A committed oil man, dedicated to collaboration and opening up new opportunities, Donald James Taylor's long journey is complete at the age of 84. He died peacefully at home, overlooking over the 18th hole of the Briar's Golf Club on December 16th after a lingering illness. He bore this illness with dignity – never complaining but fighting hard to the end. He leaves his beloved wife and closest confidante of 61 years, (Ann) Maureen Taylor, his sons, grandchildren and many friends. He will be greatly missed by his two sons, James, who committed a large portion of his life to look after Don in his later years, and Robert (Kate), who blessed Don with his two grandchildren (Mitchell and Miranda) – the light of his life. Donald also leaves two brothers, David and Peter. Donald held many roles in his life – Husband, Father, Grampa, Brother, Uncle, Executive and Benefactor. He threw himself into each role with passion and commitment.
A Westerner, Donald was born in Edmonton, Alberta on September 7, 1934 to his father, James, an insurance adjuster and mother, Lena, a home maker and committed volunteer. It was in Edmonton that he met and married the love of his life, Maureen; they had attended the same schools since childhood and finally connected at the University of Alberta where Donald received his Bachelor of Commerce. Don would continue his education and receive his CA (now CPA) before starting his long career at Shell.
Starting at $50/week, Donald worked in many departments at Shell, gathering the skills and knowledge that would eventually lead him to be President of Shell Canada Products Limited and Executive Vice President of Shell Canada Limited. He was an innovative thinker with a keen business sense and was key in introducing incentive programs to consumers; gift glasses and children's books when you purchased your gas at Shell.
Don Retired on June 1, 1990 from the position of President of Shell Canada Products Limited and as a Director of Shell Canada Limited, Shell Canada Products Limited and Shell Investments Limited but this only led to the next step of his journey. Don threw himself into retirement, building a beautiful home in Fiddlesticks in Ft Myers, Florida and committed to improving his golf game. They made many new friends there and looked forward to escaping the snow for a few months of the year. Donald was also a member of the Briars Golf and Country Club in Jackson's Point where he served as President and was committed to building the Juniors Programme.
He shared his vast knowledge of the oil and gas industry by serving on numerous boards including IPL Energy/Enbridge, Numac Energy, Total Petroleum, Interhome Energy, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute, Silcorp, Computalogue and CenTex. He quickly rose to the role of Chair on many of the boards he served.
One of his greatest pleasures in later life was spending time with his two Grandchildren, Mitchell and Miranda. He taught them how to play golf with mini clubs, let them drive the golf cart (don't tell anyone!), took them to see the fireworks and watched over them in the pool.
Donald will be missed by his friends, and family but we hope he is now in a better place. Thank you to Karen, Andrea, Madison, Alisha and Karen M who took such wonderful care of Donald; enabling him to spend his last days at home with his loving wife. There will be no funeral; the family will hold a Celebration of Life in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Heart Function Clinic of SouthLake Hospital.