Donald Ray Hand, 83, lost his battle with Dementia Alzheimer's on Thursday, September 2nd, 2021, peacefully in his sleep amongst family and friends at his daughter's home in Deer Park, Washington. He was born to Thurston R. Hand and Ruth M. (Ellis) Hand on March 3rd, 1938, in Opportunity, Washington. His early childhood was spent in the Seattle area with his mother and twin sister Connie. They were seven years old when the children moved back to Spokane Valley to live with their father. Don attended Trent Elementary Grade School and then went on to graduate from West Valley High School in 1956. He married Rosalie A. (Adkins) Hand, November 3rd 1956 in Spokane. They were blessed with five children, Suzanne Strong, Gary Hand (deceased), Dejaye Hand, Alecia Nelson, and Aaron Hand. They were married for 26 years, during this time Don joined the Army Reserves and worked for Pacific Fruit. He began working as firefighter for the Spokane Valley Fire Department, where he advanced in his career reaching the rank of Battalion Chief. He was very active in his community. He was a member of the Spokane Jaycees, whose goal is to provide leadership training through community service. He had a passion for the elderly. He would take the time to visit and bring needed groceries to the home bound. He was there for anyone in need. He was a deacon in his church, a grange member and served as a board chairman for the New Hope Training Center dedicated to helping the disabled. He studied and graduated from Spokane Falls Community College, where he eventually became an instructor teaching Fire Science.
Don met LuAnn "Annie" Huffman, who he referred to as his buddy. They enjoyed traveling especially with his siblings. He resided in Harrison, Idaho in the warmer months, enjoying the lake cabin he built, with fruit of all kinds flourishing there. In the colder months, he "snow birded" to Florida where he became a member of the Bonita Springs Tropical Fruit Club for 23 years. He grew banana trees, as well as various other tropical fruit trees. Gardening was one of his passions that he enjoyed throughout his life. Don moved back to Spokane in 2018 and then to Deer Park to live with his oldest daughter Suzanne in an apartment built for him, where he lived out the rest of his life.
Don led an active lifestyle. He ran Blooms Day almost every year. He would often joke that his run times were better than some of the younger guys. He also enjoyed hiking, biking, as well many other outdoor activities. Other interests include music, singing, sketching and drawing. He had a wonderful singing voice, and his artistic talent was a family trait he shared with his mother, and sisters, Dolores and Jacque.
Don is survived by his sibling, Jacque and her husband Bill Lee of Spokane Valley, Washington; his twin sister's husband, Richard Pyle of Spokane, Washington, (many times a partner in crime); his "buddy" Lu Ann Huffman of Spokane Valley, Washington; his children, Suzanne Strong and her husband Jim of Deer Park, Washington, Dejaye Hand of Coeur d'Alene Idaho, Alecia Nelson and her husband Byron of Spokane, Washington, and Aaron Hand of Spokane Washington; and his 10 grandchildren, Chad Hand, Jessica Haynes, Cameron Strong, Micaiah Stewart, Bryanna Strong, Matthew Strong, Isaac Strong, Tyler Hand, Nicole Nelson, and Joel Nelson; and 16 great grandchildren, Axel Hand, Logan Hand, Hazel Haynes, Zoe Strong, Jordan Strong, Eden Strong, Mikaylyn Stewart, Mylie Stewart, Isabelle Stewart, Bryce Stewart, Kyelle Strong, Gabryelle Moring, Annabella Strong, Corban Strong, Colton Hand, and Garett Hand.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 pm on the 27th of September, 2021, at the New Hope Bible Church, 1445 N. Argonne, Spokane Valley, Washington 99212.
A time to reflect on memories and share in an abundance of fruit treats and beverages will follow the service.
To share memories of Don or leave condolences for his family, visit his Tribute Wall at www.HennesseyValley.com
Published by Spokesman-Review on Sep. 22, 2021.