Appreciation of Fellow David Donaldson

//Appreciation of Fellow David Donaldson
Dr. David Donaldson was born in Glasgow, Scotland on April 22, 1942. He would live an adventurous,
 full life, culminating on a different island on the other side of the world, seventy-six years later.
 “Big Dave,” as he enjoyed being called, mostly for his personality and not necessarily his stature,
 died peacefully in Nanaimo, British Columbia on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

Born to Annie and David “Donnie” Donaldson, Dave would soon welcome a wee sister, Rachel “Rae”.
  Unfortunately, their father would not return from the war, and post-war Britain presented many hardships.
  Their mother’s sister, Helen Docherty, was only a few years older than Dave, and the three children grew up
 together, reaching adulthood as healthy, cheerful individuals, despite the odds stacked up against them.
  David was a strong athlete who successfully competed in track and field, once holding the Scottish record
 for short distance. He enjoyed playing football (soccer) and had a particularly fond memory of,
 “cycling around Scotland,” with some of his mates from Lawside Academy in Dundee.

David was a particularly bright pupil and gained entry into St. Andrews University, where he completed
 his dental degree in 1965. He went on to receive his Fellowship in Dental Surgery through the
 Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1969, and in 1971 he was granted his Masters Degree
 in Restorative Dentistry by Dundee University. He was awarded a Rotarian Scholarship, which enabled him
 to travel to Japan and Canada. Dave had very fond memories of this trip, and both countries would figure
 prominently in his years ahead.

While at Lawside Academy he would meet his first love, Joan Pearl Haggart. In 1968, their first child Mark
 was born and they welcomed a second son, Scott, just a year later. Their daughter Shona was born in 1970
 and that same year Dave accepted an appointment at the University of British Columbia in the new
 Faculty of Dentistry.  In 1971, Joan packed up the three children, and made the trip to join Dave in Vancouver.

David enjoyed and excelled at academia but also worked in private practice, specializing in treating
 chronic pain and TMJ pain management.  Dentistry was his passion, and he would retire from UBC after 45 years
 of service as professor emeritus, having held appointments as Head of the Departments of
 Oral Biological and Medical Sciences, and Oral Surgery; and Professor and Head of the Division
 of Pain and Anxiety Control. He was also the past Chairman of the Canadian Dental Association Council
 on Education, and past President of the Association of the Canadian Faculties of Dentistry,
 and the International Federation of Dental Education Associations. Dave was well-published in the dental
 literature, and was a sought-after lecturer both nationally and internationally. He loved his practice
 on Vancouver Island, specializing in the treatment of chronic head and neck pain, and he continued
 to provide consultation services to Dental Boards and Colleges, and teach continuing education courses
 for University-based programs long after retirement from UBC.

Big Dave was not all about work! His foray into international travel and emigration to Canada only heightened
 his interest in other people and cultures. He and Joan would take trips to Europe, Asia, and South America,
 oftentimes with the kids in tow. In 1978, the whole family moved to Los Angeles for a sabbatical year for Dave
 to study at UCLA.  David was eager to try his hand at camping, owning Airstream and Terry trailers
 at different times, but soon discovered a more stationary vacation spot in Bowser on Vancouver Island,
 eventually building a house on the waterfront. Dave always enjoyed a party, and both homes saw many
 Burn’s nights, barbeques and other social gatherings shared with family, friends and neighbors alike.
  Most evenings would culminate in singalongs with Big Dave on the guitar and the whole room joining
 in to belt out favorites from the ‘60s and 70’s, particularly Neil Diamond or John Denver.
  Dave always had a line from a song or a tune in his head. The island was a great place for summer vacations,
 particularly when the salmon would run. Whether he was in a boat or not, Dave enjoyed being
 captain of the ship, and heading out before dawn and returning before breakfast with a boatload of fish
 really harkens to, “the good old days.”  Every few years he would graduate to a new boat, from the
 Great Scot I to the Great Scot IV, and evening rides on the spectacular Georgia Straight were cherished
 and peaceful (as long as there was at least one fish in the boat!).

As the Donaldson clan settled into life in Canada, other relatives from Britain would follow, including Rae
 and her family (husband Trevor Edmonds, and their two sons, Iain and Craig), and Joan’s younger sister Christine.
 Dave cultivated a very large and spectacular garden, where he never hesitated in putting Christine’s husband
 Giovanni Boscolo to work, and many nights were spent relaxing on the deck before retiring to bed and watching his Canucks play hockey.

Dave’s children would grow up and have children of their own: Samuel and Georgia (Mark and Lynnette),
 Paige and Johnathon (Scott), and Lucas and Owen (Shona and Carl Mindzak).  Dave often travelled by sea plane
 from Vancouver to his practice on Vancouver Island, and it was on these flights that he met the second love
 of his life, Kim Warwick. The two married in 2015 and moved to a beautiful home in Nanoose Bay
 on Vancouver Island. With Kim, David’s family grew to include Kim’s daughters Julie McKinlay,
 her children Chase and Christian, and Pamela, her husband Adam Scott, and their kids Blake and Liam.
 Close to restaurants he enjoyed, his sister Rae and her husband Trev, his practice in Bowser,
 a view of the sea, and his three beloved dogs Kayla, Kacie, and Bailey, David was very happy in this
 last chapter of his life.

Big Dave was always his own man; nobody could ever accuse him of not choosing the life he wanted to live.
 From relatively humble beginnings, he was the first of his family to graduate from University and would 
eventually become a respected international authority in his field.  He could be hard on those who were close to him
 (just ask any of his students!), and he was from a generation where men didn’t show emotion or always tell their children
 they loved them. He was a man of his time and appreciated a world where established gender roles made sense to him.
  It did not help that for a period of his life he would be mistaken for James Garner (the original Maverick),
 and that the “girls in the office” were trained to only call him “doctor.” He was very bright and had a gallows sense of humor,
 making light of subject matter generally considered taboo, or politically incorrect, which became louder as his hearing got worse!
  Dave was generous, and no one could accuse him of being cheap. He was not a malicious man, and did not speak ill of others,
 and while you may not have realized it at the time, you were fortunate to know him. Many were fortunate to be taught by him,
 and some were even fortunate to be healed by him.  Those of us who loved him were fortunate to have shared more than
 a few drinks, great meals, and many memories over many years.  For us, there will only ever be one Big Dave.
 Here’s to you Dave, “good times never seemed so good”.
2018-07-30T22:38:16+00:00