Donald Llewellyn de Llamas passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 leaving a space in the midst of the Anacortes community that he loved.
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He was born April 9, 1945 to Victor and Delya de Llamas who were both multi-generational Californians with deep roots in the strong blended cultures that included the first families of California and several tribes of California Native Americans.
Don came to Washington in 1991 with his new wife Joan and settled in Skagit Valley. He left an art career that began as a high school student in Imperial Beach, California through his military service with the Army that took him to the Vietnam War. When he returned, he picked up his paint brushes again and started to use them to promote various charitable causes that included helping found a Vietnam Veterans Association in San Diego, California that would aid the soldiers coming home to deal with the insults at that time. He has continued to use the Arts to heal and give basic support to the physically and emotionally wounded and disenfranchised people of his community. He shared his love of people with everyone.
He started living in Anacortes in 1993 when he rented his first space in the building that would continue to be his "base". He left his first studio Gallery, de Llamas Fine Art opened on Harris Street in Bellingham, Washington to be closer to Joan's work place. Don reached out to the Recovery Community in collaboration with his wife Joan and they opened Port in a Storm, a Recovery and Wellness store in December 1994. His studio was on the second floor of the same building; he loved the location and loved both his jobs. He became an even stronger part of our Old Town spirit from that point on. He worked most notably, for recognition of the importance of the Visual Arts with his work on the Arts and Crafts Festival Board, and his numerous donations in support of The Museum of Northwest Art, the Friends of the Forest, Island Hospital, and the Anacortes Public Library, as well as other charitable events too numerous to mention.
Don leaves behind a blended family heart sick at his loss including his wife of 23 years, Joan, stepchildren: Michael Bell, Andrea Jarmusch (Dean), Melissa DeCino (William Morgan), and five grandchildren, Garrett, Carly, Haley, Suzanne, and James; his brother Lloyd de Llamas, sister-in-law Caroline de Llamas, nieces Ingrid and Chelsea de Llamas, uncle Bill Freeman and aunt Susan, as well as his aunt and uncle Ray and Cecilia. He enjoyed having two special cousins close by in Seattle, Isabelle and Charlotte as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins in Oregon and California.
The heart of Anacortes has skipped a beat with his loss, but the love he had for it, and his friends living in it, will live on in our memories and his amazing Works of Art.
Please continue his work for the Arts by donating to the Anacortes Arts Festival, Northwest Museum of Art, The Wing Luke Museum, the Friends of the Forest, as well as the Anacortes Public Library, or other charities of your choice.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Gere A Deli on August 18 from 1-3.
Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Aug. 7, 2013