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Donald Ernest WATERFALL
1943 - 2021
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DONALD ERNEST WATERFALL May 10, 1943 - April 11, 2021 Diplomat, professor and espresso aficionado, Donald "Don" Waterfall passed away on 11 April 2021 at the age of 77 in his hometown of Toronto with his wife Liz Hemmerick by his side. His battle to recover from a recent accident is a testament to his courage, determination and strong mind. Don was the first person in his family to graduate from high school. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1965 and followed that up with a PhD in Philosophy from Princeton University on a full scholarship. He went on to join the Canadian Foreign Service in the early 1970s and then, pursuing his passion, returned to the University of Toronto to teach. Don met and married his first wife, Elizabeth while on a diplomatic mission in Hong Kong in 1971. They had two children together. He met his second wife Liz through their mutual enjoyment of hiking in 2010 - some might say "it was love at first hike." Don and his stepson James Elliott shared a special bond and James was a frequent companion on subsequent hikes. Don delighted in the simple pleasures in life: sipping on an espresso (every few hours), reading a good book (probably about Wittgenstein), listening to (or singing?) Handel's Messiah and hiking the Bruce Trail, where he earned his end-to-end badge less than a year ago. His curiosity and love of learning was capacious. Above all, he loved being surrounded by family and friends. He was a devoted father and made & maintained steadfast friendships throughout every phase of his life. Don is survived by his wife, Liz, his children Cara and Thomas, and his four grandchildren, Isaac, Samuel, Anna and Ava. We are very grateful to the doctors and nurses at St. Michael's Hospital for their compassionate and professional care. The family welcomes donations to St. Michael's Hospital Foundation as an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers. We will have a fitting tribute for Don when there is an opportunity for us all to enjoy a true celebration of his life. Details and a date will follow as soon as is practical.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Apr. 16 to Apr. 20, 2021.
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5 entries
April 22, 2021
I worked with Don in Ottawa on China affairs. He was always kind, patient, and collegial. Other former colleagues have used the same words when I told them the sad news.
Gordon Houlden
April 19, 2021
Graham Church
April 17, 2021
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Harriet Cooper
April 16, 2021
Sincere condolences to the family of Donald Waterfall whom I recall as a very pleasant, thoughtful, witty foreign service officer and Chinese language student at the Canadian Trade Commission in Hong Kong in 1970-71 who referred to himself occasionally as "Monsieur Cascade" and saying that the Greek version of his name was "Mr. Hydrofoil".

Margaret Benoit (née Stewart)
Margaret Benoit
April 16, 2021
So very sorry to hear ... I remember Don as a kind and gentle soul.. with a very sarcastic.. great sense of humour ❤
Katherine Shellborn (Paynter)
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