Donald Marcus Pond 1947 - 2022

Donald Marcus Pond, of Carlton, Oregon, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 15, 2022, with his loving family by his side, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 74 years old. Born Sept. 28, 1947, to Marcus and Maria Pond, Don grew up on a dairy farm in Castle Rock, Minnesota, before graduating from Northfield (Minnesota) High School in 1965.

It was during high school when Don met the love of his life, Linda Spartz, and they were united in marriage September 14, 1968. They celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary this past September. Their love led to three sons, who gave them six grandchildren who absolutely adored their grandpa.

In 1969, Don graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture Education. Shortly after college, he began working at Bailey Nurseries Inc., before leaving to work on the family farm. In 1972, Don got out of the dairy farming business and returned to Bailey after realizing his true passion was in horticulture.

Don and Linda moved out west in 1977, when Don was chosen to oversee Bailey's new farm in Yamhill, Oregon. For nearly 35 years, Don managed the West Coast Division of Bailey Nurseries, which later expanded to include several farms in Yamhill County as well as a farm on Sauvie Island and in Sunnyside, Washington. Don served as Vice President of Bailey Nurseries and was on the Board of Directors.

Don became a respected nurseryman for his ability to grow plants and grow people

Over the years, Don established many relationships and friendships he cherished to the end. Don was happiest with his shovel in his hand, digging in the dirt and talking about growing plants, which he did until his retirement in 2011. After he retired, he often said it was the people he missed the most.

Throughout his life, Don was happiest when he was simply spending time with his family. He cherished their many vacations to Eastern Oregon and the Wallowa Lake area and loved the Oregon Coast. Don and Linda always looked forward to their trips home to visit family in Minnesota and Florida.

In retirement, Don and Linda enjoyed trips to New Zealand, the Holy Land, Europe, Mexico and Hawaii among other destinations. A highlight was a family trip to Maui this past summer with his wife, their sons and their families, creating another memory that will last forever.

Don and Linda loved spending time with each other and for years could be spotted on near-daily walks around Yamhill or Carlton. They enjoyed working on puzzles together, various card games and Sunday night popcorn. Most of the time, Don could be found “putzing” on his property.

In his retirement, Don enjoyed every minute he could spend with his grandchildren.

They enjoyed countless trips to the Yamhill River, played in the woods on his property, cut down trees and split wood, picked apples, played in the sprinklers, played basketball, threw the football, played in the barn, enjoyed 4-wheeler and Kubota rides, and many other shenanigans. He was a fixture on the sidelines at his grandchildren’s sporting events.

Don was a long-time member of St. John Catholic Church in Yamhill, where he served as a Sacristan, Eucharistic minister, finance committee member, and taught religious education. He was always willing to lend a helping hand at the church and in the community, where he was a member of the Lions Club and served on the school board.

He also helped coach his sons in youth sports. Later in life, he loved going to Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers and Seattle Seahawks football games with his sons. A “confused” fan, Don was often seen wearing Ducks and Beavers gear at the same time.

This was a great conversation starter as he explained he had a son who attended each university. He also enjoyed being frustrated by the Minnesota Vikings and Portland Trail Blazers.

An avid bowhunter, Don never did get the big Bull, but he sure did enjoy those walks in the woods, especially with his son, David.

In addition to countless friends and relatives, Don is survived by his wife, Linda; their sons, Adam (Nicole) of Issaquah, Washington, Alex (Kristin) of Yamhill, Oregon, and David (Julie) Pond of Warren, Oregon; as well as grandchildren, Tyler, Ruby, Gabriel, Fiona, Lydia and Amelia. He is also survived by his brother, Robert “Bob” Pond (Brigitte) of Lakeville, Minnesota. He was preceded in death by his parents, Marcus and Maria Pond; as well as sister, Betty (Rich) Lace.

A humble man, Don Pond was simply “as good as it gets” and “totally awesome," to borrow a couple of his catchphrases.

A funeral Mass will be held to celebrate this beloved man at 11 a.m. (10:30 a.m. Rosary) Saturday, June 4, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Yamhill. A reception will immediately follow at VanDyke Farms,15221 N.W. Westside Rd, Yamhill, OR. Memorials can be made to St. John Catholic Church or a charity of your choice.


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