Don Michael (Mike) Heaton

April 3, 1965 – July 29, 2023
In loving memory ~
An incredible husband, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, friend….Don Michael (Mike) Heaton passed away at Vernon Hospice House on July 29, 2023, surrounded by family. He was 58. Mike was born on April 3, 1965, in Vancouver but grew up in Tsawwassen. Pebble Hill Elementary and South Delta Secondary are where he made lifelong friendships, on and off the sports teams. Mike enjoyed baseball, rugby and football, but found solace in the great outdoors. His love of diving started at an early age and the ocean became his playground: fishing, crabbing, and undersea exploring fueled his diving career. Mike could be found outdoors most weekends, at Tsawwassen Beach, the Ladner Rod and Gun Club or Westham Island. Being an avid outdoor enthusiast, he could win TV survivalist shows with a tarp, a can of beans, and his rifle! In Prince Rupert, he met Sonja and embraced becoming an instant dad to her 2 girls. A diving injury ended his career, and shortly after they married and started their life up north, they added son JJ to the mix. Mike settled into a busy family life, made close friends and hosted many dinner parties. He tried his hand at charter fishing and loved going out in the harbour jigging for halibut and pulling traps full of Dungeness crab. He and Sonja started to envision the future and were blind-sided by a thyroid cancer diagnosis. He continued rehabilitation alongside a myriad of surgeries, radiation, and scans. Besides medical appointments knifemaking, and leatherwork filled his days, as did family trips throughout BC. The north coast provided ample spots to camp, hunt and fish but in time, a drier climate was necessary. Upon moving to Vernon, Mike felt physical relief. He started trap shooting again at the North Okanagan Trap and Skeet Club and would take visiting family and friends up there. His work with the Vernon Canadian Mental Health Association was extremely fulfilling. The latest joy Mike found was fishing up at Oyama Lake Lodge but unfortunately, he never made it back up there in May, when “the fish would really be biting!”. Mike was predeceased by his father, Don Leo Heaton. He is survived by his wife Sonja, daughters Paige and Taylor (Ken) and his son JJ; his mother Rosalie, sister Rodonna (Darrell), and brother Jeff (Jill, Izzy & Gabi). The family would like to give special thanks to Pastor David Hunter, Dr. Barbara Campling, Dr. Gurpreet Nagra, and the compassionate staff at Vernon Hospice House. A Celebration of Life is being held at Peace Lutheran Church on October 7th at 1:30 pm, 1204-30th Avenue, Vernon, BC. An informal gathering of family, friends coworkers and anyone who loved him. Food and refreshments will be served.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating in Mike’s name to the CMHA Vernon using this link|1 ;or to donate to the North Okanagan Trap and Skeet Club, you may use this email for e-transfers. To send a cheque please email for the mailing address. Please mention Mike’s name in the subject line. Kindly refer to the following link for the live streaming of the funeral service:

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