Donald DeForest Fleming|
Donald DeForest Fleming passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, August 4th, 2013. He was 92 years old. He was lovingly cared for by his wife, Carol Ann Davidson, and his family during a two-month illness.
Don was born on August 26, 1920, in Jennings Lodge, Oregon. He loved his older brother Hugh and younger brother Warren, and thrived in his early years playing on the Willamette River. His mother Mary, a voice and piano teacher, fostered a deep appreciation for music. During the Depression Don also learned the value of hard work helping to support his family. Leadership qualities emerged at Jennings Lodge High School when Don became student body president and foreman of the debate team.
When Don was eighteen, he hitchhiked to Seattle where he attended the University of Washington. He paid his way by working a variety of jobs, including teaching violin in his small studio in the University District. It was in renowned professor Giovanni Costigan's history class that he met Marjorie Mary Kirk. Don and Marjorie were married on August 29, 1941, the beginning of a strong and loving 56-year partnership.
Don received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington, Class of 1943. With the world at war, Don immediately began service in the Army in Germany and France for two years. When war in Europe ended in 1945, he was redeployed to the Philippines and served in the U S Court of Claims, and was later appointed a Commissioner. Marjorie joined him there and after two years of service they "took the long way home," visiting many countries in Asia and Europe. Back in Seattle, Don pursued his lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer at the University of Washington aided with Marjorie's work as a legal secretary. Don graduated with a Doctor of Law degree, Class of 1951.
Don practiced law with diligence and passion for more than 50 years. He was senior partner with LeSourd, Patten, Fleming & Hartung, 1970-1984. In 1985, Don moved his office to Bellevue and discovered great fulfillment in practicing law independently. Don was recognized by the Washington State Bar Association for over 50 years of membership and service to the public. One fascinating project of Don's involved his work as a member in the World Peace Through Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, that involved a world conference of lawyers held at that time in Yugoslavia. With the Juvenile Court Judge William G. Long, Don co-founded the Juvenile Court Conference Committee in Bellevue that provided counsel to at- risk youth to help them avoid prosecution and incarceration. For over a decade, Don served as chairman of the Trust & Probate Section of East King County Bar Association, and also served on their Board of Trustees. Don is listed in the 2001 Martindale-Hubbell "Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers", signifying the highest level of legal ability and adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability and diligence. Don encouraged young lawyers to gain a broad perspective of the law to then focus on solving a citizen's life problems rather than those of large corporations.
The qualities that distinguish Don's career as a professional are the same qualities that made him a devoted husband, father, friend, and citizen in his community. Don and Marjorie raised their four children in Bellevue, Washington. They shared a love of sailing and devoted countless hours with family as crew to racing their sailboat and memorable weeks of cruising in the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands. Don also taught his children how to ski and play tennis. Don served as Commodore of both Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club and Corinthian Yacht Club. For several years, Don served as President of East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, Washington. Don was co-founder and legal counsel for the Bellevue Schools Foundation. He served on the Bellevue Parks Board and significantly expanded park development in Bellevue, including Killarney Glen Park.
Marjorie's death in 1997 left a huge gap in Don's life. It was his great fortune to meet Carol Ann Davidson two years later. Don and Carol were engaged in August, 2000, a happy occasion celebrated by Don's entire family. They were married on August 16, 2011, in Seattle and cherished their life together.
Don was preceded in death by mother Mary Pierce Fleming, father Hugh Bidlake Fleming, brother Hugh Bidlake Fleming, and wife Marjorie Mary Kirk Fleming. Don is survived by his wife Carol Ann Davidson, his brother Warren Fleming, children Anne Fleming, Lee Fleming Larsen, Mary Fleming & Don Fleming Jr.; and grandchildren Michael & Robert Larsen, Hailey & Miranda Fleming. Don will be remembered as a man who was as strong as he was humble, as steady as he was passionate, and always devoted to doing his best for others.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at University Unitarian Church, 6556 - 35th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington, at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 24th. Memorial gifts may be made to the Donald D. Fleming Endowed Scholarship at the University of Washington School of Law (http://www.law.washington.edu/giving/donfleming) or to bellevueschoolsfoundation.org. The family wishes to thank friends and associates of Don's for his wonderful 92 years and for the kindness and care shared during his illness. Visit Don's online guest book at legacy.com
Published in The Seattle Times from Aug. 16 to Aug. 18, 2013