Our dearest Don unexpectedly passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 4th. He was only 60 years old, and so looking forward to retiring at age 62 to the Southern California desert that he frequently visited and dearly loved.
A Massachusetts native, Don moved with his family to San Diego in 1961 at age 3. Growing up, he was active in sports and, following his older brother’s footsteps, he excelled in hockey. Being the youngest of three siblings, he also excelled in aggravating his brother and sister!
Shortly after finishing high school, Don followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Teamsters Union and driving commercial trucks. He moved to the East Bay in 1981 where he eventually transitioned his career into managing a warehouse for the Jefferson-Smurfit Company. Don moved back to San Diego in 1997, following the passing of his father. His motivation was to devote all of his energy to the emotional support of his mother and sister.
Throughout his adult life, Don also enjoyed and became expert at “games of chance”, especially cards…including Poker, Blackjack and Pai Gow. You did not want to bet against this guy! He was also an expert horse racing handicapper. In this case, you wanted to bet with this guy! He also honed his golf skills while in the Bay Area and eventually developed an 11 Handicap Index! (For you non-golfers, that’s REALLY good!). He was also a master griller, and so much enjoyed the Walsh Summer Parties at his home where he could feed, entertain and enjoy his family and friends.
The most notable attribute about Don was his persona. He was caring for his friends, soft-spoken and seldom spoke an unkind word about anyone, regardless of his actual feelings. He personified the axiom, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything.” He would also be the first in line to help his friends and family with household projects…big and small. Everyone who knew him loved him. For very good reason.
Don was preceded in death by his father, Phil, his brother, Rick, and his nephew, Brett.
He is survived by his Mother, Jeanne, his Stepfather, Bob, his sister, Carla, his surrogate brother and sister, Peter and Barbara, many cousins and uncles, his beloved dog, Frijolita, and by many friends who loved him dearly. He is deeply missed by all.
At his long-standing request, there will be no formal funeral services and the family has arranged a private cremation. In the near future, there will be a PARTY with family and friends where we will all celebrate Don’s life with stories about how he impacted our lives. We can pretty much guarantee that, although there may be tears shed, all of those stories will be positive and will bring laughter and great memories too all.
If you’re so inclined, Memorial Donations may be made to Baja Dog Rescue (http://bajadogrescue.org/) or your favorite animal rescue organization. You can also raise a glass of whatever you like in remembrance of our Don!
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