Obituary Condolences

After a brief battle with cancer, Don passed away peacefully at home with family and friends at his side.
Don was born in Harlingen, Texas and moved to California with his family in 1936, settling in the Central Valley. Don went to school in Coalinga where he was a high school sports star, lettering in baseball, football and basketball. Soon after high school, he met Diane Swyre who became his first wife. They separated and divorced in 1962.
Don joined the Air Force in 1956 and was first stationed in Reno, Nevada and later in San Antonio, Texas. In January, 1964, while on a train from Texas to New Jersey to catch a flight to his next deployment in Germany, Don met the love of his life, Margaret Gibson Skinner. They were married in July 1964 and remained happily married until Margaret's passing in 2012. While in Germany he was a commentator on Armed Forces TV. In 1967, Don was deployed to Vietnam.
After returning from Vietnam in 1968, Don was honorably discharged from the Air Force and settled with his family back in the Central Valley, where he became a Claims administrator for the California State Compensation Insurance Fund. In 1975, Don and his family transferred from Fresno to Bakersfield. After State Fund, Don worked for various Law Firms utilizing his expertise in the worker's compensation field.
Don and Margaret loved to travel, and they especially enjoyed taking cruises. Some of their favorite destinations included Alaska, the Panama Canal, Hawaii and the Caribbean. He loved to golf, play softball, and was a voracious reader. He was also proud to serve as a member of the Kern County Grand Jury.
Don was preceded in death by his wife Margaret, parents Ivy and Louella, sisters Joyce and Carole, brother Kenneth, and grandson David. He is survived by his son Randy and his wife Kay, daughter Sherry, daughter Joyce, and daughter Jane and her husband Honore'; grandchildren Chris, Matthew, Tyler and his wife Seleena, Justin, and Juliet; great grandchildren Alyssa (USAF), Skylar, and Scarlett; brother Ray, and sister Bette; many nieces and nephews; and his best friend Larry Davis and his wife Sharon.
The family will celebrate Don's life in a private gathering. In lieu of a Memorial service, the family requests donations to be made in Don's name to: Disabled Veteran Organization at www.dav.org.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 8, 2016
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