his 94th birthday passed peacefully to be with his Frances (2019).

After a recent fall Don was compassionately cared for two weeks at the CDH.

Don was released for assisted living at Heritage Manor and was greeted on his arrival by a beautiful rainbow which he warmly welcomed.

Don walked into the front door with his dignity restored.

Don was old school, salt of the earth, trusted, kind, stubborn, witty, loyal and generous.

Known as “Farmer Don” or “Rhubarb Don” for sharing his bounty of vegetables from his garden with so many, for so many decades is truly remarkable.

Born in Lashburn, Saskatchewan the farming family moved to Saanichton, Brentwood Bay when he was twelve.

Don worked as a teen at the general store at the Brentwood Bay ferry.

He also worked in the Brentwood Bay boatyards and spent many years beach combing the Saanich Inlet.

Don then became a trusted employee at Standard furniture in Victoria where he met co-worker seamstress Frances Collins.

After an eight year courtship they were married and resided in Langford to begin their 54 years of marriage.

Don after being employed at the Graving Dock in Esquimalt retired and he and Frances purchased 2 acres in Cobble Hill where they would build their third new hobby farm home.

Enjoying six cruises, many trips abroad, rv-ing in Canada and the US was a great personal accomplishment.

Frances and Don enjoyed dancing and making many friends at the Valley Seniors in Duncan.

Don is mourned, loved, and missed by cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors, friends far and wide as well as his three adopted cats, who adopted him.

A very grateful thank you to Tanya and staff at Heritage Manor who comforted and guided Don to be with Frances.

Special Thanks to Fr. Basil Royston for his spiritual guidance.

Frances and Don will be placed at Shawnigan Lake, BC cemetery in the spring of 2024.

Celebration to follow.

No service by request.

Thanks for the exceptional care provided by HW Wallace for Don as well as Frances in 2019.

A Peaceful passing by a Peaceful man.


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Pages: 12

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Andrew Watkinson and Anne Scott
Relation: Don was Andrew's uncle

We will miss our chats and visits with Uncle Don so much — we were always so impressed by his cheerfulness, independence, and resilience. He was an inspiring example of aging well! We are so happy his death was peaceful and in a beautiful place of his own choosing. Special thanks to Don’s close friend Jay Garrow for all his wonderful help, friendship, and support for Don.

From: Marie and Chris Brain
Relation: Neighbour

We will really miss Don. We have had him as a neighbour for almost 28 years and really thought a lot of him. Frances as well. They both lived such a healthy lifestyle – Don, working hard in his amazing veggie garden and Frances with all her beautiful flowers. I like to think that they’re together again now. Rest in Peace, dear friend.

From: Robert neufeld
Relation: Don and Francis were my neighbours when I lived in Cobble Hill.

R.I.P. My dear friend. We were neighbours when I lived in Cobble Hill. Don and Francis were very generous with their friend ship,garden produce, sage advice. I enjoyed our bus trip to Campbell River to the Casino. Don and Francis will now be able to dance to their hearts content. I will miss our visits and conversations. Sincerely Robert Neufeld.

From: Jay Garrow
Relation: friend

Don is and was my good friend, a father figure, and my moral compass for the past 25 years.
Never a disagreement or mean words were ever spoken.
Don, was a man of honesty and integrity from an era when a handshake or your word was your bond.
Don gave me hope and to believe that, that world still exists.
I will miss so much including our long daily phone calls, weekly lunches out, and then after-lunch snoozes back at the “Royston Ranch”.
Frances and Don are now side by side forever just as they were the day they were happily married.
Thank you both for all the good times and the love we shared.

From: Dale Adams
Relation: Yard maintenance

I started working for Don and Francis many years ago cutting grass with a push mower until he brought a brand new husquvarna riding mower that was a real pleasure cutting grass.Don would be out digging up the plantains that were on the lawn. Rotatilling his large garden getting ready to plant vegetables.He always had a good joke to tell when he would bring me in for tea.It was a real pleasure working for him on the Royston Ranch.He will be sadly missed by everyone that knew him he will now be resting beside Francis now

From: Bob and Fran Fisher
Relation: friends

So very sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Our condolences to his relatives and friends. We had known Don and Frances for over 50 years.
They would always stop and spend a few days with us whenever they traveled with their RV to Saskatchewan, and we would always visit them whenever we went back to the Island for a visit. Don’s integrity, sense of humor, honesty and compassion will be remembered by us, and we will truly miss our long chats on the phone. He dearly missed his Frances and now they will be “together again”.

From: Robert Mohat
Relation: My wife Cheryl and I met Don & Francis at a senior's dance in Duncan

We found Don & Francis to be very kind, thoughtful people, who were very giving and always thinking of others, a truly wonderful couple, Don kept our friendship alive by keeping in contact periodically. They will be missed.

From: Kenille Belanger
Relation: Housekeeper/ friend

The beauty of a memory is that it’s always there. Like a penny in your pocket you can take it anywhere.
And when your heart is heavy and your eyes are filled with tears you can focus on a memory and travel through the years .
Your heart can visit happy times when laughter filled the air and the presence of your loved ones will lessen your dispir.
So as you travel on in life take comfort as you go
In a lifetime of sweet memories of the ones who loved and cared you so very much Don loves you longtime my friend

From: Coady Turner
Relation: Very close friend

Our family met both Don and Frances during the summer of 1993. We were both living on Atkins Drive at the time. Don and Frances both were so kind to us. We penned him Potato Don as he would give us potatoes from his garden. We sadly moved from Victoria in 1995 but we were able to visit them in Cobblehill early 2000. Don and I spoke often over the years. He would call me every year on my birthday, which I fondly remember. We would speak at Christmas and New Year’s. We comforted each other through our conversations and he always had great advice. Both Don and Frances were wonderful people and I considered them as part of our family. Don, I’m going to sadly miss those phone calls and hearing you speak about your gardens while we had 4 feet of snow. Until we meet again my friend, you will be missed. Say hi to Frances for us, I’m sure she still has her curlers in. Love and respect, Coady and Susan Turner.

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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