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Don Kanaval Passes - Posted by: Bob Letterman - May 8, 2009
I really hate to be the bearer of such bad news, but I got a call tonight from Mort Schmitt, who told me that Don Kanaval died last night just before midnight. His wife called Mort who had not been in touch with Don for some time, but thought he could get in touch with me. I had kept in touch with Don and last talked with him about a month ago. His health had been failing for the last several years. He was wheel chair bound for some time and unable to use his hands for anything creative. He had severe problems with diabetes and told me how much he missed being with all of us so much. My God, we have lost one of the most important persons ever, not only to Mastercon, but a great artist and modeler, and nobody is capable of ever filling his shoes! What an unbelievable loss! This hurts me to the core! Damn! Mort lives near Don's wife Nancy and told me to post his email address here for ongoing information about his funeral. We have lost a giant! I can't say anything else! Please let everybody know about this! tank2140@insightbb.com Bob

Re: Don Kanaval Passes - Posted by: Fritz - May 8, 2009
Don Kanaval was and is my very great friend and mentor. I haven't kept in very close touch with him during the past few years. As Bob indicated, he was in very poor health and I believe he was very private about it. I loved that guy. He was a very talented ARTIST. Many of you reading this are lucky enough to own an original Don Kanaval. Look at it carefully. Every part of it speaks to his charming personality and contagious sense of humor. I bet you will find something about it that you have never seen before. A small "Kanavalism" somewhere on it. I have missed the long car trips to Mastercon and elsewhere with him. He was quite the philosopher, and the world according to Don was a special place. I regret not visiting with Don more often, but as friends sometimes do, we grew apart. Those of you who knew him, grew to love him like I did. Everyone deserves a friend like Don, many never get that chance. I am a very lucky man. Mort

Re: Don Kanaval Passes - Posted by: al presley - May 8, 2009
I too got a call from Nancy tonight also.It was to say the least,a shock that I would have felt if I got a call saying my own father had past. Don was the very first person who talked to me at mastercon 1.I guess he could see that this big kid from Tennessee was somewhere he had never been before and that I was.He talked to me like he had known me all my life and that really made me feel like I was a part of something special.I am proud that I can call Don my friend and mentor as well.It's ironic that he was the very 1st Grand Marshall at mastercon at VLS and I was the last.God Bless you Don Kanaval I'll miss those special card's you sent from time to time,I wish I could have lived closer where we could have seen each other more.ButI know we will see each other again in heaven.(just watch the dirty nose art ok) Your friend always!! Big Al Presley

Re: Don Kanaval Passes - Posted by: alleyn kinney - May 8, 2009
To all friend of Mastercon and Don Kanaval, It is with real regret that I note the passing of a real gentleman and really great modeler. I knew Don the past 17 years and knew him only as a very great gentleman, an absolutely unbelieveable modeler and a man willing to share and keep friends. His notes to me, the cartoons and proposed model projects and the wonderful paper mobile of japanese pearl harbor aircraft were and still are appreciated very much. His laughter and full sence of Humor will be greatly missed and I know that we are all a little better for having the priviledge of knowing Don. The creative spirit that was his will long be remembered because of the creative genius that was his. We have missed him a great deal since his absence to MasterCon and what he gave generously to MasterCon and the friendships he cultivated. I know that personally I will miss his gravelly voice, his very deep belly laugh and his true kindness to one and all. My wife Judy and I are better for knowing Don and Nancy and will miss his Christmas cards a very great deal. Thank you Don for what you left us and gave so much to all of us that know you. Our prayers to your loving wife Nancy and your children and peace be to them in this hour of lose. Alleyn & Judy Kinney Salt Lake City, UT