November 7, 1921 – June 18, 2012
Our beloved husband, father, and grandfather died on Monday, June 18 at the age of 90. Donald Byron Biggs was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as an airman in April 1941 and was commissioned as a radar officer that September. Transferred overseas in October 1941, on attachment to the Royal Air Force in Britain, he served with Fighter Command. At the end of 1942, he was sent to India, where he remained until February 1945, serving at several RAF air headquarters in Bengal.
On his return to Canada in April 1945, Don Biggs left the RCAF to enter the University of Saskatchewan. After obtaining the degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering Physics with Great Distinction), he was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in England where he obtained an MA degree (Honours Physics) and played hockey for Oxford.
Rejoining the RCAF in 1950 as a telecommunications officer, Don was employed on radar duties at several units and at Air Defence Command Headquarters before attending the RAF Staff College in Great Britain in 1959.
In January 1960, he was transferred to the staff of the Directorate of Radar and Data Processing at Air Force Headquarters, becoming Director in 1962. He became the RCAF Director of Communications in 1963.
In October 1964, Don became the first Commander of the Canadian Forces Communication System at its headquarters in Ottawa. He was promoted Air Commodore and appointed Commandant of the Air Force College, Toronto, in November 1965. Upon reorganization of the Canadian Forces on February 1, 1968, he assumed the rank of Brigadier General and became Director General Senior Appointments at Canadian Forces Headquarters in August 1969. Promoted Major General in February 1970, he took up an appointment as Director for Command and Control Systems on the NATO International Military Staff at NATO Headquarters, Evere, Belgium. On returning to Canada in 1972, Don was appointed Associate Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance) and Chief of Management Services.
Don took up the post of Commander and Defence Attaché at the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff, Canadian Embassy, Washington, in August 1974. He retired from the Canadian Forces in November 1976, having reached the compulsory release age.
Appointed in November 1977 Chairman of the Board of Bell Canada International (BCI), a subsidiary of Bell Canada engaged in telephone system-related consulting and management services overseas, Don resigned in 1979 when he judged the management challenge was reduced as a result of regulatory decisions of the CRTC. He went on to consult under contract with Genstar Marine Ltd on their proposal for the Canadian Patrol Frigate Program of DND until June 1979.
Don Biggs and Louise Holland of Maryfield Saskatchewan were married in 1945. They have 2 children, Karin (John Roston) and Jeff (Dina Kirkland), and 2 grandchildren, Michael and Kaite Biggs. Don was brother to Shirley, who predeceased him.
The family gives heartfelt thanks to Dr. B.K. Eliason, Dr. J.D. Rolf, Dr. G.D. McCauley, the Respiratory Service and Community Care, many caregivers, and especially Hospice House, Kelowna.
Cremation by his request with no service. A celebration of our loved one’s life with friends and family will be held at a later date.
If desired, donations can be made in his memory to the Salvation Army or the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation.