Donald Gavas passed on Thursday, June 29 at the age of 95. Don will be deeply missed by his beloved wife, Mariana; his stepdaughter Claudia (Brent); and his close friend, Sandra (Jose). Witty, cheerful, and caring, Don was the cherished grandfather (Tito Don) of Andrew, Anel, Carolina, Daniel, and Natalie. He will be fondly remembered at future family gatherings where his quick humour, bright smile, and deep love for his grandchildren will be sorely missed.
Born in Niagara and happily raised in Oshawa, Don grew up playing baseball in Alexandra Park where he was better known as “Ding” Gavas, ace pitcher. An avid entrepreneur, Don served the Durham Region for over 36 years as a dedicated real estate agent. In his free time, Don was an enthusiastic golfer, a happy bowler, a devoted curler (playing for well over 30 years as a proud member of the Bond St. Club, including serving as a past President of the Oshawa Curling Club), and a skillful barbershop quartet singer for over 60 years. In fact, in 1976, Don and his Oshawa quartet were recognized by the Ontario District Novice Champions with a Woodstock Chapter Trophy for their performance of The Four Wheel Drive.
Don loved music, a joy he shared with his wife, creating many unforgettable memories with his grandchildren and family as he danced at many family gatherings (¡Azucar!), and hummed along to countless Andre Rieu performances over the years.
Proud of his Greek heritage, Don deeply loved his caring mother, father, and siblings who all predeceased him (Eleanor Van DeWalker, Floyd “Joker” Gavas, Ron Gooding, and Lois Crowell). In his younger years, Don brought his car from Canada to Greece to travel, and he loved to recall his trip to Greece with his wife. Ever open to exploring, Don enjoyed many family trips to Colombia where he and his wife enjoyed the sunshine and created many cherished memories together with their grandchildren.
Don will be greatly remembered for his patience, kindness, and whip-fast humour. His bright eyes and smile were always ready with a quick quip. He loved baseball and proudly wore caps from McMaster University, Waterloo, Laurier, Harvard, Stanford, Durham College, and the Oshawa Generals in support of the grandchildren who loved him. Perhaps unbeknownst to many, Don did a great Donald Duck impersonation, much to the delight of his eldest granddaughter, Natalie, with whom he shared a birthday (May 18).
He loved annual trips to the Niagara Peach Festival with family, Christmases and family BBQs, driving out to the countryside, watching hockey with his grandson and going to his games, taking his grandkids to yard sales to find fun toys, loving the family dog - Pepito, and meals at Swiss Chalet or the old-Oshawa favourite, The Seahorse.
A celebratory mass to honour Don’s life will be held on Tuesday, June 18 at St. Gertrude’s Church in Oshawa, 10 AM.