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BARKWELL, Donald David
April 4, 1930 - January 15, 2013
Donald Barkwell passed away peacefully at home in Calgary, AB surrounded by family on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at the age of 82 years.
Don was born in Eston, Saskatchewan and grew up in Isham, Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering Degree and obtained his designation as a Professional Engineer in 1954. His first job was with the Saskatchewan government but he quickly moved on to Alberta with New Superior Oil and then Medallion Petroleum. Don moved to Calgary in 1960 and began to make his mark in the oil patch. He worked for Norcen Energy and its predecessor companies from 1957 to 1988 and was promoted through many positions eventually becoming the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1988 Don moved to Poco Petroleum as the President and Chief Executive Officer. Don was inducted into the Saskatchewan Petroleum Hall of Fame in 1993. Don also served as the President of Earl Gray Golf & Country Club in 1979, was Chairman of the Oilmen's in 1983 and was the President of the Petroleum Club in 1986 to 1987. Don's combination of genuine charisma, dedication and generosity was reflected in how he did business and in his continued involvement in the Calgary community. Don was an integral part of the creation of Shaw Millennium Park and worked with the Parks Foundation Calgary on numerous other projects. He was also an avid supporter of the Calgary Humane Society. His dedication to the MS Society was strong. He started with them as an ambassador, then provided capital funding for research and is now one of the Founding Families of the End MS campaign here in Alberta. Don was an enthusiastic golfer and a member of the Calgary Golf & Country Club, Earl Grey Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club in Palm Desert, California. Who could forget his golfing trips all over the U.S. with his friends the Sundogs. In his final days, Don remembered fondly the many family trips that he had planned throughout the years. His annual fishing trips in Northern Saskatchewan with his brother Len and The Barkwell Boys fishing trip to North Vancouver Island. He also remembered the multiple trips the family made to Hawaii. Don's dedication to his family created the tight knit unit that stayed at his side until the end. His family will always remember him for teaching us to love and to go after what we want. Don will be remembered for his compassion and his belief in always doing the right thing.
Don is survived by his wife Barbara Barkwell, his brother Leonard (Vera) Barkwell, his sons Michael (Sheila) Barkwell and Larry Barkwell, his grandchildren Jessica Williams (Jeff), Donald Barkwell and Patrick Barkwell and his great-granddaughters Abigail and Lillian. Don was predeceased by his brother Jack (1943), and his three sisters Edith, Jean and Melba.
The family will be having a private Memorial Service at McInnis & Holloway.
There will be a Celebration of Don's Life at the Calgary Golf & Country Club (one and a half blocks west of the intersection of Elbow Drive and 50 Avenue S.W.) today, January 18, 2013 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made directly to the MS Society of Canada, Alberta Division, Suite 150, 9405 - 50 Street N.W., Edmonton, AB T6B 2T4. Don had many friends in Western Canada as well as the Palm Desert, California area, Don thanks you all for being his friend. Condolences may be forwarded through
In living memory of Donald Barkwell, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.


Published in The Calgary Herald from Jan. 16 to Jan. 18, 2013
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