Donald Everett Doten|
Mar. 6, 1925 - Apr. 19, 2014
Resident of Walnut Creek
Donald Doten passed away peacefully at home with his family at his side. Don was born in Parshall, North Dakota to Harry True Doten and Marion Wands Doten. In 1935, his family moved to California, and opened Doten Pontiac. They ultimately resided in Orinda where Don met Patricia Lax and both attended Acalanes High School. Don, Class of 1943, became Student Body President and played football, basketball and initiated the golf team with his brother, Bob. Don and Patricia were married in 1946 and raised four children in Orinda.
A WWII veteran, Don earned his wings piloting a B-52 with the Army Air Corps. He later attended UC Berkeley, then partnered with his father at the dealership. He later moved the business to Oakland, adding several franchises. During his business career he was a Director in both the Northern California Motor Car Dealers Association and the National Pontiac Dealer Council.
Through Don's love of sports, he established Doten Sports Institute in 1955. Local high school "Players of the Week" were celebrated on radio and with awards banquets and scholarships. In 1957, the organization held its 1st Annual Doten Invitational charity golf tournament at Orinda Country Club which continued for more than twenty years. Proceeds went to Boys Clubs of the East Bay and later to Easter Seals. The field included athletes and entertainers such as Bing Crosby, Tony Lema, Ken Venturi, Joe DiMaggio and Clint Eastwood.
In 1958, Don became President of the Orinda Country Club. He served three terms and was a member for over 75 years. He was a charter member of Spyglass Hill Golf Course and member of Claremont Country Club.
His love of golf led Don to serve the Northern California Golf Association as a Director in 1960, becoming President in 1968 and in 1969 he served as President of the California Golf Association. Golfing highlights for Don were playing St. Andrews and in the Crosby Clambake, sharing a foursome with Jack Nicklaus, and making two holes-in-one.
Don was very proud of his family and among his great joys were attending his grandson Michael's cello recitals, granddaughter Janie's plays and grandson Tom's football games at his beloved Acalanes.
Don is survived by his wife of 67 years, Patricia; their children Scott, Anne Lamb, Robert and Mary Jane (Jim) Hofmeister; their grandchildren Michael Doten, Jane and Tom Hofmeister; sister-in-law Beverly Doten; one nephew and 5 nieces, and best friend and business partner Earle Cunha. He is preceded in death by his parents Harry and Marion, his sister Virginia Callaway and brothers Robert and James.
Don will be remembered for his leadership, generosity, quick wit, and GOLF! He will be deeply missed.
A private "Celebration of Life" will be held in May. Contributions may be made in his memory to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America or Acalanes Boosters Club.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Apr. 27, 2014