School 09
Official Obituary of

Charles Dondale

March 24, 2024

Charles Dondale Obituary



Charles Denton Dondale

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Charles Dondale on March 24 in his 96th year.  Predeceased by his beloved wife, Joan and son, Wayne.  Cherished father of Steve (Amy), Glenn (Denyse), Graeme (Cynthia), Beverley (Tom) and Leslie (Diane).  Cherished grandfather (Grampy) to Ryan, Lisa, Jason, Catherine & Conor.  Step-grandfather to Tyree & Alya.  Proud great-grandfather to the recent arrivals of Declan, Jack and Colson.  Brother-in-law to our Dearly Beloved Aunt Peggy.

Charles, known as Charlie to many over the years, was born and raised in Princedale, NS, among the youngest of 10 siblings.  As an 18-year-old needing to raise funds for college, he spent a year at sea with the Merchant Marines, followed by a 2-year program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro, NS that led to completing his B. Sc. Degree at MacDonald College (McGill University), a Masters degree from Ohio State University and then back to McGill for his Ph.D.  All of that was the beginning of his rise to fame in his career.   

Charles’ entire career was as part of Agriculture Canada – Entomology, based first in Kentville, NS, then Belleville, ON and in Ottawa in 1972.  He was a world-renown arachnologist who, between 1956 and 2022, published more than 80 scientific papers in addition to collaborating with his colleague and friend Jim Redner to author several books.  Charles served as the curator of Canada’s National Spider Collection at the Canadian National Collection of Insects in Ottawa; a collection described as one of the finest worldwide.

In preparation for retirement, Charles and Joan moved out to Beckwith Township where they lived out their lives among good friends and neighbours.  He learned to use a chainsaw and provided winter fuel for the woodstove up until 3 years ago.  Retirement included choosing to volunteer at Research Canada part-time for several years and volunteering for Meals on Wheels, Hospice Care and as a Church Deacon.

Charles met the love of his life, Elizabeth Joan Martin, in Montreal while at MacDonald College, which led to a 67-year blessed marriage to Joan.  They shared a Christian faith that inspired and challenged many with whom they came in contact. 

We are especially grateful for all his caregivers and the staff and fellow residents at the Waterside Retirement Home in Carleton Place.  Thank you.  He will be missed dearly.






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