The Chronicle -

Donald William Best May 19, 1951 – Dec. 4, 2018

 

January 17, 2019

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Donald William Best - May 19, 1951 – Dec. 4, 2018

Donald William Best, a resident of Creswell for 21 years, passed away at home in his sleep on Dec. 4, 2018.

He was born on May 19, 1951 to Gilbert and Jeannine Deselms Best in Chico, Calif.

As a child, Don grew up on the family ranch where he learned to work and play hard. He was never one to back down from a difficult task. He had fond memories of family, friends and animals of all sorts, and of the land.

Don was seven years old when he went on his first roundup, moving cattle from the Sacramento Valley up to the high meadows of Clover Valley in Lassen Volcanic Park.

Attending Christian schools, Don formed a deep faith in God and a commitment to the service of others at an early age.

Earning a bachelor's degree in education from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Don saw his dream of teaching coming to fruition. After earning his master's degree in the next couple of years, he secured his first teaching position in Days Creek, Ore., teaching high school math and health science as well as coaching girls' softball and basketball for the next 11 years.

Devoted to his wife Maria, whom he married on Feb. 23, 1997 in Cottage Grove, Ore., Don was always there to pick up and transport piles for her - piles of pea gravel, sawdust, dirt, fallen limbs, rocks, and even teapots. He "always had her back," according to Maria; they were a "dream team."

Don started Best Mortgage in 1997, continuing his interest in real estate for the rest of his life. He found his work at Musgrove Family Mortuary fulfilling, and was of great service to the company and its patrons.

He was a member of Emerald Valley Business Association, Odd Fellows, Kiwanis and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and sat on the Lane Library District Board and the Creswell at Home Board.

Don enjoyed an active lifestyle that included fishing in Alaska, rafting on the Rogue River, snowmobile excursions and mining for gemstones in Eastern Oregon. Trips to Hawaii to swim and snorkel, and researching local history provided much-needed relaxation. He said, "Any day with children or on the river is a good day!"

Don had a subtle sense of humor, characteristic half-smile and a kind demeanor; he had a way of relaying a great love and acceptance to those who had contact with him. Many friends and family members will miss his sweet spirit of service.

A solid man with high ideals and strong moral values, Don loved studying the Bible daily; through prayer, he and Maria lived a life guided by this mission statement: "It is a duty and a privilege to serve God, family, friends, work and our community."

Don is survived by his devoted and loving partner of 33 years, his wife Maria J. Best; daughters Wendy C. Davis of Ashland and Ashley J. Vogelpohl of Portland; and grandson Henry J. Des Camp of Ashland.

Surviving family members also include his mother, Jeannine Best; stepmother, Marilyn K. Best of Bend; the "mama of his heart," Jean Lowman Cooper of Eugene; two sisters, Janet Best of Grass Valley, Calif. and Ellen Schroder of Chico, Calif.; brother Alan Best of San Diego; nieces and nephews Rubin Best of Japan, Aaron Scherbenske of San Francisco, C.J. and Rachel of New York City, Terri of San Francisco, and Molly and Josh of Morocco.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert.

A Celebration of Life was held on Dec. 9, 2018 at the Creswell Presbyterian Church, with arrangements handled by Musgrove Family Mortuary.

Remembrances and donations in Don Best's memory may be made to the Creswell Library or the Creswell Food Pantry.

 
 

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