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March 21, 1931 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Herbert Donovan Hoyt Coulter (Don) was born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan to Herbert and Anne Coulter on March 21, 1931. He grew up in and around Stranraer and as a youth, he loved to play hockey and baseball as well as curling. He was an exceptional athlete, often bringing home prize ribbons from local sporting events. Don loved music, especially jazz, and he played rhythm banjo in a dance band made up of his brothers. As a young man, he became passionate about cars and driving. He knew how to handle a car in all weather conditions, which came in handy for outrunning cops on mud roads or when thrilling his kids by fishtailing down icy highways.
Don was interested in trains from the time he was small and when a neighbour purchased a new Ford car after one year of work on the railroad, Don had an idea of where his career path was headed. In the fall of 1951, he started working in Outlook as a brakeman for Canadian Pacific Railway. He remained with CP for 35.5 years, eventually working as a conductor on the passenger train between Calgary and Edmonton.
In 1956, Don met his future wife, Carole Knapik, at a dance in Bounty. Together they had 66 years of marriage and three children. They moved to Calgary in 1963 and Calgary became their permanent home.
Don was a real handyman who could fix and build anything, including the house that he and Carole first lived in in Outlook. He was a man of many interests and in retirement, he pursued numerous hobbies. He and Carole still enjoyed dancing but they also loved camping and travelling through Canada and the US in their motorhome. Together they volunteered for 19 years at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Don also enjoyed wood-working, hiking, learning to play the fiddle, keeping his daughter’s cars functioning, reading the great classics of literature, cross-country skiing, wine-making (even winning first prize for one of his reds in a local contest), but he especially loved downhill skiing which he took up at the age of 54 and continued to enjoy until he reached 84. He was an aggressive skier and a fall in his seventies that resulted in a fracture of a pelvic bone barely slowed him down. He had a great spirit of adventure. He wasn’t eager to leave this life and managed to defy medical odds on more than one occasion.
Don was a good neighbour and always willing to help others whether by fixing cars or helping to build garages. He was generous with his time and money. However, the thing that Don valued most was family. He was a dedicated fan at the sporting events of his children and grandchildren but also readily supported them in other activities and pursuits. He is survived by his wife, Carole, his son, Alan (Debbie), his daughters, Cynthia and Nancy, his granddaughter Lauren (Aaron), his grandson, Davis, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Don took his last breath at Chinook Hospice in Calgary on January 26, 2024. He will be dearly missed.