Born May 17, 1957 to Michael and Margaret Ryan of South Wapiti, Grovedale, Alberta.
Donald attended schools: Penson Elementary, Grovedale; Harry Balfour School, Grande Prairie and graduated from Grande Prairie Composite High School in 1975. He attended Fairview College from 1977 to 1978 studying agriculture.
Donald worked on the family farm raising pigs until 1983 when the water pump fell into the well. Around that time, he started buying cows. His first purchase was five bred cows, losing one that winter. This started his lifelong 40 year career in cattle.
You could count on him being at the auction marts in Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Dawson Creek and Ponoka. He enjoyed being at the markets and knew and loved his career choice. He made a lot of good friends in the cattle industry.
Donald worked hard building up his place, the “Yellowhead Ranch.”
He met his wife Cheryl Kelley in 2007 and married November 19, 2008. They continued to ranch until March 2019 when Donald was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Donald enjoyed his cows, neighbors, family, chuck wagon racing and traveling. He volunteered at the Ponoka Stampede for several years also worked with 4-H and the Grovedale Community Fair.
He will be sadly missed by his wife Cheryl; two stepsons James Cotton and Jason (Denae) Cotton; his grandson Alexander; granddaughter Rory; parents Michael Ryan and Margaret (Peter) Aleman; sisters Leona (Kelly) Eyben, Barbara (Darcy) Sask and Patricia (Kenny) Trarback; his brother Thomas (Shelly) Ryan; as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Donald was predeceased by his grandparents James and Edith Ryan and George and Anne Stoll.
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