Donald (Don) Ray Bies, 83, passed away peacefully at his home in Montesano on July 18, 2017. Don’s final days were spent surrounded by family and friends.
Don was born on July 20, 1933 in Rapid City, South Dakota to George and Helen (Steen) Bies. Don was the oldest of three children born to George and Helen. In 1941, the family moved to Washington State and then to Montesano.
Don attended Montesano schools and was a standout athlete for the Mighty Bulldogs. Don dominated in football, basketball and track. Don received a scholarship to play football for Centralia College but instead decided to service his Country by joining the United States Navy. He proudly served in the Navy from 1952 to 1953. Don was stationed on the USS Essex aircraft carrier during the Korean War.
Don married the love of his life, Dolores Mathews on May 28, 1955. At the age of 12 Don would tease Dolores and tell her, “One day I’m going to marry you!”, and he did! In 1965, Don and Dolores welcomed their son Darrin Ray. He nicknamed Darrin “Runt”; even though Don was 5-07 and Darrin 6-04. In 2007 Grandpa’s Little Helper, Little Donny, was born. Don was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.
Don was an amazing hunter and fisherman. Don taught Darrin at an early age how to hunt, fish and camp. Don, Darrin and Donny have had many great adventures together. This last October Darrin was able to take his Dad on one last hunting trip to the Burns, OR area. Don, Darrin, Uncle “Earl” and family had hunted this area many times but this time was extra special because Grandpa Don was able to show Donny why Burns was so special. Grandpa didn’t get a deer on this hunt but Donny did. Grandpa was so happy that Donny harvested a buck in the same area he had harvested the biggest buck of his life, way back in 1972; that he was ready to go home the next day. His last hunt in Burns, Oregon had been a success, he was able to be with the two most important guys in his life; Darrin and Donny.
Don was a dedicated and extremely hard working man. He started his career in the timber industry at Schafer Brother’s Mill in Aberdeen, WA, when Aberdeen actually was the “Lumber Capitol” of the World. After 44 years, he finished his career as a Head Sawyer with Weyerhaeuser. He was a great friend and teacher to all the “Kids” at the mill. Don never rested, if he had a few days off he would work for local farmers, peel cascara bark, paint houses, or help someone with a project. After retirement he continued to stay busy. Don did many ‘Honey-Do” projects, picked little wild blackberries, tended his garden, worked in his “Laboritory” (garage) making yard ornaments, and keep his lawn immaculate. He was extremely proud of his annual zucchini harvest. Each year he would keep count - last year he picked 94 zucchinis.
Don is survived by his dedicated son Darrin. Without Darrin’s love and support Don’s cancer should have taken him sooner but Darrin made it possibly for Don to be with us a few more years than the doctor expected. Don is also survived by his Daughter-in-Law Cyndi and Grandson Donny. Don was proceeded in death by his wife Dolores, his parents, his sisters Joyce Murphy and Shirley Daly, his brother-in-law Grant “Uncle Earl” Mathews, and nephew Mike Murphy. He is survived by his sister-in-law Joy Mathews, nieces Sheri Haugen, Robin (Tony) Hague, Tammie (Hap) Bendele, Jeri Rahm, nephew Mel (Jane) Zepp and several great nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life is planned for Friday July 28, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Montesano City Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
The family would like to thank Rosy, Sara, the Hospice Nurse and Adrea for caring for Grandpa. The family would also like to thank Rick, Buck and Guy for being amazing friends, not sure what we would do without you.
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