SooToday has received the following notice from Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre on the passing of former Ontario Aboriginal Housing executive director, Medal of Merit holder, H. P. Broughton Trophy winner, NFC Hall of Famer and former Sault Steelers president Don McBain,
It is with broken hearts and incredible sadness that we announce the passing of Don McBain at the age of 58.
He has marked our lives forever and we will miss him more than words can say. Don leaves behind his beloved wife, Sandra (nèe Arnill), and loving children, Sarah Jean McBain and Rory Arnill McBain.
He was the treasured son of Dorothy McBain and the late Don Sr. and the cherished brother of Heather (Steve) Edwards and Barbara (Wayne) Brunsch. Don was a much-loved son-in-law to the late Barbara and Bill Arnill and dear brother-in-law to Constance Hunter, Valerie (Mac) Nicholson, Sharon (Eric) Vanderburg and Rick (Sandy) Arnill.
He was special uncle to Amanda Hunter, David Hunter, Megan (Ryan) Marcy, Erin (Darren) Corcoran, Jamie (Aaron) Graham, Kristin (Andrew) McBain, Andrew Vanderburg, Joshua Vanderburg, Kyle Vanderburg, and little ones—Benjamin, Cameron, Maclyn and Kaelyn. Don’s passing will also be mourned by many cousins, friends and colleagues.
Don was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. He attended Sir James Dunn High School and Lake Superior State University. He was an avid football fan. After playing for the Sault Steelers, he became team president and, during his tenure, the team brought home three Canadian championships, received the Medal of Merit from the City of Sault Ste. Marie and was awarded the H. P. Broughton Trophy. Don was inducted into the NFC Hall of Fame in 2008 as a team builder. Where college football was concerned, it was Michigan all the way, as it was for his father and grandfather before him.
In the corporate world, he grew the Ontario Aboriginal Housing Service from the ground up as its Executive Director. With a deep respect for Indigenous culture and knowledge of their needs, he advocated nationally for funding and formed partnerships to build safe and affordable housing across the province and beyond. He loved his work and his colleagues. Just a month prior to his liver cancer diagnosis, Don received a standing ovation in Halifax after delivering a speech to government ministers—something that rarely happens.
He was a founding member of the Chartered Institute of Housing Canada and Executive member of International Housing Partnerships.
It was only at camp that he relaxed, taking in the beauty of Lake Superior and making fun family memories--a love and tradition passed on to him by his beloved Dad who, undoubtedly, was waiting to greet him in heaven, beer in hand. A visitation will be held at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Rd. 705-945-7758) on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to ARCH or his children’s education fund (Sandra McBain In Trust) would be appreciated.