Obituary – John Donald (Don) Ennis

John Donald (Don) Ennis March 30, 1940 – January 26, 2024

Don Ennis passed away peacefully in Manzanillo, Mexico while surrounded by loving family and friends.

Don is survived by his three older brothers, Dave, Glenn and Ted. Three men of monumental stature, integrity and honour. Our hearts go out to you. Don is also survived by his four children Rhonda, Randy, Glenn and Ryan; and three amazing, vibrant grandchildren Sean, Daniela and Teagan, who he adored. As well as his beloved partner of the last five years, Cora Prevost.

Don moved his young family of four children to Kelowna, BC in 1972 after winning the principalship at Rutland Jr. Secondary. This appointment made him the youngest high school principal in the province at that time, at just 32 years old. He never looked back. His career in Kelowna took him to Hollywood Road Secondary, Okanagan Mission Secondary and eventually to his long run as principal at Kelowna Secondary. He also briefly came out of his retirement in his 60s for a stint as principal in Hinton, Alberta. Always the designated hitter, so to speak.

Don managed to touch so, so many people in the course of his life and career. The number would surely have to be measured in the tens of thousands. As an educator and caretaker of other people’s children, Don took his job seriously. He felt it was his duty to provide those parent with a safe, secure and positive place where their children could learn, express themselves and grow. He also firmly believed that every student was special in some way. That special way just needed to be allowed to show itself, and be nurtured and encouraged.

Be it through academics, sports, band, art, drama or trades, Don made a point to hire teachers that would help him on his quest to create an ideal space for learning. Outgoing teachers that could stimulate and motivate young minds. Don surrounded himself with good people throughout his career. Giving people. You know who you are. He loved you all dearly.

In retirement, Don split his time between Kelowna, Mabel Lake, Phoenix and Mexico with many, many adventures to far off places in between. He had an amazing group of close friends and enjoyed his golf and cards. One of his true joys though was feeding everyone whenever he could His legendary meat shop parties and pig roasts that he hosted so effortlessly will not soon be forgotten.

I found this quite fitting;

“The man is a success who has loved well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it; whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.”


We ask that you celebrate a life well lived.


The Ennis Family