John Donaldson

Obituary of John David Donaldson

Donaldson, John David – age 85. John was born in Bridgewater, Lunenburg County. He was the son of the late Dr. George Darrell Donaldson and Mary Marguerite Donaldson. John is survived by daughter Kimberley Donaldson of Beaver Bank; son Blaine (Autumn) of Spokane, Washington; step daughter Cori of Gatineau, Quebec; grand children Zachary O’Toole of Antigonish, Adrianna, Anthony and Elliana all of Spokane, Washington. He is also predeceased by a younger brother Paul; wife Brenda and second wife Jolleen.


John grew up in Mahone Bay during the 40’s and 50’s. His childhood was privileged but challenging and sad. After some turbulent consideration of profession, John decided to become a teacher after graduation from Dalhousie. John met his first wife Brenda while working in Dartmouth and they eloped. Nine months go by and their first child, a daughter, is born. John moved his young family to Alberta where he was principal and teacher at an elementary school in Lac La Biche. Another nine months go by, and a son was born to them as well. The family moved back to Nova Scotia and lived in Mader’s Cove before purchasing the farm property in Blockhouse. Although new to the farming lifestyle - complete with cattle, sheep, chickens and the occasional horse and pig, John learned a lot in a very short period of time. During this time, he was also employed full time as an elementary school principal first in Riverport then later in Newcombville. On a high note, John finished his career by teaching Grade 4 students in Bridgewater Elementary. John’s career ended prematurely with health challenges. He was much loved and respected by his students handing out coveted and very colourful pencils that had to be earned in class. John was a teacher first and administrator second even though he was very good at both. John also had a great love for cats. There were numerous pets over the years, but Charles was the latest to grace his lap. John’s companion and newest love, Terri has a cat, Tinkerbell by name. Tinkerbell was slowly being coaxed onto that same lap.


John’s health was a consideration for retirement but that didn’t stop him from getting involved with the DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater. He also took time to travel across the country a couple of times with each of his spouses. John was also interested in genealogy and took it upon himself to compile his own family tree (Donaldson and Porteous families) which took him all the way back to 1647. John was also the treasurer for Harborview Haven in Lunenburg for a time.


John’s other interests included but were not limited to shooting pool with old school buddies on Thursday afternoons, having lively political and philosophical discussions about religion with anyone who would listen and challenge him, sudokus, and cards with family and friends. His favourite saying when playing cards was “Oh joy oh rapture unforseen, for now the sky is all serene”. And now it is.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to SHAID and the Canadian Cancer Society. Arrangements entrusted to Sweeny’s Funeral Home, Bridgewater where online condolences may be made by visiting


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