His faithful servant, Don Lokke MacKinnon Jr, was called home to Jesus on September 3, 2021, at the age of 88. His life was full of faith, adventure, travel, fishing, hunting, skiing, and family.
Born in Juneau, Alaska, on February 12, 1933, Don lived in smaller Southeast communities while his father worked for Standard oil. He resided in Craig as an infant and toddler. He spent time in Sellwood and Gladstone, Oregon, living with a grandmother and aunts while his mother was hospitalized for tuberculosis. After her death, his father, with two small children and an aunt, moved to Wrangell, where Don attended grade school. His father remarried and in May of 1943, the family moved to Juneau, where Don completed school, graduating in 1951 from Juneau High School. They lived in the foothills of Star Hill and played in the chicken yard playground. He loved to play basketball. He learned to swim in the outdoor pool at Evergreen Bowl. One of his favorite memories he shared from his youth was attending the National Boy Scout Jamboree in 1950. He traveled with 44 Alaskans by boat and train to Washington DC, joining 50,000 scouts at Valley Forge. He was also a proud founding member of the Order of the Arrow in Juneau.
After graduating highschool he worked for the Alaska Road Commission survey crew before attending college at Oregon State University. He worked for the Alaska Dairies delivering milk and Coastal and Ellis airways between college. He served in the army at Fort Richardson located in Anchorage from 1952 to 1954. He returned to college completing his education at Oregon State University, graduating in 1958 with both a BS in physical education and a masters in teaching. While at college, he ran an after-school recreation program for 30 - 40 students in Corvallis. He said he received some of the best advice ever from a mentor. "The program must be inclusive. Every child has value. The program must provide something for everyone. This is not a place for developing stars." This advice stayed with him and influenced his tenure in education.
After graduation, he taught for a year part-time in Harrisburg, Oregon, coached the freshman basketball team, and assisted the varsity basketball team. The following year he taught and coached in Drain, Oregon before returning to Juneau to teach and coach in 1960.
Don fell in love and married Barbara Jean Shearer on August 19, 1961. Their children followed Donald Lokke III (1962), Carolyn (1964) and Mary (1968) They started their family in the flats on twelfth street and were active in Northern Light Church. In 1966, Don's uncle connected him with the Hoonah school district, and the family moved to Hoonah as Superintendent of schools. These were by far some of Don's most proud administrative years. They spent eight wonderful years teaching, leading the school district, worshiping in the Presbyterian church, and raising their family. During his time in Hoonah Don was adopted by Tlingit elder George Dalton. Don was Eagle Kaagwaantaan (wolf).
Don worked as Superintendent of schools in Cordova for two years before returning to Juneau in 1976. In Juneau, he worked for the Department of Education, assisting rural districts establish and develop their schools. After three years with the state, he accepted the job of Superintendent of the Juneau School District. Don retired from the district in1982 and enjoyed skiing at Eaglecrest for a season before returning to work as a school advocate. Don became the first executive director of the Alaska council of school administrators. He was instrumental in forming alliances between administrators, school and community organizations. In 1985, The MacKinnon Educational Excellence and Human Recognition Award was established to recognize his service to education in Alaska. The award recognizes school board members who have provided meritorious service to their school district and community. One of the first to receive the award was his good friend and mentor, Marlene Johnson. During this period of time Don was active with the Pioneers of Alaska and Chapel by the Lake Presbyterian church.
In 1987, Don and Barbara moved to Oregon to be near her family. They spent thirty active years with family and friends in Oregon. Don and Barbara were very involved in Springwater Presbyterian Church, Springwater Grange, Oregon state Grange, and Clackamas Campers. Don held several local and state grange offices during his time in Oregon.
In 2019, Don and Barbara moved back to Juneau to be near their children. They loved being with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Don loved a good game of pinochle, and enjoyed many game nights with family. Most recently, Don could be found riding his new electric tricycle around the Mendenhall valley. Don and Barbara recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
His love for the bible and Jesus were paramount throughout his life. He believed God gave his one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Don leaves his wife Barbara, brothers J. Allan (Margaret) of Juneau and Lachlan (Paula) of Roseburg, Oregon, son Donald III (Roslyn) of Sitka, daughter Carolyn (Scott) Kelley, daughter Mary (Mark) Fuette,
grandchildren Ian Kelley, Alex (Ariana) Kelley, Elyssa (Trevor) Pfaff, Macey, and Malcolm Fuette, great-grandchildren Adrienne and Aries Kelley and many extended family members and loved ones.
Don asked in lieu of flowers; donations can be made to Springwater Presbyterian Endowment Fund P.O. Box 1017 Estacada, OR 97023 or Dogs for Better Lives (dogsforbetterlives.org
) 10175 Wheeler Road Central Point, OR 97502
Services for Don were held September 25 at 2pm at Chapel by the Lake in Juneau, Alaska.
Published by Juneau Empire from Sep. 27 to Oct. 27, 2021.