Donald McQueen Shaver

12 August, 192028 July, 2018

On Saturday, July 28, 2018 at Innisfree House, Kitchener in his 98th year, beloved husband of the late Leila Maria (Oman); devoted father to Jill Searson (Robert), Catherine Wendy Shaver, Donald Shaver Jr. (Catherine) and Jonathan Shaver (Erica). Caring step-father to Anne Eklund, Bjorn Richard and Ylva Byars (Bill). A great joy in his life were his treasured grandchildren and great grandchildren with whom he shared many lively adventures and learning experiences within Canada and abroad.

Predeceased by brother Marshall, sister Margaret (Douglas Rundle) and parents James Earle and Betty Duncan Shaver. Also pre-deceased by friend and former wife, Rena Graham Butler.

Donald was founder of Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms Ltd and was its Chairman and C.E.O. for 35 years, establishing a worldwide system of distribution in more than 90 countries. After retiring and selling the business in 1985, he continued his lifelong advocacy for a sustainable agricultural industry, maintaining foundation stocks in both poultry and cattle until 2005.

He also had a second career as a corporate director in insurance, energy, communications and manufacturing, retiring in 2008, aged 88 years, as Chairman of Canada Development Investment Corporation, where he served as a director for 25 years.

Donald was a proud member of the Canadian Armoured Corps and saw active service in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe in World War II. He was a Past Honorary Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada and was honoured to be an Officer in the Order of Canada.

Donald gave generously of his time, energy and resources to church, community and educational endeavours and served several trade and agricultural organizations throughout his lifetime. He greatly prized his citizenship and regarded public service as both a privilege and a duty.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to T. Little Funeral Home in Cambridge. A private family service and cremation have taken place. Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service to be held at Central Presbyterian Church, 7 Queens Square, Cambridge, ON at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

Dad was a supporter of the local hospital throughout his adult life and most recently has contributed to a project termed “Accountable Care”, with emphasis on the burgeoning geriatric population’s special needs. As a gesture of sympathy and remembrance, the family would appreciate donations to the Cambridge Memorial Hospital or to Innisfree House, Kitchener.


  • Celebration of Life

    Tuesday, 14 August , 2018


Donald McQueen Shaver

have a memory or condolence to add?

Douglas Ward

7 September 2018

Don Shaver was a good friend of George Atkins, the CBC farm broadcaster who founded Developing Countries Farm Radio Network forty years ago. Don sat on its board of directors in the early years and his wise contributions made sure that DCFRN kept to its practical mission of supporting the third-world broadcasters who support small-scale farmers.
I have had the honour of visiting Don a few times over the past decade, keeping him up-to-date about the organization and the work he helped spawn. I always drove home with one or two insights that have helped us stay relevant while being innovative.
How lucky we were to have Don in our lives!
Doug Ward, C.M.
Chair, Farm Radio International

Ralph Robinson

15 August 2018

Don Shaver changed countless lives including my own! In 1974 as a recent grad of the Lincolnshire College of Agriculture I was a management trainee at Elsing Lane farm Norfolk England. Mr Shaver came through on horseback along with an entourage of 20
After inspecting my 2 barns of GP breeding stock He announced loudly “ these are best kept barns on the site” whose responsible ? I am sir I said meekly (only 120 lbs soaking wet). He shook my hand and I boldly said
“I’ d love to see your farms in Canada Mr Shaver “he pushed his neck forward squinted at me and bellowed “Mathews (General Manager), looking around him , Mathews make sure this young man gets to Canada.
I arrived in Malton 6 weeks later!

Selected BioProducts
Herbs for Horses and Canine herbals

Martin Zuidhof

15 August 2018

We, the members of the Alberta Poultry Research Centre offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Shaver.
He was truly a remarkable man, and leaves an incredible legacy in our memories and in substance. We are so proud that he was conferred a University Honorary degree from the University of Alberta. We were fortunate to know him while a living legend in the poultry industry. At every exchange, we learned to expect to be inspired by his sharp intellect, insightful mind, and engaging stories. One of our favorites involved the Canadian Air Force serving as a hatching egg courier! He cared deeply about making the world a better place. Dr. Shaver left us at the Poultry Research Centre in charge of two multi-purpose chicken lines (Barred Plymouth Rock and Rhode Island Red) which we cherish, and remain committed to preserving in his honor. Dr Shaver valued education and supported us in building the next generation of poultry scientists.
Rest in peace Dr. Shaver.
Martin Zuidhof and Frank Robinson, on be half of all your friends at the Poultry Research Centre

Betty Stevenson

14 August 2018

My sincere condolences .
I met your father ,serving on committees with him at Lincoln Avenue United Church as it was" treading water,"and heading for its closing.
I remember him as a generous ,humorous, person (smart and so much more .)
A good person to have as a friend.
Betty M Stevenson

Robert McGaghey

5 August 2018

Donald McQueen Shaver was one of a a kind, blessed with a great gift, he experienced and accomplished so much in his life time . Growing up on Meyers Side Road and attending Little's Corners Public School across the road from the Shaver Poultry office. Brings back a lot of good memories.

Only remaining neighbors are John Fraser on Myers Road beside the Baptist church - still in the farm house - WWII veteran - Italy campaign who I believe had a contract to exclusively haul feed for your dad / Shaver Poultry Farms - approx. 96; Mrs. McKeon on Hwy. 8 - approx. 97.

Aside: Your dad being in the Canadian Armored Corps. and your neighbor beside you three doors down from your original house - heading to Branchton Mr. Brown was in the First Canadian Armored Carrier Regiment - the Kangaroos; Frank MacKilligan (school janitor) 2 doors behind Little's Corners School - his son was in the First Canadian Armored Carrier Regiment - the Kangaroos, my dad was is in the same regiment - the Kangaroos. Amazing that all of these people came back from the war and lived within 1 km. of each other - not really knowing this - what a conversation / time that would have been if they had somehow gotten together.
Robert McGaghey, brothers and sisters

Karl Kiefer

3 August 2018

Please accept our deepest condolences.
Don was a neighbour to my Uncle (Otto) at the Heritage Meadows Residence on Hespeler Rd. Until he moved. They used to have some great conversations . I personally know that Don’s contributions to his family, Community and Country were outstanding! The world will miss him. Kindest Regards,

Karl and Otto Kiefer

Jairus Maus

2 August 2018

In any person's life you meet people that have a profound influence and for me Donald Shaver was one of those people. I met him later in life after he had already achieved a remarkable list of accomplishments but his optimism, hope and inspiration continued for as long as I had the good fortune to spend time with him. I made a point of introducing him to my children knowing that they would see in him an extraordinary positive, curious man of accomplishment. He always had time for me and we had many great talks. I will miss him and remember him for a life very well lived. My condolences to all of the family.

Brian Heggie

1 August 2018

So sad to hear about the passing of this exceptional man. I first met him as a campaign assistant during his Liberal run for Parliament, in the 1060's. I later worked for him at a number of local farms, including a summer session at the farm in France. My most recent collaboration with him was as we organized a reunion for alumni of Galt C.I.

No matter what the project, he was driven. His constant search for excellence was a signature trait. His contributions to Canada and the world are legendary.

Janette (Gaetan) Bain

31 July 2018

To Wendy and everyone in Don's family. May you smile in your hearts. Mr. Shaver, as I preferred to call him (although he said call him Don - I replied ... You don't look like Don to me...and he smiled and nodded knowing I respected his presence as he dined at the then Dunfield with my father Angelo Gaetan, as well as Tony and Dr. Jim). Their table was alive more than anyone would ever imagine. Such knowledge was shared among them . Each from a different life path and yet very much connected. It was wonderful to experience. As they would tell me the golden years aren't so golden unless you have the love of friendship. In memory of my Dad who passed November 9, 2017, I will always cherish the friendship Mr. Shaver and Dad shared. Rest in peace and may you smile upon us forever. Sincere love from all of Angelo's family. Good night Mr. Shaver... I will miss our chats...Janette.

Catherine Wendy Shaver

30 July 2018

For the past four years, since my retirement as A Personal Support Worker for the elderly, dad and I have spent a lot of time together. He continued to have projects even into his 90s. His concern for the environment was a cause he pursued for many years ending with a proposal on future sustainability, made through the University of Guelph to a group of International scientists.
However, his most recent concern has been for the care provided , both privately and publicly, for our growing aging population. Being in his 98th year, he experienced a great deal of what our system has to offer and found it lacking on several fronts. He was privileged to be able to spend his last days in a hospice newly opened in Kitchener, as he had requested.
Still, his heart was with the history of his life which was found in his many files in his last home at Hanning House in Preston, ( he was writing a biography for the grandchildren and great grandchildren). There he was treated as a revered citizen and loved by all the staff - despite his rigorous demands.
My father was a driven man, inquisitive and always willing to take a stand for those things of importance in his life.
I will miss your keen mind and dry sense of humour , dad.