From Amy, Alf, Sue and Steve in memory of Don.
IN LOVING MEMORY of Donald Heayel who sadly passed away on 25th April 2020
DONALD ARTHUR HEAYEL born 9th July 1932 in Tipton in the West Midlands to parents Edwin Heayel and Alice Cartlidge. He was the only boy in a family of 5 children with sisters, Sylvia, Vivien, Maisie and Pamela.
He met Gwendoline, the love of his life, when he was 19 and Gwen 17. They married in June 1956 and were soul mates together for 64 years. They had 5 children; Karen and Judy, 2 full term boys David and Paul who were sadly stillborn and in 1971 Jonathan was born and was the apple of his Dads eye until he lost his battle to cancer at the age of 22.
Don was a degree qualified Engineer, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Production Engineers and Welding Engineers. He travelled quite a bit during his career to oversee train build projects. Some of these places included Canada, South Africa, Australia, South Korea, Italy and India.
He could turn his hand to anything putting his engineering knowledge to good use. It was said that being the only boy of the family and losing both his parents at such an early age, he took on the role of mending and fixing for everyone. He made numerous things around the home, from the swing boat the children enjoyed when young, to tables and display cabinets, many of which are still in the family home today. Gwen only had to say the word about something she wanted or needed, and off he would go, buying wood and working his magic in the garage to create what was required. He would do anything for anyone and was a very kind man; a true gentleman and had a wicked sense of humour.
Donald was a keen a pigeon fancier and kept homing pigeons, racing them often.
He played Tennis and table tennis during his life and played for the town team and supported both Karen and Judy taking them to their table tennis tournaments.
Don was also a loving grandfather always spending time with his 6 grand-children Rick, Michelle, Kate, Ria, Ian and Sara. He would try and teach them the skills he had learned and would take them on walks with the dogs, naming trees and plants on the way. He also had 5 great grandchildren Chey, Felicity, Owen, Evie and Aidan.
In his late 70’s Don was diagnosed with the onset of dementia but stayed at home with Gwen for much of his illness, sadly going into a nursing home only a few years ago, with Gwen still visiting him every day.
He sadly lost his battle with Covid-19 on 25th April 2020.
Don was a much loved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and Uncle and will be dearly missed and loved by all.