It is with profound sadness that the family of Don DeBenedet announces his passing on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Centre with his wife and daughter by his side.

Donnie was born on March 18, 1951 in Fort Frances, ON to Claude and Helen DeBenedet. He grew up in Fort Frances and spent endless hours with his grandparents and he often attributed his Nona with giving him a strong faith and compass to navigate life.

On March 15, 1980, Donnie was united in marriage to Dianne McLeod and they were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Dayna. Over the course of those 42 years they enjoyed camping, going to the cabin, boating, houseboat trips, playing ball, curling and especially travelling. Highlights include spending summer holidays exploring Canada with Dayna, cruises, trips to the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, Europe, and different parts of the United States. They especially enjoyed their trips to Italy.

Donnie enjoyed watching and participating in a variety of sports. He ran numerous marathons but was especially proud that he qualified and participated in the 10th anniversary of the Boston Marathon with his brother-in-law Lorne. He was also a golfer and a well-known curler. Donnie was a successful competitor many times over, however the friendships he made along the way were what was most important to him.

Donnie felt blessed that his heritage was both Italian and Ukrainian. He developed a love of cooking, especially the Italian dishes. He left the Ukrainian dishes to his sisters. He was especially known for his risotto with mini meatballs and gnocchi with Nona’s roasted chicken. Along with his brother-in-law Wayne and nephew Brad, he carried on the family Christmas tradition of homemade ravioli that began with his dad.

Donnie retired after a lengthy career with The Beer Store. He made long-lasting friendships with many of his coworkers.

He will be forever loved and missed by his wife Dianne; daughter Dayna (Jeremy); sisters Janice (Wayne) Maxwell and Teresa (Jack) McFayden; sister-in-law Maureen (Lorne) Ricard; mother-in-law Crete McLeod; nieces and nephews Andrea (Ken) Faragher and their children Kendyn and Asher; Brad (Bobbi) Maxwell; Alyson (Aram) Reyes Ricard and their daughter Nuri, Rick (Dayna) Ricard and their children Macy, London and Miller; Scott (Kiley) McFayden and their daughter Amara; Michelle (Zach) McCool and their daughter Addilyn; “special nieces” Erin (Gilbert) Saquet and their daughter Maddy; Heather Newman (Dave) and their son Dante; special family member Amy Wreggitt; close friends Jim and Penny Newman, Joe and Heather Semeniuk, Ian McLennan and Mike and Barb Asplund.’

Don was predeceased by his parents Claude and Helen; brother Claude Michael, and father-in-law
Lawrence McLeod.

A memorial mass will be held on Monday, May 30, 2022 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances, ON with Father Berchman Francis officiating.

Cremation has taken place and interment will be held in Holy Cross Cemetery in Fort Frances, ON.

The pallbearers will be Jim Newman, Ian McLennan, Michael Asplund, Joe Semeniuk, Doug Dickson and Bruce Hemstad.

The honourary pallbearers will be his nieces and nephews.

If friends so desire in memoriam donations may be made to the Fort Frances Curling Club, P.O. Box 27, Fort Frances, Ontario, P9A 3M4, or a charity of your choice.

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