Donald Dickson ‘Don’ McNeill

September 11, 1933 – August 12, 2021
Donald (Don) Dickson McNeill passed away peacefully in the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital on August 12th, 2021, at the age of 88, with Mary, his wife of 50 years, at his side.
Don was born on September 11, 1933, in Drumheller, Alberta, to Elizabeth and Thomas McNeill. He grew up in and around the Badlands of Alberta, where he relished the wide-open spaces.
He had a love for animals of all kinds but had a special place in his heart for birds, always nurturing safe spaces for them; the many handmade birdhouses he left are evidence of this. It was a passion he imparted to others, especially his grandchildren. He also took part in many bird counts over the years and kept a record of all the species he identified.
In 1967 Don moved to Trail from Red Deer. Mary followed a year later, and they were married in 1971. In 1972 they bought their beautiful acreage in Fruitvale, where they still resided at the time of his passing. The farm became a haven for family and animals (especially hummingbirds), with its beautiful gardens and fields.
Don was a well-known businessman in Trail, running Sunset Texaco and co-founding Alpine Auto Parts. In the years before he retired, he took over and revitalized Beaver Esso in Fruitvale, turning the central corner in Fruitvale into a going concern.
Don and Mary’s success allowed them to retire early, and they spent many happy years travelling and square dancing with their friends. Don also enjoyed golfing and exchanging funnies online with a large network of contacts.
He put his craftsman talents to good use over the years, and Mary takes great comfort in seeing the fruits of his labours all around the farm. Everywhere you look, from the fences in the fields to the trims in the house, you see Don’s hand.
Don is survived by his wife Mary; his children: Beth, Brian, Brent and Bruce; his step-children: Clive, Dee and Debbie; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
As an expression of sympathy, donations in Don’s memory may be made to the KBRH Foundation (, BC SPCA (, or a charity of your choice.
At Don’s request no service will be held. There may be an informal gathering at a later date to allow family and friends to share their memories of Don’s ready wit and his legacy as a cherished friend and beloved family member. Bill Clark of Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with arrangements.
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