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Don Jay Crispin 66, of Hydesville, California, passed away on April 16, after a courageous struggle with a long-term illness. He died in his home surrounded by his family. Don was born in Loma Linda, California, on March 9, 1947. He grew up in Riverside, California, and graduated from Rubidoux High School. He graduated from U.C. Riverside with a B.A. in Biology as well as a Teaching Credential. He also completed two quarters of post-graduate courses in Fishery Biology at Humboldt State University. Don married Mercedes Sowko on September 6, 1970; they were married for nearly 43 years. After living in Riverside for 7 years, they moved to Fortuna in 1977 to teach in the Rohnerville and Hydesville School Districts. They had two daughters who also became school
. Don was a devoted family man and an excellent role model. Don worked as a teacher in the Rohnerville School District for over 25 years; he taught junior high math and science, as well as fifth grade and second grade. After he retired, he became actively involved in the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department (Hydesville Division) and volunteering in classrooms at Ambrosini and Hydesville Elementary Schools. He enjoyed helping out his family and friends, playing basketball with Fortuna Parks and Rec, fishing and camping at Ruth Lake during family reunions, doing home and property improvements, substitute-teaching, restoring classic cars and motorcycles with his best friend and brother-in-law Jim Hansen, attending and participating in car shows, traveling with his extended family to Hawaii and the East Coast, raising snakes and lizards to share in local classrooms and school carnivals, being an avid sports fan, and attending/recording Fortuna Huskies football games. He supported the Discovery Museum by participating in The Perilous Plunge for several years, and he was a regular presenter at the annual Math Festival each April. Don is survived by his wife Mercedes, his older daughter Amy Hubbard, her husband Rory, and their son Cooper, and his younger daughter Mandy Pinkerton and her husband Adam; his siblings Val Crispin and his wife Kathy, Dee Ann Waddell and her husband Jim, and Vay Wright and her husband Jim; his sister-in-law Carolyn Hansen and her husband Jim, his sister-in-law Esther Poce, and his brother-in-law Skip Sowko and his wife Sally; 35 nieces and nephews; and his dog Buster. Don was preceded in death by his parents Ruth and Dean Crispin. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department (Hydesville Division) or Hospice of Humboldt. The family of Don Crispin wishes to thank all of the Hospice care providers, family, friends, and colleagues for their love, support, and prayers. Please sign the guest book by logging on to
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Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Apr. 20 to Apr. 21, 2013
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"Mr. Crispin used to substitute teach for my special day class at T.T. He was the only teacher that I..."
- Elizabeth Mackay
"Dear Mercedes, Amy and Mandy, We are so sorry to hear of Don's passing. Our sympathies to you and all..."
"Mercedes and Girls, I am so sad to hear of Don's passing!My prayers are with you even though you may not..."
- Vicky Burnett
"Mercedes - It seems like yesterday when you first met Don at UCR. I remember how happy you both were..."
- Linda Hanley-Bowdoin
"i was so sorry to see Don's obituary. I had no idea he had been ill. He was a wonderful teacher and my..."
- Sylvia Jutila
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