Donald James Weston, age 69, of Orcas Island, Wash., died on Saturday, March 22, 2014 while hiking down to the beach on his property.
Don was born on March 26, 1944 in Cleveland, Ohio to Rita and John Weston. The older brother of Rosemary and John Jr., he grew up in Ohio and southern California, graduating from Simi Valley High School in 1962. In 1965 he received his bachelor of arts from California Western University and went on to work toward a master’s degree in teaching from CSU Northridge before receiving a master’s of science in curriculum and supervision from the University of Oregon.
He worked in public education over the years as a teacher and administrator, most notably in the Simi Valley Unified School District, Canby High School, Washougal School District, Evergreen School District, and finally as a substitute teacher in the Orcas Island School District. He found that he loved and was proudest of his involvement with alternative educational programs serving at-risk children and teens. Interspersed through his career in education, Don owned and ran several businesses, including two restaurants and a computer business in the early days of personal computing.
Throughout his adult life, he was involved in building and designing houses in various towns in Oregon and Washington. He was an avid fan of early rock and roll, collecting thousands of vinyl records. Vintage automobiles were another hobby. He always had multiple projects going. Don loved animals of all types, especially his dogs.
Don’s love of nature and trees – he was always saving seedlings – led him and his wife Carla to the beautiful forested property on Orcas Island where they designed and built their dream home, which includes a separate vacation rental that he managed.
After retiring, Don spent his time caring for the property and providing support to Carla’s private practice by handling finances and upgrading her office. He was increasingly interested in health, nutrition and well-being. Don also enjoyed keeping up with friends and extended family around the country.
A non-conformist, Don was known for his irreverence and wry sense of humor. Underneath his serious exterior, he had a warm heart and was glad to share advice and assistance whenever asked. He was caring and kind.
Don is survived by his wife Carla Weston of Orcas Island; his sons with his first wife Eleanor (now deceased): Don Jr. of Portland, Ore.; John of Post Falls, Idaho; Bill of Ashland Ore.; his daughter with his second wife, Jan: Caroline of Astoria, Ore.; and stepchildren Nathan Novak and Traci Novak, both of Vancouver, Wash. He and Carla were grandparents to eight beloved grandchildren: Deborah, Alexis, Jeffrey, Matthew, David, Sarah, Taylor and Aiden. Don is also survived by his sister Rosemary Keicher of Lake Oswego, Ore., and brother John of Ventura, Calif.
A memorial is being planned for Vancouver, Wash. later in the year. Please contact DonWestonMemorial@gmail.com for more information.