June 26, 1931 – November 14, 2014
It is with great sadness and much love that we say goodbye to our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Donald (Don) Loverne Zerb, who passed away suddenly on November 14, 2014 at the age of 83 years. Don is survived by Doris, his loving wife of 61 years; his son Brian (Renelita), daughter Sandra (Robert Macdonald), and son Wendell (Laurel); grandchildren: Brennan, Jacy, Jessica, and Quinton; his sisters Viola Stirling and Gloria Elliott (Frank). Don was predeceased by his brother Ken.
Don’s early years were spent living and working on his grandparents’ farm in the Leduc area. At fifteen, he began working as a roughneck on an oil drilling rig. A strong work ethic soon led to him reaching top supervisory positions in the oil and gas business. His work experience, good reputation, and entrepreneurial drive led him to starting and operating a number of his own oil service companies. Don’s innovative nature resulted in him pioneering the development of numerous oil industry tools, several of which were patented and remain in use today. Don’s creative nature led him to several other business adventures including marine and snowmobile retail, and experimental farm technology.
Don met his special girl, Doris, roller skating at the Edmonton Roller Dome in October 1951. They were engaged a year later, married in June 1953, and were together through thick and thin, rich and poor, and overall in shared happiness for 61 years. In his later years, he and Doris were especially comfortable in their home, and enjoyed the close proximity to family and friends in Edmonton, and the occasional travel to family on the west coast.
Don loved his family. His three children, four grandchildren “and five grand dogs” were commonly bragged about in causal day to day conversations. Don especially enjoyed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting activities. He was often seen standing on the end boards or alone on the sidelines where he could independently enjoy and analyze the game.
Don was an enthusiastic, devoted and knowledgeable sports fan. He especially had a great love for Canadian Football and in particular his team, the Eskimos. He rarely missed a game, and more often than not, would have a pregame ritual of reading the sport sections from the two local papers. His radio and headphones tuned into sports chat and play by play, could be considered part of him on any given day, but particularly on game day.
Throughout Don’s life he also enjoyed participating in a number of activities. He was an avid water skier, initially enjoying outings on Charlie Lake with his young family. In later years he and the family water skied at family cabins located at Nakamun Lake and Pigeon Lake. Don’s favorite winter activity was curling, which he continued to participate into his mid-70’s. Through his curling life he won numerous bonspiels, but possibly his most notable curling memory was his participation in scoring an eight-ender in 1998.
Don could be stubborn and opinionated, and particularly enjoyed debating his side of a “discussion”. “I’ve only been wrong once, but then I only thought I was wrong”. While he conveyed a tough exterior, his close family and friends knew of his inner soft hearted nature. A heart felt moment in a movie or book, or a sentimental family event would bring on teary eyes, which would be quickly dismissed as a tickle in his throat or some other unconvincing excuse.
Don was a master at fixing things. His innovative approach to tackling problems usually led to a practical, functional solution, not necessarily an aesthetic one. Don’s willingness to help family, friends, and neighbors, went above and beyond.
He had a thirst for knowledge, sated largely by his love of reading. He read a wide variety of materials from current events to history, geography, sports, and science. For a pastime he had a particular fondness for Louis L’Amour novels.
We’ve attempted to convey here a fraction of Don’s life, his traits, and his personality, him as a husband, a father, grandfather and a friend. It is only a fraction of his life, a life that wasn’t always simple or easy, wasn’t without challenges, but a life that his family reflects upon with love and pride. Loving husband, Dad, Grandpa, you will be forever missed
June 26, 1931 – November 14, 2014