Donald LeRoy Pelham, of Sweet Home passed away Tuesday December 21, 2011 at Samaritan Lebanon Community hospital. He was born in Pasadena, California to Thomas Ivy and Marjorie Bertha (Hunter) Pelham.
Don spent his childhood in Pasadena and moved to Medford, Oregon to live with his grandparents. He raised his first two sons from his first marriage in and around southern Oregon. Don also lived in Alhambra, California where he met and married the love of his life, Sally. He helped raise her two sons and their daughter, Dawnetta. In 1991 they moved to Sweet Home where he spent the rest of his life.
Don was a jack of all trades, joining his family early in his career working in the termite and pest control business. He worked in the timber industry for several years at plywood mills and as a log truck driver. During his life he owned a pool hall, a Christmas tree lot, a fast food restaurant, a gas station and his own trucking business. Don finished his working years as the owner of Kirby’s Quick Service Towing, a local towing business that he ran for 15 years.
He was a member of the Sweet Home Elks Lodge for many years and served as a volunteer fireman in Eagle Point, Oregon in the 1960’s.
Don has a life time love for working on cars and trucks and one of his greatest passions was auto racing. He raced cars and ran in destruction derbies in his twenties and thirties and became a car owner and spectator at the Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon. Don also loved to fish and hunt and his greatest joy came from camping and fishing with his grandchildren. He was the consummate tinkerer and always had a project going on in his garage and story for anyone willing to listen. Don never knew a stranger and would leave any restaurant after dinner with several new lifelong friends. He cherished his morning coffee with his good friend Bill who was always ready to swap stories with him. Don was a huge Oregon Duck fan and made sure he never missed a game on television.
Don is survived by his wife Sally of 32 years; sons, Gene (Tina), Ralph (Denise), Eddie, and Richard (Elvira); daughter, Dawnetta (Jared); brothers, Tom and Ron ((Rosie); sisters, Dorothy (Norm), Ty (Larry) and Carol; 14 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Nan (1939) and John (1949); and first wife Susie (2000).
Memorial services will be planned sometime in the spring in Sweet Home, OR at Don’s favorite fishing spot.