Donald Dean Jeffries DDS(1932 - 2013)

Donald Dean Jeffries, DDS October 31, 1932 - June 25, 2013 Don was born during the Great Depression in Galena, Kansas to Henry and Josephine (Schnell) Jeffries. As a "preacher's kid", Don grew up moving to a new town about every four years and lived in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and California. After high school, Don received training to be an X-Ray and laboratory technician and worked in a Los Angeles area hospital. It was during that time that a young, attractive nursing student who happened to be in the church choir caught Don's attention. Even though Don couldn't read music or sing a note he joined the choir as an excuse to meet the captivating choir soloist Virginia Lee Bonn and four months later they were engaged. Don and Virginia ended up getting married in 1953 and shortly afterwards Uncle Sam sent Don to be part of the USA Occupation Force in Germany. So Don and his new bride packed up and headed overseas for 2 years. In 1956 Don pursued higher education, first at Walla Walla College in Washington State and then ultimately completing a medical degree in Dentistry at Loma Linda Medical University in 1964. Upon graduation, Don moved his small family now including two year old Angela and three month old Todd to Bakersfield to start a dental practice and a new chapter in their lives. Don practiced dentistry in Bakersfield for 33 years retiring in 1997. During his years as a dentist, Don served as an active member and President of the Kern County Dental Society, served as a dental consultant for the Foundation for Medical Care of Kern County for 38 years, and also specialized in the field of Forensic Odontology becoming one of only a dozen specially trained dentists in California at the time. Don volunteered his special expertise in forensic investigation to the Kern County Coroner's office for over 20 years and was instrumental in identifying many accident and crime victims through dental record comparisons. He also provided expert witness testimony in court using bite mark evidence identification which led to the successful prosecution of multiple criminal cases over the years. Don had many passions including photography, painting, reading and exploring "what might be over the next hill" in his Spanish Gold Chevy Blazer which took his family on many adventures into the Mojave Desert and Sierra mountain ranges of California. Don had a strong personal relationship with his savior Jesus Christ and one of his favorite chapters in the Bible was 1 Corinthians Chapter 13. Don died peacefully at his home in Bakersfield at the age of 80 under the compassionate care of Optimal Hospice Care. He is survived by his wife of 59 years Virginia Jeffries, his daughter Angela Jeffries, his son Todd Jeffries, and daughter-in-law Rise Jeffries (Wiser), two grandchildren Kara and Jason Jeffries and his brother Ronald K. Jeffries of Arroyo Grande, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Josephine Jeffries. An interment ceremony for family members and close friends will take place at the Bakersfield National Cemetery on Wednesday, July 3rd. The community is invited to a Celebration of Life memorial service which will be held at the Hillcrest Seventh-Day Adventist Church at 2600 Kenwood Drive, in Bakersfield, California at 3pm on Saturday, August 3rd. Please make donations in honor of Don to the Bakersfield Adventist Academy Worthy Student Fund at 3333 Bernard Street, Bakersfield, CA 93306 or to the Optimal Hospice Foundation, at 1315 Boughton Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308.

Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 30, 2013