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January 14, 1939 - April 2, 2021
(Don) Joseph MacDonald Roulston
1939 – 2021
It is with broken hearts that we share the passing of Don Roulston, in his 83rd year, cherished husband, and best friend of June (Denney) for 57 years.
Don defeated cancer a year ago after a 4 year battle, but the fight was extremely exhausting.
Beloved father of Kevin (Heidi), and Tim (Meghan). Adored Papa to Jacob, Carly, Karys, Morgan, Ashton, Blake, and Caiden.
Don is survived by sisters Betty Coburn, Mae (Jim) Aiken, Maxine Roulston-Thompson, and brother Bob Roulston. He was predeceased by his parents Susan and Joe Roulston, sisters Teena McKee, Ethel Robson, sister-in-law Trish Roulston, and brother-in-law Bob Riley.
Don will be missed greatly by sisters in law Marilyn Reid, Mary Davie, and Rogean Denney. He will be missed by many lifelong friends in the Barrie and surrounding area, and also the Ontario hockey community.
Don was raised on the family farm on the 3rd line of Innisfil. He attended Bethesda Public School, and later the Lefroy Continuation School. In 1957, he began his career with the Department of Highways, leading a survey crew in Northern Ontario widening the trans-Canada highway in the Thunder Bay area. Choosing to be closer to home, Don moved to bridge construction design with JD Reid and Associates. Then, along with his late business partner Ken Doe, started and expanded their own business ComPac Paving, in and around Simcoe County. Prior to retirement Don worked for Skelton-Brumwell and Associates Inc, a local engineering firm, where he was involved with the OPP headquarters in Orillia and the new Royal Victoria Hospital.
Don’s goal in retirement was to help keep seniors in their own homes longer.
He became a snow mover, grass cutter, house sitter, dog washer, taxi service, and maybe just coffee companion at times. He thoroughly enjoyed every minute of those years.
Don spent decades involved with minor hockey in Barrie, including two provincial championships, attending major tournaments in Kamloops, Calgary, and a Loblaw Cup bantam final in Brantford Ontario. In 1986, he won the Barrie Minor Hockey Association Award for support and promotion of minor hockey in the city of Barrie. Later, he became Manager, and General Manager of the Jr. B, and Jr. A Colts, and served two years as league convenor for the OHA Jr. A Eastern Ontario Division. When OHL hockey arrived in Barrie, Don hosted many NHL scouts that would attend Barrie games, and enjoyed reminiscing about the history of Barrie hockey.
Don was a long-time executive member of the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame, including serving as co-chair from 2009 to 2011. He remained an active executive member until the time of his passing. In 2014 Don was awarded the John Crawley Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sports Hall of Fame for his involvement and contribution to Barrie sport.
Don had a passion for research and writing. He composed a series of short stories entitled “Letters from the Skull”, reminiscing about childhood events with his brother and sisters, growing up on “the farm”, which had a portion of the property shaped like a skull.
He also penned many articles on local sport history for publications, newspapers, and Colts programs.
Family meant everything to him. He was extremely proud of every accomplishment big and small. In his final few years, he could not help but coach his family through the difficult battles he was undertaking. All the while, working with research teams from the U of T, and completing a successful scientific study at Sunnybrook only a few weeks ago. Paying it forward was his teaching.
Our family leader, he is truly irreplaceable. We are so privileged to have had him in our lives.
We would like to thank the nurses, Doctors and staff of the Royal Victoria Hospital, St. Michaels Hospital, and Sunnybrook Hospital for their excellent care over the past four years, and especially for their vigilance and personal sacrifices during the pandemic. In particular, we would like to thank our family physician Dr. Anna DaSilva for her amazing friendship, and supportive advice.
We would also like to thank our neighbours on, and around “the Square”, for their many years of unwavering support, friendship, and social distant porch visits! These will continue in Don’s honour.
At this time, we will not be having a service due to covid restrictions, but when it is safe, we will have a celebration of life in honour of Don.
If you desire, in memory of Don, donations may be made to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Barrie, or the Sunnybrook Odette Centre for continuing cancer research.
Messages of condolence may be forwarded to the family through adamsfuneralhome.ca