A resident of Spokane Valley, he was 84.
Don was born June 21, 1930, in St. Paul, MN, and moved to Wenatchee at age 15.
He played tennis, wrote for the school newspaper and skied for Wenatchee High School.
He attended Seattle University on a ski sports scholarship, and was one of the top skiers in the Northwest, specializing in ski jumping, downhill and giant slalom.
He began his career in journalism at age 18 covering the ski races for the Wenatchee Daily World newspaper.
He continued as a stringer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer while in college, worked in public relations for the University of Idaho, and eventually became editor and director of public relations for the Appaloosa Horse Club, a position he held for over 20 years.
Over his tenure there, he became friends with and wrote articles on Appaloosa horse owners Jim Brolin, Burt Reynolds, Roy Clark, and many others.
Don went on to travel the world as International Marketing Director for the US Pea & Lentil Council and ended his career as Director of Communications for the Spokane Association of Realtors, where he wrote a weekly column for the Spokesman Review Real Estate section.
He received the “Media of the Year” award in 2001.
Throughout his many careers he continued as a freelance writer and photographer for various magazines including “Flying” magazine and “Aviation News”.
In addition to skiing, he was a lifelong competitive tennis player and spent 20 years playing in the Spokane Tennis League and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
He was still playing at age 83.
In addition, he had an adventurous spirit and as a private pilot for 50 years, loved to fly anywhere, for any reason, but especially into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area for camping and fly-fishing.
He and his wife, Dianne, flew all over the U.S., Canada and Mexico and after retirement rambled in an RV over the southwest, taking pictures and selling Don’s photography in local art shows.
His first professional photo was printed in Life magazine in October 1951.
Don is survived by his wife Dianne, daughters Pat Budge and Jill Walker, sons Rick, Rob and Jim Walker, step-son Charles Rooney and step-daughter Christie Rooney, grandchildren John, Anne, Marcus, Eric, Jeff, Dan, Don, Steve, Christopher, Dru and Clay and great- grandchildren Jackie and Wyatt.
His parents, Guy and Helen Walker of Wenatchee, passed away before him.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Don’s name to Hospice of Spokane, PO Box 20215, Spokane, WA 99210.
Don had the vision to stretch any undertaking to the highest degree, the ability to find the best in people and the kindness to tell them about it.
A celebration of a life well-lived will be held on October 25, 2014 from 3pm to 6pm at Grande Ronde Cellars in Spokane.
The first round is on Don.
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