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Kamloops Blazers, community mourn sudden death of president and COO Don Moores

The 'pillar of the community' passed away on June 30. He was a longtime Kamloops This Week publisher and Black Press regional president and was also a Blazers' assistant coach from 1985 to 1990.
Don Moores
Kamloops Blazers president and COO Don Moores passed away suddenly on June 30, 2021, at the age of 65.

Kamloops Blazers’ president and COO Don Moores has died at the age of 65.

Moores collapsed at about noon on Wednesday (June 30) while golfing at Kamloops Golf and Country Club.

Club general manager Alec Hubert was among those who raced to Hole 3 with cold water and medical equipment, including a defibrillator, to tend to Moores until an ambulance arrived.

"We went out there and did the best we could," Hubert said. "I'm obviously shook up."

The Blazers released a statement on Wednesday regarding his passing.

“We are saddened and heartbroken of the sudden passing of our president & COO, Don Moores, earlier today,” the team’s statement reads.

“Don was a dedicated family man and a pillar in the community being born and raised in Kamloops. Don worked tirelessly over the past five years in making the Kamloops Blazers a leading organization in the WHL. The Blazers family is devastated at the loss. Don and his family are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.”

Moores was playing his 12th hole of the day, as he started his round on the back nine.

"I chatted with him in the morning," Hubert said. "The whole day, he was just so tickety-boo. He stopped in after nine holes, grabbed a sandwich.

"It's a sad day. Donnie is a true gem, salt of the earth, give-the-shirt-of-his-back type of guy. That guy commands all kinds of respect. I don't know what to say about it."

Moores was hired by the Blazers on June 30, 2016.

"It's pretty devastating for everybody. He was a pillar for Kamloops and a big pillar for his family and a pillar for the Blazers, a guy that has so much energy and positivity, just an irreplaceable person to the organization and for his family, as well," Blazers' director of hockey operations Tim O'Donovan said.

O'Donovan last spoke to Moores on Tuesday.

"Just typical Don, always with a smile on his face, a lot of positivity and cheerfulness," O'Donovan said. "He had such a good read on people. If you were struggling, he had a way of making you feel good pretty quick. He was such a hard worker and he'll be sorely missed, for sure."

He was born and raised in Kamloops. He became publisher of Kamloops This Week within its first two years of operation after it started publishing in 1988. He later served as a regional president for parent company Black Press.

Coun. Dale Bass worked with Moores for a number of years upon her arrival at Kamloops This Week in 2000.

Bass was reporter and, later, assistant editor of KTW when Moores was regional vice-president and in an office just down the hall from Bass and the newsroom.

“Don Moores was the kind of newspaper executive whose door was always open,” Bass said.

“He was always up for a chat about the paper, the weather, the Blazers — anything at all. He was one of us. He wasn't ‘just a suit,’ but a man who cared about everyone who worked at KTW and we all cared about him. I believe that speaks volumes for what a wonderful person he was and what a proud Kamloopsian he was.”

Moores played junior hockey for the Kamloops Chiefs from 1973 to 1976 and was an assistant coach for the Kamloops Blazers from 1985 to 1990.

Moores left the city on multiple occasions to pursue employment opportunities — including stints in Red Deer and Nanaimo — but always returned to the Tournament Capital.