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May 26, 1938 ~ September 28, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Donald Wilson, 85, passed away peacefully on September 28, 2023, at his home in University Place. He was preceded in death by his cherished wife, Glennis Lee Wilson. He is survived by his daughters, Donna Wilson; Lynette (Anthony) Rickman; Karen Wilson; Alesia Benton; and Schalaun Wlson; grandsons, Dorian Seldon, Jr. and Adrian (Sarah) Benton; granddaughter, Monica (Clarence) Dator; stepsons, Robert Lashley and Antonio Lashley; and nephew, Stephen (De’Sandra) Simmons. The loss of Don is devastating to his family and friends.
Don was born on May 26,1938 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was raised in the family home on Music Street that included three generations who preceded him in death: his mother, Velma Proctor; his sister Lorraine Simmons; his brother, Frank Burton; and his grandmother, Viola Evans. One of Don’s favorite pastimes was observing the neighborhood from a tree in the front yard. He learned many of life’s lessons from this vantage point.
At the age of 18, Don joined the U.S. Army where he was stationed all over the world. He served at Fort Ord, California; the Republic of Vietnam; Panama Canal Zone; Berlin, Germany; El Paso, Texas; South Korea; and Turkey. Don retired as a Command Sergeant Major at Fort Lewis, Washington. After retiring, he attended The Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington where he earned a master’s degree.
Don joined the Pierce County Sheriff Department in 1985 as a Corrections Officer. Don distinguished himself in the development of the Corrections Minority Recruiting Program. In 1986, he was honored as Corrections Officer of the Year. His friends from the Corrections Department helped care for him in the last months of his life. They formed the “Water Brigade” who took turns watering his beloved flowers while he was hospitalized.
Don spoke Vietnamese fluently. He and Glennis traveled throughout Vietnam. He stated the Vietnamese people treated him as a “long lost son.” Their love of travel took them all over the world. Hawaii held a special place in their hearts visiting at least twice per year, where one might find Glennis reading while on the beach and Don observing the setting sun from the backyard of the cottage.
Don had many hobbies. His favorites were cooking, gardening, crafting jewelry, soap making, and writing poetry. Skiing was his passion. You could find Don on the slopes in Colorado, Montana, Canada, and, of course, Washington. Don was a voracious reader. His knowledge and insight gave him a unique perspective of the world. It is his storytelling, humor, sage advice, and generous nature that will be missed. To know Don was to love him.
A graveside service will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. at the Tahoma National Cemetery located at 18600 SE 240th St, Kent, Washington. Don and his deceased wife, Glennis, will be interred together. A celebration of life reception will be held later in the day from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the AMVETS Washington Service Center, 5717 S Tyler Street. Online condolences may be posted on the Weeks’ Dryer Mortuary memorial page at www.dryermortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Don’s name can be made to a charity of your choice.