Donald Dodman died suddenly on January 2nd, 2015 and only days after he celebrated his 11th anniversary on December 31st with Devan his husband.
Don was born in Vancouver and grew up in East Vancouver. He completed his high school degree but had it interrupted by a chance to sail to Asia. Don, fascinated by the sea, had joined the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve at HMCS Discovery. An opportunity was presented to apply to be one of several who would be chosen to sail with the Royal Canadian Navy on a six month training course in the Pacific with stops in Hawai'i and various ports in Asia. Don applied, without informing his parents, was chosen, and in his inimitable style, convinced them he should be allowed to go. High school was completed on his return.
Throughout his youth and young adulthood Don studied the violin and played with the Vancouver Junior Symphony Orchestra. He later realized that there were more opportunities for cellists and so he added another instrument to his repertoire. Don also built a harpsichord which he enjoyed playing. He had a solid tenor voice and sang with the UBC choir during his undergraduate days. One concert with a combined UBC/Vancouver Bach Choir with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra singing Verdi's "Requiem" was instrumental in Don's ongoing discernment.
As a youth Don took himself to St Andrew's Church, Burnaby and it was through that experience and the encouragement of his priest that he became ever more active until such time as he began to discern his vocation to the priesthood. Don attended UBC and after a term at Codrington College in Barbados returned to complete his LTh at Anglican Theological College in 1968.
Don was ordained to the diaconate in the Diocese of Caledonia in 1968 serving a two-year curacy in Burns Lake. He transferred to the Diocese of Calgary in 1970 where he was priested and served in a multi-point parish with Cardston as the main point. Two years later he moved to the Diocese of Edmonton where he served as a curate at the Cathedral. In 1974 he went to Schefferville, QC in the Diocese of Quebec. After three years he returned to the Diocese of Edmonton and was appointed rector of St Matthew's, the Anglican congregation in St Albert, AB. During his time there land was purchased and a new church was built. Don transferred to the Diocese of British Columbia in 1984 to become the Rector of Christ Church, Alert Bay in the Diocese of British Columbia. In 1987 he became Assistant Priest at St James', Vancouver. He served a six-year term as Regional Dean of Burrard and Chair of the Diocesan Matrimonial Commission. He took early retirement in 1997 completing ten years to the day at St James.'
After prayerful consideration early in his retirement Don began to discern a call to the Roman Catholic Church. As part of that process he requested the Bishop of New Westminster to allow him to relinquish his orders and permission was granted effective December 31, 1999.
His stay was short in the Roman Catholic Church. Nevertheless, Don was faithful up until his death in his dedication to praying daily the Divine Offices. While he had deep concerns for some of direction in which the Church was moving, he retained a high doctrine of the Church catholic and deep regard for its mission in the world.
After several years in retirement Don met and subsequently married Devan Burnett on December 31, 2003. They made their home in the West End.
Don also authored four books, one being his autobiography in which he gives Devan a huge credit for being a judicious editor. Don was working on his fifth book.
A requiem mass will be offered at St James' Church on Monday, January 26th at 10am.