Donna  Roos
Donna  Roos

Obituary of Donna Gallant Roos

With family at her side, Donna passed away peacefully at home on April 26, 2024.

Survived by: children Katherine, Patricia (Jim), Harriet, Rick (Denise) and Chris (Lori); brother Richard Gallant of St. Stephen, New Brunswick; sisters-in-law Antonia Buimer and Irene Roos-Blok of the Netherlands; grandchildren Madeleine, Aurora, Charlie, Abi, Jake, Blaise, Anna, Jasper, Naomi and Julia; and, extended family in Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden. Predeceased by: husband Frederik “Frits” Roos; parents Irene Martha and James Donald Gallant; brothers James Gallant and Gerald Gallant; and, brothers-in-law Willem Roos and Roel Buimer.

Donna jumped at any opportunity to travel. She collected friends wherever she went, never stopped learning and considered her children and grandchildren to be her greatest accomplishments.

Donna was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick on May 31, 1937. Her happy childhood was full of family and friends and school clubs. She particularly loved her time in the Girl Guides, making a cross country train trip in 1955 to represent New Brunswick at the Lake O’Hara Adventure Camp in Yoho National Park. 

Donna was always an exceptional student, attending Mount Allison University, where she made many life-long friends and played competitive basketball much to the amusement of her short daughters. She also joined the Royal Canadian Air Force Reserves to help fund her education and for the opportunity to travel each summer. Donna graduated “Mt. A” with an Honours Degree in History and the 1959 Frances S. Allison award.

Donna’s greatest adventure began with a boat ticket to Europe received as a graduation gift. While overseas, Donna began her teaching career in England and Denmark. On a holiday she crossed paths with Frits in a Danish youth hostel – it was love at first sight. Donna and Frits were married in 1961. 

As a mom, Donna laughed easily and was always positive. She passed on her love of games as soon as a child could count well enough for Crazy Eights. She drew upon her military experience (!) to manage schedules and organize camping holidays. She was also the family bookkeeper, ensuring that everyone had musical instruments, sports equipment and went to camp annually. When she needed a break from family chaos, Donna escaped into a novel. 

In 1979, Donna returned to work, teaching English-as-a-Second Language at Conestoga College. Her perfect job, Donna travelled vicariously through her students, gaining unique understanding of international events as she taught refugees and migrants from all over the world. 

In retirement, Donna and Frits spent fourteen winters in Portugal and explored most of Europe as well as North America. Donna researched every trip and wrote extensive travel notes. In her last years, she is fondly remembered for connecting daily with neighbours, phoning and writing to family members and the dozens of wonderful friends she accumulated over her lifetime.

Donna is now travelling with Frits once again.

A memorial reception will be held at the Erb and Good Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo, on Friday, May 17, 2024, from 1-4 p.m. Family will share memories of Donna beginning at 1:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders or Supportive Housing of Waterloo may be arranged through the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street S. Waterloo at


Memorial Reception

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Friday, May 17, 2024
Erb & Good Family Funeral Home Fireside Reception Room
171 King Street South
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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