Don was a man of few words, but anyone who knew him could tell that he was so proud of his family–his two sons and his 5 grandchildren. He didn’t need to say so, it was apparent in his actions. I observed this first had more times that I can count. Don spent countless hours helping his family.
He loved to garden and would come to our house to help Craig with planting and trimming. He was so knowledgeable about plants and when I look at my yard now I see all the love he put into helping make our house a home. One very special tree in our yard came from a limb that Don had cut off of one of his trees. He found it weeks later on the ground sprouting root–he brought it to our house and he and Craig planted it. It is now one of the largest trees in our yard. He had a green thumb that’s for sure.
My three children loved him dearly. He was a tall man, which could have made him intimidating to the little ones, but instead they looked at him as a gentle giant (as others have mentioned). He would spend time with them in the yard, play ball with them, go to their school functions, attend sporting events, take them fishing, read a book to them, help in their classroom (with a pottery lesson), pick them up from school (Connor during his kindergarten year), and take a true interest in anything they were doing. When the kids saw him they would always want a hug from their “Big Poppa” He, of course, never minded this at all.
According to Connor, his fondest memory with Poppa was “when he took me fishing”. He was such a patient man. He took the time to help untangle the hook and line and made sure that Connor was successful in his endeavors.
Kate said she loved it when her Big Poppa “would come watch me ride Beau during my lessons at the ranch”. She liked that he took interest in what she was doing and seemed to like to watch how she improved week after week.
Cameron, just like his brother, had a very special member of his fan club. Don loved sports and spent many an afternoon on the soccer field. He also attended school events, by special invitation. Cameron remembers “Poppa came to watch my soccer games and would come to my school for Senior Friends Day and would take me to lunch afterwards.”
I am attaching photos of Connor (now 20) on Poppa’s knee and Kate (now 16) and Cameron (now 14) with Nana and Poppa at Senior Friends Day.
I will miss my father-in-law dearly. He was such a kind-hearted, intelligent, gently spoken, generous, and talented man.
Lori Lee McIntosh