Donald Marion Wood - 1924 - 2019


Donald Marion Wood, late of Vancouver, Washington, died February 13, 2019, at the age of 94.
The seventh of eight children, Don was born August 10, 1924, to John and Lillian Mae Wood. After spending his early life in Onawa, Iowa, the family moved west, settling on a stump farm near St. Helens, Oregon.
Enlisting in the Navy at 17, Don graduated at the top of his class before serving as a radioman on a PBY amphibious reconnaissance plane off the coast of Central America. He discharged in New York City, where he met Mildred Zakel. The couple married on December 1, 1946.
With all his travels, Oregon remained Don’s home; he and his new bride made the long trek across country in the dead of winter. This adventure prepared them for their first two years in the Oregon countryside, living in a wall tent with newborn son, Gary, while Don built the family a two-story home. Over the next five years, the couple had three more boys, Alan, Brad and David, with daughter, Amy, following late in 1956.
Don worked 15 years for U.S. Plywood Mill in Lebanon, before moving on to work in lumber mills in Red Bluff, California, Lewiston, Idaho, and Heppner, Oregon.
Following a divorce from Mildred, Don married Lois Upp in April of 1975, and the pair made their home in Lafayette until her death in February, 2004.
Don enjoyed mentoring young people, volunteering with 4-H and as a youth group leader in his church. He enjoyed woodworking; later in life, he took up golf. However, music was his primary interest.
Don was a long-standing member of the Oregon Oldtime Fiddlers' Association, and he loved singing, yodeling and playing guitar. Music was a passion he shared with his family. At every family gathering, he could be found leading a sing-along, teaching his children and grandchildren his favorite cowboy and Western songs.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Avilie, Harold, Wyona, Gareld, Floy, Floyd and Duane; his first wife, Mildred; and wife, Lois.
Don is survived by his five children, Gary (Vera), Alan (Diane), Brad (Gail), David and Amy; step-daughters, Sharon Drew (Ed) and Linda Herzog (David); numerous grand- and great-grandchildren; and by his companion, Dee Mihalik.
A celebration of life for Donald Wood will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Covenant Church, 2155 N.W. Second Street, McMinnville, Oregon, 97128. Please RSVP to Diane Schmitt at 1-360-518-4762. To leave condolences, visit


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