In the early hours of Monday March 2, 2015 our father, Don Pilgrim, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. We thought it would be fitting to share some of the reasons our Dad was such a one-of-a-kind man.
He was known as Pil to his friends, but his sons-in-law refer to him as The Godfather.
Dad was proud, private, generous, stubborn, sarcastic, hard of hearing, magnetic, and set in his ways.
He had a tight knit group of quick-witted friends who loved to joke with each other over a couple of beers.
Dad has an amazing collection of cowboy paraphernalia. It’s a veritable treasure trove of boots, saddles, pictures, gun, and holsters. If we had a dime for every time we heard the John Wayne impression “Howdy Pilgrim,” we’d be rich.
Dad loved old school country music. He was a big fan of Jim Reeves, Merle Haggard and George Jones.
When they were younger, Dad and his best buddies cleared the land and built a cabin up in northern Saskatchewan. They had a passion for rainbow trout and runaway weekends.
Flying home from a fishing trip in the early 70’s, Dad’s small engine plane crash-landed in the forest. He was thrown through the windshield, where his hair and eyebrows were singed off when the engine caught fire. Against the odds, they all managed to escape before the plane exploded.
He had over 25 different surgeries over the course of his life, including two full body casts. This cat exceeded more than his share of nine lives.
He still has his 1976 Lincoln Continental Town Car, the first brand new vehicle he ever purchased.
Dad was an accomplished snooker player, who in the early days made a living playing pool. He could kick his son-in-laws and grandkid’s asses, right up to the very end.
Dad had four older sisters. He grew up, and grew old, in a household of women.
Back in the rum/coke and beanbag ashtray days, Dad skipped on the curling rink.
He was an avid golfer who shot an absurdly low score of 74, at the age of 75.
He has been a member, and past president of The Elmwood Golf and Country Club for over 50 years.
Over his life, Dad owned two customized golf carts. The first one had a cassette deck and headlights, and he owned that beauty for 20 years. The second one has ostrich leather captains’ chairs and a walnut grain steering wheel.
He worked for over 30 years at an outstanding company called Standard Nutrition, earning numerous Salesman of the Year awards as well as a Lifetime Achievement award.
Mom and Dad travelled the world with friends and work colleagues, many of whom became lifelong friends.
Dad worked right up until he was 79 years old. The retirement gift for both Mom and Dad was a trip to Augusta Georgia, where they were able to experience the rich history of the Masters golf tournament.
In 2012, he had the opportunity to golf St. Andrews in Scotland. It was on the top of his bucket list. The only item left uncrossed on his list was the Barrett-Jackson car auction in Scottsdale. Flights were booked for January 2015, but by that time he was confined to bed.
Dad has always been a card player, but discovered a true passion for poker alongside his grandchildren and sons-in-law. Although we have no idea what we’re doing, the Sangria Sisters are known to have the best poker faces.
He loved the smokin’ hot sun and would bake his skin to a reddish brown in rotisserie fashion.
He loved his wife of 53 years, Shiela, and his family, but the light of his life were his grandchildren Brennan, Abby, and Nolan.
Please join us in raising a glass to Pil. As Dad would say, Adios Amigos. Meet you on the other side!
Don Pilgrim’s Celebration of Life will be held on:
Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
At the Elmwood Golf and Country Club, Swift Current, SK
Check out this week’s Sister Shout Out ~ To our husbands, children and Mother
We will be taking a short break, to breathe, grieve, and heal. In the following weeks, we will share our favourite posts from the past. We appreciate your continued support.
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