Donald James Cavin passed away suddenly at his home in Sutton West, Ontario, on Saturday, February 8th.
He was 86 years of age.
He is survived by his devoted children, Donann Marlene Matysiak (nee Cavin), Brenden Wesley Cavin, as well as his much cherished son- and daughter-in-law, Stephen Matysiak and Elaine Cavin May.
Don was a proud grandfather to Joseph Stephen, Samuel James, Emily Gertrude Ginger, Kathryn Anjelina, Rosalind Amy and Henry Lawrence.
He was a beloved brother-in-law of the late Jack Arthur Peer and his surviving widow Mrs Sheila Ruth Peer, and also an Uncle to Jennifer Ann and Grace Irene.
He enjoyed a small collection of Great Nieces and Nephews namely Victoria, Jack Jr, Zoe, Ava and Cole. Not to leave out a small dog he grew to love in spite of his best efforts, one Millicent Magoo Matysiak.
His wife of 61 years, Barbara Ann Cavin (nee Peer), predeceased him by only 20 months. He lost his dear mother Gladys Marchant when he was not quite sixteen years old, his father Norman William Cavin much later in life.
His much beloved Aunt Katherine (Kate) Marchant, went way above and beyond to support and nourish his obvious intellect and sensitive, artistic nature, even as he grew up on a large, working, market garden family farm, in the stic ks of Lakeview.
The land the farm sat on was granted to Thomas Cavin and his wife Mary by the British King after their home in Maryland wasn’t all that appealing following the American War of Independence.
His people were United Empire Loyalists and were among several families in similar circumstances to settle Port Credit and Lakeview in the early 1800’s.
In spite of Don’s very left leaning politics, he inexplicably remained a staunch yet somewhat closeted Monarchist all of his life.
Don was very proud of his heritage and once or twice led his family on nostalgic walks in the area. As a boy he had the run of a huge swath of land all the way back to the pine forests near the QEW. He fished in Cooksville creek and ventured down to the shores of the lake often. This may have been where his love of nature and the cosmos took root and manifested into very many interests.
He was thirstily curious about everything and pretty much everyone, some of the attributes that made him a great teacher. Don taught high school, special education and middle school for about 30 years and then retired to restore an old century farmhouse in Fenelon Falls with his wife Barbara. The whole family enjoyed many merry years there. He started to paint, which more and more became his focus.
At first he painted the birds he loved, but as his work evolved he was drawn more and more to capture the Ontario landscape that he adored.
He taught art for many years and developed a small cult following as he taught here and there; at workshops, art schools, galleries and juried shows. He loved this work and was truly entertained and stimulated by his students, many of whom became good friends.
Don was also a music man who loved performing, playing guitar and singing harmonies. He and Barb made many lifelong friends in these pursuits.
He was passionate about birding, conservation, politics, astronomy and obsessed with the weather.
He loved deeply, lived generously with kindness and respect for all life.
Always up for trying new things, 86 years old on the outside, a ten year old boy within.