Donald William Dreaper

January 14th, 1919 – February 6th, 2015

Don passed away peacefully at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital. He leaves to mourn: his beloved wife Dorothy of 74 years; children: Bill (Sandi), Donelle, Bonnie Frankson, Lorna (Keith) Wood; ten grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Rick in 1983 and brother John.

Don was born in Kitsilano, B.C. to Will and Helena who were new immigrants to the area in 1919. Don was extremely proud of his Irish roots. He actively kept alive the collections of stories which had been passed down through generations. His family relished in the beauty and activities which Vancouver had to offer. In the summer, from dawn to dusk, Don spent his time at the seaside Kitsilano pool where he watched and learned the art of swimming and diving from Mr. George Athens Sr. and in the winter, spent countless hours hiking his way up to Mount Hollyburn where he would backcountry ski. He became one with nature at a very young age.

Don moved to Victoria at the age of 14. It was here that he would later meet Dorothy (13 years old) at a ballroom dance lesson. The two became inseparable and would spend their future Saturday nights dancing at the Crystal Gardens (Empress Hotel), which would be a favourite gathering place with their friends. Rugby was Don’s interest during his high school years as Dorothy cheered him on from the sidelines. Don and Dot married on November 23, 1940 in Victoria, and then moved to Hamilton for a short time and then back to Victoria. During WWII, Don went on to proudly serve in the Navy as Chief Electrical Artificer on the navy ship Capilano, where he was heavily involved in the Battle of Britain. When he returned home from WWII, Don attended college at Craig Derrick Castle which later became UVIC. Life’s journey would end up steering Don into the B.C. Police Service and RCMP where he would be stationed in Ucluelet. Dorothy became his right hand woman and would attend to the jail while Don was on duty as the local Police Officer, Coroner and Fire Chief. Ucluelet would bring another dimension to outdoor play for the young couple and some of their greatest memories together would birth from the area. The couple were later transferred to Port Alberni, Victoria, and finally Nelson, again another outdoor adventure where Don would backcountry ski and hike into Kootenay Park during all of the seasons.

The move to Vernon came in 1967. Don loved the Okanagan and felt that every day was like living in paradise. His spare time was spent baking delicious organic bread, growing his vegetable garden, swimming, hiking, boating, writing, square dancing, taking classes and most of all cross country skiing at Silver Star. For 30 years Don served in the RCMP and during his final years ranked as Sergeant D. W. Dreaper. Don retired at age 56 from the RCMP, and worked part-time as a corrections and probation officer where he was able to make a difference in counselling young people, a gift which he found very rewarding. Don and Dorothy were fortunate to retire young and had the means gifted to them from their parents to travel all over the world. They saw it all; from mud bathing in Turkey to riding camels across the desert of Tunisia to walking the Great Wall of China.

Don was a very good father and husband. His family was always at the forefront of everything he did.

On behalf of the family, we would like to give a warm Thank You to Dr. Smit, Dr. Poulin, and the nursing staff at VGH for making Don’s last days comfortable.

Cremation and a small family service will commence at a later date.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Pleasant Valley Funeral Home, Phone: 250 542 4333. Condolences may be offered at

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