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Obituary: Defeyter, Don

Age 81

DeFEYTER, Don Donald Elwood DeFeyter was born in Spokane, WA on August 31, 1931, to Elwood and Daisy DeFeyter. He passed away on August 1, 2013, in Klamath Falls, Oregon, from cancer. He attended Logan and Garfield grade schools, North Central High School and Washington State University. He married Florence Smith of Kennewick in 1953 and then graduated in 1954 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He briefly worked for General Electric at the Hanford Project before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. After serving two years at Eielson AFB near Fairbanks, Alaska, Don returned home. In Spokane, Don worked for H. Jack Reeves, an engineer, for a short period of time. In 1960 he joined Power City Electric, the company that his father, Elwood and Uncle Roy Johnson had founded. He later became owner of Power City. Don’s foresight and ability to connect with people from all walks of life helped drive Power City’s growth. Here in Spokane, Don raised three children, became an accomplished private pilot, and pursued his love of the outdoors. He enjoyed his time at the family homes on Lake Pend Orielle. He loved boating, fishing, snow skiing, and hunting which he shared with his many close friends. The games of squash and golf were a source of great pleasure and frustration for him. If there was a work project to be done, Don was on it. He said, “I like just messing around doing things.” Don was also active in civic affairs and was involved with numerous community service projects. He was instrumental in the creation and funding of the Holy Family Adult Day Care facility and the Holy Family Foundation. He was also involved in the oversight of many capital improvements at the Spokane Club, serving on the Board of Trustees for several years. Don also belonged to the El Katif Shrine, The Prosperity Club and Spokane Country Club. Late in life he met Nancy Coffin of Klamath Falls, Oregon. He Moved there in 2001, and they made their home on the WC Ranch. He immediately became part of the community, establishing many friendships and joining several community organizations. Don was especially dedicated to Rotary International. They married in 2010. Don and Nancy enjoyed going to Wickenburg, AZ, in the winter, visiting their families, and cleaning garlic together that was harvested from Big John’s Garden. During the summers, they shared their love of boating and fishing from Quadra Island near Campbell River, B.C. Don had a full life, abundant with close friends and family. His calm demeanor, warm smile and quick wit made him a much sought after friend and confidant. He left us too early and he will be sorely missed. Don is survived by his devoted and loving wife Nancy (Klamath Falls) and her children, favorite daughter Teresa Osterhaus of Tacoma (Dave), favorite daughter-in-law Marsha (Spokane), five terrific grandchildren: Aaron (Jessica), Katie, Dustin (Bekah), Travis, and Bryce; beloved sister Barbara Betlach (Seattle), nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his two sons, Dave and Jeff, his grandson Peter, his sister Lynda, and his parents. In honor of Don’s life, consider a donation to Holy Family Foundation, El Katif Shrine Hospital, or Klamath Falls Hospice. Don requested a memorial service and reception to be held at The Spokane Club. It is scheduled for Saturday, September 7th, at The Spokane Club at 4:00.