Donovan ‘Don’ Canham 1936-2013

Posted March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Donovan ‘Don’ Canham 1936-2013

OBIT Canham.jpg

Donovan “Don” Dean Canham, 77, of Rockham, S.D., died Thursday, March 7 at the Avera Hand County Memorial Hospital after valiantly fighting idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Celebration of life service was held Monday, March 11 at the United Methodist Church in Miller. Burial was at G.A.R. Cemetery. Friends and family may sign Don’s online register at

Don was born January 8, 1936, at Mission Hill, S.D., to John and Isidean (Mayden) Canham. Shortly thereafter they moved to Hand County where he attended school.

On March 3, 1956, he married Joan Margaret Roberts. Don’s focus of life was always family, all of whom are grateful for the memories of times spent with him. He was blessed with four children, Suzan (Keith) Eichler, Aberdeen, S.D., Stephen (Barb Tauer) Canham, Chaska, Minn., Andrew (Julie Bawdon) Canham, Miller, S.D. and Jeffrey (Ron Wold) Canham, Minneapolis, Minn.; seven grandchildren, Scott (Julie Schanzenbach) Canham, Cameron (Teah Sweeney) Eichler, Fallon (Michael) Helm, Alora (Jesse Weinrich) Campbell, Riley Canham, Carter Canham and Morgan Eichler; seven great-grandchildren; brother, William (Ellen) Canham, Rockham, S.D.; brother-in-law Wilbur Hurd, St. Lawrence, S.D.; niece Ann (David) Hughes, Catford, England.

Don lived his life in Hand County, successfully navigating the changing times in agriculture. He may have been a man of few words but the gleam in his eye, smile on his face and willingness to lend a helping hand connected with many. Passionate about farming and ranching, he was often found checking his crops after a rain, sorting his cattle or working in his shop on a new project.

Don also enjoyed traveling to England and Ireland visiting Joan’s family and friends. In addition to international travels he enjoyed camping both in South Dakota and surrounding states.  He never turned down an opportunity to play a hand of cards at the kitchen or campsite table. He enjoyed visiting with his neighbors and attending many lively Rook card parties. Pheasant season was a highlight every year as many friends and family came back to hunt. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, John & Isidean Canham; father- and mother-in-law William and Ann Roberts; sister, Darlene Hurd; sister in-law and brother in-law, Dan and Elizabeth Bailey; and one nephew, John William Canham.

Rembold Funeral Home of St. Lawrence has been entrusted with Don’s arrangements.