The United Irish Societies of Montreal is going through a difficult time. Longtime historian Don Pidgeon passed away February 8. His funeral was celebrated February 20 at the historic St. Patrick’s Basilica. Earlier this week we were informed that another longtime member, Ken O’Donnell, passed away in hospital following a recent illness.
On Monday the voice of a United Irish Societies treasure fell silent when my friend and fellow past president passed away peacefully at home.
The last time I saw Don was in late November when he was spending some time at the new super hospital. I was off work that day, was headed in to town, and thought I’d drop in unannounced to say “Hi”. The sun was shining and he had a beautiful view from his window, so beautiful that he was enjoying a late morning nap in his chair. I could certainly relate. Warmth and sunshine beaming through a huge window is a recipe for a good nap. So Don didn’t see me. We were often in touch via e-mail. I would send an e-mail asking a question or simply to say “Hi” and to see how he was feeling. My last e-mail to him was sent Sunday evening to let him know an old friend sent his regards, having explained to the friend was gravely ill. Before that I sent a quick e-mail letting Don know we miss him and that we hoped to see him at one of the many Irish events if his health permitted. Don replied in an uncharacteristically short e-mail “Thanks, Don”
Today we lost our good friend Don following a courageous battle with cancer. Here is a blog I wrote in June 2015 that will shed some light on who Don Pidgeon was. I will compose a new blog soon
Donald Pidgeon was born the youngest child of William James Pidgeon and Marjorie Black 1. Growing up, family was important to Don and his siblings Thelma, Rita, and Bill, and is equally important today. Although his children are spread across the globe, Don and his wife Nadia (Ewasiechko) are always in touch with their children James and Jennifer (Emile) and their granddaughter Romy.
Don grew up in Griffintown, living there from 1940 to 1966, and has resided in Dorval since 1973. He had a 35 year career in retail before retiring in 1996.
Don joined the United Irish Societies of Montreal in 1968, where he quickly became involved with the organization’s activities, moving up the ladder from year to year…
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