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DON MCKINNON

Obituary
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DON MCKINNON 1929 - 2012 The Canadian mining fraternity has lost one of the most successful prospectors from its ranks with the passing of Donald Duncan MCKinnon C.M. Just eight days before his 83rd birthday, Don passed away peacefully at the Timmins and District Hospital surrounded by family and loved ones. Born and raised in the Town of Cochrane, MCKinnon had made his home in Timmins since 1956. The man with the heart of gold always loved the city with the heart of gold. This was his base as he prospected all over Canada from the High Arctic to the Maritimes and British Columbia, as well as in the United States. He was much more than a prospector, however, as his interests ranged from municipal and provincial politics to the economy of Northern Ontario and the need to preserve the region's special way of life. Don took every opportunity he could to tell you a story about his favourite memories. His family and friends have always enjoyed hearing these stories. He could be talking about an adventure in the bush or dinner with US President Ronald Reagan and his enthusiasm and passion would never falter. These stories will live on forever amongst the people who knew him best. Don loved to talk about all aspects of his life; however, there was one that he kept very private even though it was arguably the closest to his heart. Don was a very philanthropic man who made substantial donations of his money, time and resources to those in need. The list of people touched by Don's unrelenting generosity is very long and something he was proud of. In 1996, he was awarded the Order of Canada which is the centerpiece of Canada's honour system for those who have made a lifetime of contributions to better the country. Don was nominated for this award for his extensive efforts to promote and improve the mining industry, as well as his many charitable works. He also received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 which are awarded to Canadians that have made significant contributions and achievements. He was honoured by the city during its 100th anniversary celebrations by being named one of the 100 Faces of Timmins, the people who made the greatest contribution to the development of the community. Of all his awards and certificates that he received over 50 years, he was most proud of being named the Prospector of the Year in 1982 for being the co-discoverer of the gold fields at Hemlo, Ontario. Three great new Canadian gold mines resulted from the discovery. Don enjoyed life to the fullest. Whether he was soaring in his beloved Cessna and Beaver airplanes en route to an exciting new property, or watching his grandchildren play on the dock at the cottage, Don was loving life. Don's legacy is carried on through his five children Donna, Donald and Duncan from his late first wife Elaine and two, Gordon and Alexa, by his present wife Stephanie, along with his three grandchildren Donny, Madison and Abbygale. The family will be holding a visitation at The Lessard-Stephens Reception Centre in Timmins on Thursday, August 16, 2012, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Funeral arrangements are in the care of Lessard- Stephens Funeral Home, 705-268-4488. In lieu of flowers, remembrance donations may be provided to the Timmins and District Hospital Foundation and the Timmins Humane Society. Online donations and condolences can be made at www.lessardstephens.com

Published in the Toronto Star on Aug. 14, 2012
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