Donald Adolph Sehmel Age 88, passed away gently on September 6th, 2013. He was the son of the late Adolph and Verna Sehmel of Rosedale. Don was born on August 14th, 1925, in Puyallup, Washington, at the home of his maternal grandparents, Louis and Harriet Zimmerman. Don was proceeded in death by his two sister's Doris M. Stahl and Elva Mae Smith. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Ellen, three sons- Kurt of Tacoma, Bill of Fox Island and Chris and his wife Andrea of Olympia. He also is survived by six grand-children and one great grand-daughter. Don grew up in Rosedale, across the road from his paternal grand-parents, Henry and Dora Sehmel. He attended grade school in Rosedale and high school in Gig Harbor at the Union High School. He left school after his junior year, in witch he was class president, and joined the Marines one week short of his 17th birthday. He spent the next three years in the South Pacific. He was a member of a Forward Observer Team with the 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division. His campaigns included, New Guinea, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa. On December 23rd, 1945 he was honorably discharged form service and returned to Gig Harbor. He later married Mary Ellen, went to school on the G I bill. After earning a degree from the University of Washington in pharmacy, they built a home on his grandfathers homestead and started to raise a family. In 1957, after working as a manager for Crown Drugs in Tacoma, he started his own business in Gig Harbor. It was called Don's Drugs and Sporting Goods and was located on the corner of Pioneer and Harborview. In 1960 he built a new store up the street and relocated. Don closed that store in 1975 and went into the Real Estate trade. Don and Mary loved to travel. Their travels took them to the south pacific many times, as well as to the Yukon, in search of gold and good times. Don loved to hunt and fish and was active in the Harbor History Museum. Outside of his family, he was most proud of always being a Marine. His life will be celebrated on Aug. 18 at Sehmel Homestead Park, 10123 78th Ave NW, Gig Harbor, from 11am to 1pm.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Sept. 11, 2013