Obituary: Donna Patricia Peevers – February 7, 2024

Donna Patricia Peevers passed away peacefully at Huron Shores Hospice the age of 88 on February 7, 2024.

She was a long-time teacher, businessperson, and a fixture on Port Elgin’s main street for more than 50 years. Donna was born in Port Elgin on January 16, 1936 to Dunelda and Jack Cottrill.

An excellent student, regularly placing at the top of her class, Donna was named high school valedictorian before continuing her education at the University of Toronto. She went on to teacher’s college and taught in north Toronto. It was during that period, in the mid-1950s, when she met a dashing young man named Paul Peevers on a blind date, that would light the spark for a romance that lasted more than 60 years.

Donna and Paul were married in in 1959 and ten years and two sons later, they left Toronto to run a hardware store in Port Elgin. The former Hymmen’s Hardware became Peevers Dominion Hardware and the family settled in on the corner of Mill and Goderich Streets in the solid old brick building that was both home and business.

In 1972, the family grew with the arrival of daughter Nina. This was also the year that fire struck and gutted the store and the apartment above as well as two neighbouring buildings. It was a difficult time, but the ever-optimistic Donna looked at it as a perfect opportunity to remodel the apartment and the renovations included a very funky ‘70s appropriate orange swoop mural.

With a business to help run and three kids to corral, Donna still found time to supply teach at local elementary schools where she had an impact on a generation of young people. She was pleased to run into former students who shared fond memories with her in the years that followed.

Her focus was always on family and friends and she and Paul created a wonderful home filled with music, laughter and good food. Saturday and Sunday night dinners always featured candlelight, wine and good music on the record player. Friends were always welcome to stop by and sit around the bar until the wee hours.

In the late ‘80s with the business climate changing, they closed the hardware store and transitioned to the locksmithing business that still operates today. It allowed greater freedom to travel, and Paul and Donna cruised the Caribbean many times. Donna also volunteered at Saugeen Literacy and was on the organizing committee for the Port Elgin Homecoming in 1999.

Alongside Paul, she lived a very good life and taught her children and grandchildren through her actions that it is the little things in life that bring us joy and are the secret to happiness. She is fondly remembered by her children Gregg, John (Callie) and Nina (Scott) and grandchildren Jack, Sophie and Allie and her sister Ann.

The family would like to thank the staff and volunteers at Saugeen Memorial Hospital and Huron Shores Hospice for their care and generosity and memorial donations to either organization would be appreciated.