Born at Burwood Hospital on the 22nd of July 1951 to Edna Dorothy Gregory (Nee Gillett) and Donald Clyde Gregory, and remained their only child.
Donald grew up in Williamstown and attended Williamstown Primary School and Williamstown High School,
it was during his High School years that he met the beautiful Jennifer Margaret Black
as they crossed paths in the morning or afternoon on the way to their schools.
They started dating at 15 and were together till his last breath. She was his love, and he hers.
Donald and Jennifer were married on the 1st of September 1973 at the Holy Trinity Church, Nelson Place, Williamstown,
and spent their honeymoon on a 2 week P&O Cruise, around Fiji and the pacific islands.
After working and saving some more, they also travelled extensively worldwide,
several times, visiting all of Europe and America.
After their travels, they settled in to become parents welcoming Lauren Pauline Gregory on the 16th of May, 1983
and Erin Frances Gregory on the 3rd of June, 1989.
Donald relished the role of husband and father, he filled his home, Williamstown, and all the places his friends and family resided, with love, laughter and kindness. He had time for everyone, would help anyone he could, encouraged and uplifted people and raised his girls to do the same.
He loved fun, he loved to laugh, even more so with family and friends.
He loved the Footscray / Bulldogs Football Club, being a member his whole life and proud to see his grandfather,
Arthur Gregory, on the hall of fame at the Whitten Oval. He couldn’t have been happier to see them win their second flag in 2016 and make it to the big dance again just last year.
Donald played every sport available to him growing up, football, baseball, cricket, lacrosse and of course golf, which was his passion till his body couldn’t support him anymore. A bad day on the golf course was better than a good day at work he’d say. Many a fun boys golf trip did Don have over the years.
It was a combination of playing all these sports and Don’s infectious, kind, funny personality,
that meant he knew every man and his dog within a 20km radius of Williamstown,
or in the end, the whole world. He was always fun to be around.
After golf, lacrosse was a sport close to his heart. Playing a bit for Williamstown in his youth, he then took up watching from the sidelines and supporting his two daughters play for Newport Ladies Lacrosse Club, Victoria & then Erin, on the Australian Representative Team Koala, where he travelled the globe cheering her on. Don was always incredibly supportive and extra proud of every game they both played and, in fact, anything they did in life.
It was from watching his girls enjoy the sport, that in 2002 he picked up a stick again and started playing again to participate in the over 50’s tournament in Perth. In usual Donald style, that was where he made some more life long friends with some of the American players, thus prompting more trips to the US to visit old and new friends, and of course a bit more Lacrosse.
It was on his travels home from his last overseas trip that he started to feel off, he knew something wasn’t right,
so he saw a doctor and in 2010 was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
Just before that trip in 2008 he became a grandfather,
his daughter Lauren gave birth to Tahnii Erin Magor on the 18th of February.
And so ‘Poppy’ began to forever dote on her, visit often, take her for walks, was there on her first day of school and everything in-between.
Then his pride grew and grew with Jack Anthony Owen Rickard being born on his 60th Birthday, 22nd of July 2011, then Penelope Jayne Rickard on the
2nd of July 2014 and finally Edward David Clyde Rickard on the 10th of January 2017, they brought him joy and Poppy will forever live on in their hearts.
In 2018 Donald and Jennifer moved from Williamstown to Clydesdale,
so they could retire, and enjoy more space and fresh air in support of Donalds’ Parkinson's progression.
He enjoyed being part of the Newstead Mens Shed, Tai Chi group, the local Clydesdale / Newstead / Castlemaine community and was blessed in the end with the services of Shannon’s Bridge who always went above and beyond to give Donald medical support, advice and equipment to help him and Jennifer in the most challenging years.
Each year that went by after the 2010 diagnosis, Parkinson’s Disease slowly but surely took away Don’s ability to be in control of his body, he was cared for in a way we could all only pray for, Jennifer kept him going, kept him healthy, gave him laughs and dignity and covered him with love till the end.
He was so very lucky to have her as his partner in life.
On the 5th of February 2022, Donald passed away peacefully in his sleep, at his home in Clydesdale,
surrounded by bulldogs memorabilia and after having recently seen all those who loved him most,
and of course with Jennifer by his side.
He will forever be loved, admired and missed dearly.
In lieu of any flowers, gifts or cards, Donald’s family would prefer donations be made to Shannon’s Bridge via the following link https://www.gofundme.com/f/shannons-bridge-palliative-care or more information on Shannon’s Bridge can be found here https://www.shannonsbridge.com