Donald Isbister
Donald Isbister
Donald Isbister
Donald Isbister
Donald Isbister

Obituary of Donald Allan Isbister

May 20, 1951 – Edmonton, Alberta

June 24, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Don Isbister, beloved husband of Louise, passed away on Monday, June 24, 2024, in Calgary, AB at the age of 73 years.


Born on May 20, 1951, in Edmonton, AB, Don was the second of what would be seven boys. Looking back, his mother described him as an all-around good boy growing up, a sentiment echoed by his brothers. In his younger years, Don was fairly athletic. Once, he and his younger brother Gerry decided to take their bikes and ride from Edmonton to Jasper, a trip of roughly 265 miles. Showing real perseverance (or perhaps it was stubbornness), he and Gerry completed the trip over three days, covering 85 miles on the first day. In addition to being fairly athletic, Don was somewhat musical as well. Don briefly played lead guitar in a band formed with a couple of his brothers. At last check, they have yet to achieve a gold record.


In May of 1970, Don, at the tender age of nineteen, married his one-and-only love of his life, Louise Ebertz. A couple of months later, their first child was born - a son named Allan. Roughly three years later, Don and Louise would have a second child (also a boy), named William (Bill). Years later, Don and Louise would have a third child - a son named Christopher. Don was a proud father, and later a proud grandfather.


Early in his working life, Don drove a tow truck. Later, Don worked for many years with the Canadian National Railway, soon working his way into the role of Intermodal Supervisor. Don liked telling people that he drove a Raygo Wagner PC-90 Piggy-Packer and how he would load containers onto trains at the tender age of 20. Following 20+ years with CN Rail in both Edmonton and later Calgary, Don embarked on a new path, as a realtor for Sutton Group Realty out of the Canyon Creek office in the mid-to-late 1990s. Although Don enjoyed this new venture, working in real estate helped him to realize that his calling was not in home sales, but in home repair. Following a few years as a realtor, Don once again changed gears and pivoted direction. Blessed with a strong wiry physique and a knack for home renovation, Don began to ply his trade in the home reno space. Don possessed a deep knowledge of home repair honed during years of watching "This Old House", and frequent trips to the Home Depot. Let’s not forget that in the late 1980s, Don was Project Manager/Designer/Financier/Tradesperson for his own home - a corner property in Macleod Park in northwest Edmonton. Now, in the early 2000s, Don worked with Handyman Connection - drawing on his vast knowledge to provide handyman-type service to homeowners. Don would continue to provide knowledge and labour in the home reno space well into the final years of his life.


Later in life, Don loved to tell stories about the various cars he had. One of the earliest that he would talk about was a maroon 1962 Pontiac Parisienne that he bought for $400. He would tell the story of the time that he drove that car to pick up his girlfriend (would-be wife) and her mother. In telling the story, Don would often describe something about how that car "had a lot of power". Later, Don had a 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 convertible. After his three kids were born, Don and the family had a green mid-seventies Monte Carlo, and many years later, a '93 Ford Aerostar van - also green. Don would say that he would drive that van until it had one million miles on the odometer. It had well over four hundred thousand when it finally travelled its last mile. Don, however, continued on the open road. He loved to drive and to go on road trips. He had a passion for travelling, and for a time, he and his lady would make near-annual trips across the border and into the USA. Numerous family road trips down south provided many great memories for the whole family all with Donald behind the wheel.


Not what one would call an aficionado, nevertheless, Don had his favourite movies. Films anchored within the genres of either comedy or action, some of Don's favourites include Terminator 1 & 2, Ghostbusters, and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. As for television, Don would generally steer away from TV movies and instead fix his eyes on sports. He loved watching the Edmonton teams in the NHL and CFL. For several years, it seemed Don watched every CFL game that was broadcast during the season. Although he watched all the teams, his favourite remained the then-named Eskimos. However, movies and TV aside, music was more to his preference. Besides the amateur band, Don loved listening to music. Whenever he would do home renovation work, out of one of his many tool buckets would always be his trusty alarm clock radio, plugged into a wall outlet and playing classic tunes. Later in life, he would invite anyone and everyone into his house to listen to his prized Sony stereo. Whether listening to the car stereo or the Sony at home, Don would say that he likes his music loud.


Late in 2015, Don became widowed. His much cherished and beloved wife Louise passed away on November 5th of that year, and from that point onward Donald was never the same.


Don was predeceased by his parents, William (Bill) and Justine, and two of his brothers, James (Jim) and William (Bill). He will be greatly missed by his remaining four brothers, Douglas, Gerald, Glenn, and Bruce, as well as his extended family and friends.


Don will be remembered as a hardworking, kind-hearted man who was always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. He will be deeply missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.


In the final months of his life. Don would often say he wanted to go back to Edmonton. Even as dementia slowly robbed him of his memory, his desire to go to Edmonton was something he repeated often. For that reason, Donald's cremated remains will be brought to Edmonton where his ashes, intertwined with those of his beloved wife, will be laid at Evergreen Memorial.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Don’s family here.


In living memory of Donald Isbister, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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