Dr. Donal (Don) McKeown, cherished family member, veterinarian, surgeon, author, professor, philanthropist, and friend of many, passed away on January 16, 2018, at the age of 85. He was the beloved husband of Marion, father of Laurie (Lindsey), David (Donna), Daniel (Janice), and Kim (Peter), and brother of Brent (Jennie). A very strong bond of mutual love tied him to his grandchildren Meghan, Natalie (Katlin), Katie (Michael), Julia (Gui), Emily (Jeff), Melissa (Sasha), Trevor, Carley (Jason), Allison, and Brooke (Chris), as well as his great-grandchildren Bronwyn, Luc, Graham, Claire, and Ella. He was also close to other members of the extended McKeown family, as well as those of the Strangway, Gow, Borris, and Smitham families.
Don’s life is best explained in his own words: “There are very few people who have enjoyed life more than I. I have lived at the best time in history, raised by supporting and caring parents, and have a wonderful family of which I am extremely proud.” When receiving The Alumnus of the Year Award (2004) from the University of Guelph, he pointed out that “none of my achievements would have been possible without the support and good will of many others. First of these is Marion, my wife and best friend, who encouraged and often guided me through the adventures we’ve taken together.”
Born and raised on a farm in Medonte Twp. Simcoe County, Don moved to Toronto when he was eleven. He attended McMaster University and then the University of Guelph to study veterinary medicine. After graduation he and Marion moved to Washington D.C., where they raised their family and worked until he returned to Canada, accepting an Associate Professor position at the University of Guelph.
Over the years he had many accomplishments, some of which include: President of the Washington D.C. Veterinary Academy, President of The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, Director of the Human Animal Bond Association, President of the Fergus/Elora Rotary Club, Consultant to Canada Customs, and Co-chair of the Groves Memorial Community Hospital Fund Raising Committee. He contributed to, authored, or co-authored eight books and published several Veterinary Journal articles. He was co-owner of Professional Animal Behavior Associates Inc.
In honour of his achievements, Don received Teaching Excellence awards at O.V.C in 1977 and 1984, The Distinguished Teaching Award in 1978 and was Veterinarian of the Year for Ontario in 1989. He also was given The Canadian Animal Health Award for Industrial Innovation and Leadership.
Don lived life fully, surrounding himself with family and friends, and generously sharing the many successes he accrued; through laughter, life experiences, words of wisdom, and companionship. To those of us fortunate to have been in that group, we gained unforgettable memories by just being in his company.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Don’s name can be sent to The Groves Memorial Hospital Foundation. As per Don’s wishes, a Celebration of Life is being planned, and will be held at a later date.