Donald H. Cushing
February 1, 1924 - July 20, 2013
Don Cushing passed away quietly surrounded by his loving family. Don was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years Joan. Don is survived by daughters Mary (Ken) Cushing-Inman, Carol (Stu) Cushing and Michelle Cushing, and sons Mark (Diane) and Jeff (Liz), and four grandchildren, Kaileigh Cushing, Ashley Inman, Corey Cushing and Alex Inman.
Don was born in Crosby-Ironton, Minnesota more than 89 years ago. He spent his first year in Crosby-Ironton before moving to Hersey, Wisconsin where his father farmed with his mother and 5 brothers and 6 sisters. Gratefully they were able to provide for their family during the depression. After high school Don attended William Hood Dunwoody Industrial Institute where he studied engineering, drafting and machine work. From there Don was recruited to work in the Glenn L. Martin Airplane Company at a new plant in Omaha.
After the war started Don joined the Marine Air Corps where he served in the south Pacific and China during World War II. Don's air squadron flew torpedo bombers in Okinawa and helped in the repatriation of prisoners in China.
After the war, Don returned to Minnesota where he attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1950. Following graduation Don heeded the call to "head west young man." Landing first in Idaho, Don began a career in construction management. Recognizing that even Lewis & Clark ended up much further west than Idaho and in much less comfortable conditions, Don picked up and headed further West urged on by brothers Spark and Jack who already staked their claims. This time he landed in Salem, Oregon, where he would build his life and family.
Once in Salem, he met a "nurse with a purse", Joan. Recognizing that she was quite a catch (she did have a purse), he promptly persuaded her to marry him. Don and Joan then had four children in quick succession - Mary, then Mark, then Carol, then Jeff. Then after a bit of a respite, Michelle, came along. In Don's words, "Michelle is a keeper."
At the same time, Don and Joan were growing their family, Don followed his passion to own his own business. In 1956, he started "Cushing Insurance and Real Estate," which thrived for 30 years until Don's retirement. Don and a group of investor friends bought and operated a radio station in Salem for 10 years, originally KGAY and later KYKN 1430 a country music station.
Don was a proud resident and citizen of Salem for nearly 50 years. He served his community as a Salem city councilman from 1972 to 1976 where he was instrumental in building the Salem Senior Center. He also served in numerous civic, philanthropic and business groups during his nearly 50 years as a proud citizen of Salem.
Once retired Don and wife Joan enjoyed traveling, trekking to Ireland, Belgium and France as well as hitting the road with their RV for travels throughout the western US and Mexico. Don and Joan wintered in Palm Springs for a dozen years and enjoyed a little drier climate than Salem provided in January through April.
Don was an active and devoted member of St. Vincent de Paul parish and Catholic school. Always a supporter of his beliefs, Don was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
Don enjoyed golf, fishing and sports of all types - especially OSU sports (and UO in the presence of Kaileigh and Ashley).
A catholic service will be held Monday, July 29, 2013 at St. Vincent de Paul church in Salem with a rosary at 10:30 AM and funeral mass at 11:00 AM. Interment will be at Willamette National Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Keizer Funeral Chapel.
Published in StatesmanJournal on July 28, 2013
Keizer Funeral Chapel
4365 River Road North Keizer, OR 97303