With sadness, the family of Donald Hammond Thain announces his peaceful passing into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on July 1, 2021, in his 94th year. The devoted husband of Helen Margaret Steeves since 1953, Don was also the beloved father of Peter (Monica) of Vancouver, BC; Carol (Ken) Farrish of Atlanta, GA; and Jake of London, ON. Beloved grandfather of Beckie Thain-Blonk (Tim), Sarah Thain Herriott (Ashton), Rachael Thain Penner (Mark); John Farrish (April), Andrew Farrish, Mark Farrish (Katie) and James Farrish; Emily Thain (Rishad), and William Thain. Great- grandfather of Charles, Matthew, Benjamin, Emily, George, Aizley, Finn, Ford and Zoey. Dear brother-in-law of Donna Thain, and proud uncle of Anne Thain Mahon (Paul) and Scott Thain, all of Winnipeg, MB. Don was predeceased by his parents, William and Lucy Thain and brother Paul.
Born and raised in Toronto, Don graduated from University of Toronto Schools (1945) and the Detroit Art Institute (1947). After a successful five-year, Toronto based advertising career, Don went on to the Harvard Business School completing his Master of Business Administration (MBA, 1953) and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA, 1955). In 1956, he joined the faculty of the University of Western Ontario (UWO) School of Business Administration (now Ivey Business School) in London, Ontario. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, Don ignited a passion for excellence in over 4,000 HBA, MBA and doctoral students. The far reaching effects of his teaching have been felt in Canadian businesses, international industries and corporate boardrooms. Many of Don’s students became renowned industry leaders.
Don cherished his colleagues at Western, and Harvard Business schools, co-authoring 14 books, texts and countless classroom cases, some of which are still used today. He served as director of 18 private and public companies, including Lawson Mardon Group, Cooper Canada, Goodyear Canada, Charterhouse, Brascan, Roman Corporation, and Silcorp. He was a consultant to major corporations including General Motors, Goodyear, General Electric, and two Toronto advertising companies, predecessors to McKim and Saatchi. Don travelled worldwide as a member of five Canadian Task Forces on agriculture, the aircraft industry, and business and regional development.
Don had a passion for hockey, playing for the Windsor Bulldogs in the 1940’s while courting his wife, Helen. He proudly helped revive and coach the UWO Western Mustangs with Dr. Willard L’Heureux in 1960. He went on to coach minor hockey teams that produced several future NHLers. Don served as Athletic Director at UWO in the 1960’s and was a proud member of the honored 1961 Western Mustangs hockey team.
In all that Don did, he sought to love, honor and give glory to His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He will be sorely missed but one day eternally reunited with family and friends, near and far. We rejoice that he is now in the presence of God and many who have predeceased him through faith in Jesus Christ. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you would remember Don with a contribution to Teen Challenge.
Don’s family wishes to thank the compassionate staff at Amica London, and Drs. McKee and Jog, and the many personal support workers from St. Elizabeth’s, London who, during the COVID-19 pandemic, tirelessly supported Don, Helen and the family.
Private funeral service with Zoom broadcast will be conducted on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 2:00pm, from Harris Funeral Home, London, Ontario, with burial to follow. For Zoom access, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invitation.
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