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1924 - 2019

Don Bushnell passed away at the age of 95 surrounded by his family at his home in Redway the morning of Sunday, June 23, 2019. He was born May 4, 1924, in Springfield, Oregon. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Helen, grandson, Aaron Lee Thomas, and granddaughter, Jennifer Alyson Bushnell. He is survived by his children; Deborah, Martha (Jeff Peterson), Laura, (Robert Lameris), George, (Dottie), David, (Michelle), and Mary. He is also survived by his grandchildren; Julie Thomas-Steinle, Megan Bushnell, Cory Bushnell, Matthew Bushnell, Christina Bushnell, Jacob Bushnell, Cameron Peterson, Rusch Peterson, Alex Peterson, Kevin Harrison, Matt Harrison, and Trisha Harrison. He leaves several great-grandchildren; Braeden Steinle, Brooklynn and Braelynn Bushnell, and George Edwin Bushnell. He is also survived by his cousin, Sandra Christensen (Chris), of Springfield, Oregon.
Don grew up during the Depression in the Willamette Valley of Oregon hunting and fishing. He graduated from Pleasant Hill High School at the age of 16. He then attended the University of Oregon for two years then at the age of 18 enlisted in the Army to serve in WWII. He trained as a technician in a reconnaissance unit, calculating distance and range for long-range artillery shelling in Italy. In 1946 he mustered out as a Technical Sergeant and used the GI Bill to continue his education at Oregon State University in Corvallis. He graduated in 1947 with a degree in Forestry.
Don made his way to Northern California on the chance of a job at a mill in Korbel, near Blue Lake. There he met and married Helen, July 1, 1953. Their first 3 daughters were born in Eureka. After working for Oscar Larson as a land surveyor, he quit his job, told Helen to "pack up the 3 girls, we're moving to Redway" where Bushnell Survey and Timber Service was born. During the lean times of starting a business together, three more little Bushnell's came along. The survey business grew almost as fast as their six kids.
Dad's survey jobs took him from Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, and Del Norte counties. He worked when the weather was good and bad. The family summer vacations took place wherever Dad was working. From Andersonia to Bear Harbor, the Smith Ranch north of Shelter Cove to the French Ranch in Ettersburg, Red Mountain to the State Parks near Crescent City. Mom fed the crew and family and the kids were free to explore the woods and fish the pristine streams and rivers. An idyllic way to spend any summer.
After 60 years as a Licensed Surveyor, Dad was honored by the Humboldt Chapter California Land Surveyors Association, "In recognition of and appreciation for a lifetime of service to the profession of land surveying."
A potluck/barbeque will take place at the Bushnell home in Redway on Saturday, July 27 beginning at 2:00 p.m. All friends and family are invited. Donations can be made to Heart of the Redwoods Hospice in Garberville, or The Healy Senior Center in Redway.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard on July 14, 2019
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