Donald Bard Bissett
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April 22, 1934
March 17, 2013
Former Washoe County Comptroller and long time Reno resident, Donald Bissett, passed away on Sunday, March 17, 2013, at the age of 78 following a sudden illness.
He was born in Fallon, April 22, 1934 to John R. Bissett and Myldred I. (Howser) Bissett and is the youngest of three boys. The family moved to Reno when he was very young and he graduated from Reno High School in 1952 where he served as both sophomore and junior class president. He was an outstanding athlete, being selected for the all-state basketball team in 1951 and named in the, "Western States Edition of Who's Who in High School Athletics, '51-'52" among other achievements. After attending Woodbury College in Los Angeles for one year, he returned to Reno and graduated from the University of Nevada Reno in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. While attending UNR, he was initiated into Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.
Don joined the Marine Reserves as a private in 1953 and participated in the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class at UNR. In 1955, he earned the Scabbard and Blade Metal, awarded to the best drilled second year cadet. He then went on to Officer's training at the Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Va. He served overseas in Okinawa and upon his return, was stationed at Camp Pendleton until 1959 and then returned to Reno where he served in the reserves. He was honorably discharged in 1970 having obtained the status of Captain in the Marine Corps.
After returning to Reno, he worked for the gaming control board, then became a stockbroker and later worked as controller for the Mapes Hotel Casino. He had returned to UNR to work toward obtaining his MBO when he became the Washoe County Comptroller in 1977. His successor, Kathy Garcia states, "Don was proud of the financial reporting recognition that was attained while he was comptroller. Beginning in 1982, the County's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was the recipient of the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting and the department garnered national recognition for early implementation of difficult accounting standards. Due to consistent excellence in financial reporting and management, the County's credit rating was raised." He retired from his position as comptroller in 1994 and enjoyed many years of retirement with his wife Mary Lou, seeing the world, traveling in their motorhome, spending time with grandchildren and golfing among many other things.
He married his first wife, the late Connie Bissett in 1960 and they had two children, Cherie and Steve. He divorced and then in 1981, married his wife of twenty eight years, the late Mary Lou Bissett at which time he gained three step children, Mark, Jody and Bill.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lou Bissett and his parents. He is survived by his children; Cherie Bouma and Steve Bissett, step children; Mark Huber, Jody Huber and Bill Ziegenhorn, his grandchildren; Josh, Anja, Jase, Jayme, Jaxon, Alyssa, Morgan, and Chloe and his brothers Roger and Richard (Dick) Bissett.
Don will be remembered as a gentle and loving man of strong character and opinion. Those who entered into conversation with him about politics, economics or country, quickly found out what he thought whether they wanted to or not. He was a man of great honesty and integrity, doing what was right no matter the cost. He was loyal to his family, friends and country and was held in high regard by those who knew him. His quick wit and dry sense of humor always provided us with a good laugh.
Don, loved his children and grandchildren more than anything. He was known to beam with pride and joy as he told stories about them or came to watch one of them at a special event.
A memorial service will be held April 6, 2013 at 11:00am at Reno Christian Fellowship, 1700 W. Zolezzi Ln. Reno, 853-4234
A memorial website has been created to honor him:
Donations can be made in Don's name to:
Forsythe Wellness Clinic Foundation, Inc. 827-0707
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Mar. 27 to Apr. 3, 2013