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Donald Schriver

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Donald Schriver Obituary
Donald Schriver
October 2, 1932 - February 14, 2013

Donald Schriver, 80, died unexpectedly after a brief illness on Feb. 14, 2013, surrounded by his beloved wife, Shirley, and his devoted children, Carol and David. Don was born October 2, 1932, in Newton, Kansas, to parents George and Ruth Ailene (Cisco) Schriver. Soon after graduating from Tonkawa High School in Oklahoma he packed his belongings in his 1940 Plymouth convertible and drove to beautiful Southern California where he would live happily for the rest of his life.

Don was an entrepreneur from an early age. At six years old he collected used metal in a wagon and sold it for a penny a pound. In high school he taught himself photography and sold children's portraits to local families. After coming to California he tried his hand at professional photography on Catalina Island, followed by a chicken farming venture in Baldwin Park. At 19, he met the love of his life, Shirley Rachwitz, who became his wife for nearly 60 years.

After a stint in the Army, Don realized that construction was the boom industry to join. He immediately learned every aspect of construction by single-handedly building a small apartment complex with the help of Shirley. He did this while working full-time at a public utility company and completing his Bachelor of Arts in English at Cal State Los Angeles. With Shirley managing the office, he launched and ran a successful real estate and construction business in Montebello for more than 30 years. He built hundreds of apartments and homes and several motels throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Actively working in real estate until his death, Don tooled around Los Angeles daily in his Odyssey mini-van with the personalized license plate "Illiad H" - a reference to one of his favorite literary works. Through the years, Don helped numerous people begin or further their careers in the building trade by generously sharing his time, talent and financial resources.

While running his business and raising a family, Don found time to actively pursue many other interests, especially relating to his love of the ocean. In his 20s he built his own boat. He enjoyed fishing, water skiing and scuba diving. In his 40s he obtained his pilot's license and developed a passion for flying. He owned a number of planes until he was in his 70s. He especially enjoyed flying to Las Vegas, Cabo San Lucas, and various fishing towns in Mexico. Later in life he liked hiking the trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean near his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, where he lived the last 25 years of his life. An avid reader, Don subscribed to a number of newspapers and was an original member of Books on Tape, reading thousands of novels. He undertook these activities with Shirley by his side, his life-long co-captain, co-worker, and soul mate.

Don cherished family above all else. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Shirley, children Carol (Ken) Bromberg and David (Gail) Schriver, grandchildren Eric, Jimmy, Michael, Kyle, Kristina, Lucas and Miranda, the extended Schriver and Rachwitz families, and his many friends and business associates.

The eternal optimist, Don was always smiling and humming a tune, and every day was "fantastic." We will all miss his boundless enthusiasm, sharp intellect, spirit of adventure, dedication to family, and his ability to listen and engage everyone and anyone in conversation. Don valued personal honor, social responsibility and the bonds of love and family. For him, life was not about the destination but the journey.

A private, family memorial was held in early March in memory of Don's incredible life.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 17, 2013
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