BARON, Donald ( Bernard
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April 24, 1922 - January 26, 2010
Don, 87, passed away peacefully in his home on January 26th with his family and loved ones by his side. He is survived by Irene, his loving wife of more than 55 years; his children Steve, Doug (and his wife, Debbie) and Abbie; his grandchildren Megan and Sara; his sister Sonya ("Sunny") Grossblatt (and her husband, Alvin); and his nieces and nephew. Don will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Born in Philadelphia, Don and his sister, Sunny, were teenagers when their mother and father moved the family to Los Angeles. As a young man, Don enjoyed swimming, surfing and skiing, and he worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. Don served bravely in the infantry and received a Purple Heart for injuries sustained while fighting in France during World War II. After the war, he attended UCLA, where he made many long lasting friendships. Don was always athletic and adventurous. He loved to ski and introduced his family to skiing. There were many fun family ski trips to Mammoth and Alta, Utah, where Don loved to ski in the fresh powder. He made annual ski trips and stayed at the Alta Lodge for more than fifty years, and enjoyed skiing there until this past year. He was an avid tennis player, and in 2009 was ranked #8 in the Men's 85 singles division of Southern California by the United States Tennis Association.
After he returned from the War, Don worked as a tie salesman for Wembly Ties. At a company convention in New Orleans in 1954 he met Irene, who worked for the same company in New York. Within a year, they married and he convinced her to move from New York to Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter Don and Irene and their friends Dick and Millie Stark started their own men's tie company called Castle Neckwear. The company grew to become very successful and well respected within the men's clothing industry. Don was so well liked and respected that he was elected Chairman of the Men's Apparel Guild of California. Don was a great provider for Irene and their family. They always felt strongly about and made considerable donations to various charitable and health organizations for the benefit of medical research, fighting cancer, animal welfare, the environment, and those less fortunate.
Don enjoyed his life and lived it to the fullest with Irene always by his side. They were very active, attending movies, the theatre and the symphony, dining out, playing bridge and tennis, skiing, traveling, going to New York each year to see Broadway plays and spending time with family and friends. Don also loved spending time at the family beach home at Trancas and taking part in beach activities such as bodysurfing, sailing and taking long walks on the beach with Irene. He liked to read and enjoyed the challenge of solving Sudoku puzzles. Don always made an effort to learn about and experience new things, and always maintained a positive outlook. In his own words, he had an incredible life.
Services to celebrate Don's life will be held at 77 Oakmont Drive, Los Angeles 90049 beginning promptly at 1:00 pm on Sunday, January 31 with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the John Wayne Cancer Clinic, Premier Oncology, for medical research to combat all forms of cancer, or to help those in need.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 30, 2010