A hard-working Dundee grandfather who opened a shop at Overgate Shopping Centre last year has died aged 62.
Don Tait’s three children Sharlene, Lisa and Sean have paid tribute to “the most loving dad anyone could have asked for”.
Mr Tait worked as a farmer, a tyre finisher at Michelin in Dundee, a groundworker and then business owner with landscaping firm C&D Civils.
When his late wife Linda was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 he wanted to spend more time at home.
It was then he turned his passion for creating personalised wooden gifts for his granddaughters into online business Crafted Pine.
Mr Tait opened a shop at the Overgate in September after winning a competition for rent free premises for a year.
His children were all involved in its success and helped to run the shop while he created the handmade wooden products.
Mr Tait and his three children caught Covid at the start of July, causing the premises to close. He died on July 23 at Ninewells Hospital.
‘Losing dad is just so hard’
Daughter Lisa, 33, said her father was a “great man” who always worked hard and did the best for his family.
She said Mr Tait was a pillar of strength for his family when her mum Linda died two years ago.
“He was a very selfless man to both family and friends, everyone knew they could always go to our dad,” she said.
“Even when we lost our mum, dad was heartbroken, but as usual he put all of us first.
“Losing dad now is just so hard, but their legacy to us all is that they both taught us to always be there for each other no matter what.”
Mr Tait’s passions were for working, his family and American sports. He watched the Sunday night American football game every week and would invite the whole family over for Superbowls.
He fulfilled a lifetime goal to cheer on his team, the Chicago Bears, when they played in London in 2019.
Telling off from boss for working too hard
Mr Tait was born in Orkney but moved to Angus as a teenager and attended Brechin High School.
In his first job at Albar Farm in Brechin that he met Linda, who was picking berries as a teenager. They married in 1980.
When working as a tyre finisher for Michelin between 1984 and 1993 he was pulled up by a boss for working too hard. He was informed he was producing far more tyres than anyone else and making them look bad.
Sometimes he would do a 12-hour shift, come home for four hours and then do another 12-hour shift.
“If he couldn’t get overtime hours, then he would go and work for our uncle Charlie on his taxi,” Lisa added.
“Dad was amazing really the hours he worked.
“He was the hardest working man we knew, all to give mum and us the best he could.”
Crafted Pine Overgate shop success
After caring for Linda, Mr Tait threw himself into making Crafted Pine a success with the support of his children.
Customers at the Overgate shop were amazed at how he could turn their dreams into reality.
“The shop has been a lot of hard work but it had been doing well and word was starting to spread,” Lisa added.
“My dad was in his element working on commissions.
“We were going to keep going after our year of free rent ended. We have some stock and are fulfilling online orders but the shop will close.
“It was really special having that time working so closely with dad.
“Mum and dad touched so many people’s lives and we are so proud of them both. The one comfort we all have is that they are once again back together.”
Mr Tait’s funeral is taking place at Dundee Crematorium today.