April 25, 1938 – November 26, 2023
Donald Alfred Tannas “Don”, born April 25, 1938 at
Marwayne, Alberta. Passed away at the Foothills Hospital
in Calgary, Alberta on November 26, 2023.
He died peacefully surrounded by his family – he was 85.
Don is survived by his wife, of 62 years, Christine Tannas as well as his
children including oldest son Senator Scott Tannas his wife Taryn, their
children Mary, Emily, Zach, and Alex. Second son Bruce Tannas and his
wife Lora and their children Kirsten and Bryan. Don is also survived by
his sister Dorren Busch as well as his 4 great grandchildren.
Don was the second child and only son of Alfred and Mildred Tannas. He
grew up in several Alberta towns and villages as his father and uncles
moved around the province opening and operating several retail grocery
and hardware stores.
Don obtained an education degree from the University of Alberta in
Edmonton, where he met and married Christine Mason, a nurse who
recently emigrated from Scotland. The newlyweds moved to High River
and took up jobs in their respective professions. Don taught in Cayley
and Blackie Schools before stepping into administration as Principal
at Blackie School. Over the next three decades Don’s career was
focused on education and administration, including being Principal at
Longview School and finally Joe Clark School. He also continued
his own professional development and education, earning
two postgraduate degrees.
In 1969, Don and Chris along with their two young sons embarked on a
two-year adventure in Uganda while working for CIDA. Don taught in a
teacher training college and Chris provided local villagers with medical
care from a small makeshift clinic on the college grounds. Their African
adventure brought many friendships and spurred a lifelong passion for
international travel. When they returned from Africa, in addition to their
day jobs, the couple opened a successful travel agency in High River.
They became their own best customers by continuing to travel the world.
In 1989, Don decided on a new career entering provincial politics, where
he was elected MLA for constituency of Highwood. For the next 14 years
Don proudly served in the Getty and then the Klein governments, much
of the time as Deputy Speaker of the Alberta Legislature.
Community service and the friendships that came from working
together were an important part of Don’s life. He was an active member
of Rotary International, serving in the High River Club, over a span of
Don lived an active and interesting life. He did his best to be of value to
his students, his community, and his province. But nothing was more
important to him than his wife and family. He and Chris were best
friends and loving partners, raising sons Scott and Bruce, supporting
them in their lives and careers and being loving grandparents
and great grandparents.
For all he accomplished, he was a quiet and gentle man. Thoughtful and
trusting and he was trusted in return. His loving sons strive every day
to live up to his example. He will be missed by family, friends, and the
many people he touched in his life.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held at the High River United Church
(123 Mcleod Trail) at 2:00 pm on December 9, 2023, with a reception to
follow. For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed on
Don’s Tribute Page at www.lylereeves.com .
To send condolences please visit www.lylereeves.com.
Caring for the family is Lyle Reeves Funerals of High
River (Craig Snodgrass) 403.652.4242.