Bryan, Phillip and Donald were born with PKU (Phenylketonuria), a metabolic disease which does not break down one of the amino acids in the body. The disease was discovered in 1934 with the importance of diet determined in 1953. They were born before 1953 and the untreated PKU led to intellectual disability, behavioral problems, and mental disorders. After, Donald (and his brothers) needed to be on a low protein diet, with a special supplementary drink. This took away some of the joys of food Donny had previously before the diet was known, but many new foods were introduced which he enjoyed, as well as some special 'cheat days' especially when out visiting with family (devilled eggs a favourite!).
After moving to British Columbia, Donald and his two brothers moved into Woodland's School in New Westminster, a special school and care facility thought to be the leading edge for children with severe disabilities and mental health challenges. Donald's brother Phillip predeceased Donald in the 60's.
In 1989, Donald and his brother Bryan moved into the Bethesda Group Home in Abbotsford and from this point on it has been their permanent residence. Some of the caregivers have been at the home for decades, therefore they have been like family to Donald and Bryan and this has been a great blessing for everyone. Donald even has his own garden plot which he took pleasure in tending to.
Donald enjoyed spending time together with his family including his Bethesda family. He enjoyed many day trips together, visiting Mom & Dad Evertt and sister Deanna & family. Donald visited Seattle several times (to watch the Seahawks play). There were motorhome trips to the interior often stopping for a visit with sister Deborah Raschpichler in Christina Lake and also excursions to Vancouver Island. One summer they even stayed on a houseboat on the Shuswap, which Donald apparently enjoyed immensely.
Chris Janzen, was Donald's friend and Bethesda caregiver at the home for the past
20 years. Chris says Donald enjoyed an active lifestyle in Abbotsford home. He enjoyed being out of the home and took every opportunity to get out for a walk or a ride. He knew what he liked and didn't like and although he did not have the vocabulary to share it, his actions spoke louder than words could. Donald also loved music and would hum along with old hymns, and skip across the floor to classic rock songs, almost dancing, with a smile from ear to ear, earning him the nick-name, "Skipper". In the most recent years of his life a new tenderness emerged in his character and he would seek out affection from those he had relationship with giving out hugs.
Sherrone Taves has been with the home for 24 years, and several of those years she has been the only female caregiver in the home, providing some feminine touches to Donald's life. Sherrone says she enjoyed many activities and traveling with him over the years, and her favorite time with him was any time that she could spoil him. Tea time and popcorn night were always things they looked forward to together.
Donald is survived by his two sisters Deanna Evertt and Deborah Raschpichler, his brothers Berton Evertt and Bryan Evertt and his Bethesda family: Chris Janzen, Sherrone Taves, Sava Duran, Rick Withers, Mike Keigley & Ron Balzer. He will always be loved and remembered.
Visitation Thursday Sept 15, 2pm,
Bakerview Celebration Centre
34863 Cemetery Ave, Mission
Memorial Friday Sept 16, 10:30am,
New Life Christian Reformed Church
35270 Delair Rd., Abbotsford
Interment Friday Sept 16, 1pm,
34070 Hazelwood Ave., Abbotsford