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On July 8, 2019, Donald Ray Damron passed away at home peacefully even though he had been ill for quite awhile. He was 74 years old at his passing. Donald was born at home on Nov. 8, 1944, in Kermit, W.Va., to Hester and Dorothy Damron. His family lived in a coal mining town where his dad worked as a coal miner. When the mines closed, Hester moved the family to Columbus, Ohio, to look for work. At the age of 15, Don decided to join the U.S. Army. He fibbed a little about his age. After enlistment, they shipped him to Fort Benning, Ga., and, after getting out of the service, he returned to Columbus to look for work. Don loved fast cars and convertibles. He actually, through the years, owned five and that is how he learned to be the great mechanic he had to be to constantly fix his own cars. After weeks of hot rodding up and down the city streets, he noticed me in the evenings sitting on my porch so he stopped one night and asked me to go for a spin in his beautiful white Buick convertible. Of course I said yes; what girl wouldn't want to go for a spin around the block with a gorgeous hunk behind the wheel of a fine car? When he brought me back, my dad was waiting on the porch and he was not happy that I got into a car with a total stranger. That day forward, it was love at first sight for both of us and a love than endured and grew stronger for 53 years. After dating for a short time, we were married on Jan. 3, 1966. My dad thought Don needed to learn a good trade so he could take care of his baby. So Don got hired at St. Ann's Hospital to do electrical and maintenance work. Both of our daughters were born there. Don used to say "I hope the baby comes in the morning so I can take you on my way to work and I'm not late or miss as day. Actually I did start labor in the mornings. In the 1960s, wages were low at about $3.50 and hour so supporting a family of four became tight. After work one night, he said why don't we move to California; you always wanted to go to Disneyland. We loaded up the car the next day with two babies, diapers and other baby items, blankets and pillows and said goodbye to my dad, who was very sad, and headed across America in some of the most desolate and barren country in America. Young and dumb applies to us. Oh, and a map of the U.S. Gas stations were 300 to 400 miles apart and it was so hot the milk in the baby bottles curdled. Eventually, we found a station that had ice. The good thing was we arrived safe after four years at Mattel Toys. Don decided he wanted to own his own business and be his own boss so he could fish and hunt or do whatever he wanted to do at the moment. We moved to Tulelake, where we bought B&J, an automotive repair and 24-hour towing services, but it became a 70-hour or more weekly job and 24-hour towing service and he felt bad he couldn't leave to go to the kids' sporting events. He soon realized this choice was not his dream come true; ht was a nightmare. He always worked how ever much he needed to take care of his kids and me. They didn't see him much, but he always made sure I could go for him. He always loved doing things with his kids and grandkids. He loved them with all his heart and soul. When he became ill and disabled and he couldn't fish and hunt with them anymore, he was always sad about that. Fishing was his favorite pastime and I don't need to catch anything. I just liked being at the lake with him and the beautiful scenery. We were seldom apart. Every morning, we would tell each other how much we loved each other. He used to tell me I was the same girl he married 50 years ago and I told him he needed glasses. I miss him by my side and my heart aches and feels like there is a hole in it. Don and I grew up together as childhood sweethearts, never apart for very long. I miss his face and the sound of his voice. I loved him then and I love him now and forever. No goodbyes; we will be together again in heaven and I know he will be waiting for me. I want to thank Ron Brewer for leading Don to the Lord, Elmer and Jeanette Jascobs, who became our friends a few years ago, and Dennis Hasenpflug for about 30 years of friendship. Your family and friends miss you, Don, and can't believe you are gone. Donald leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Karen S. Damron; three children Penny Thiels of Susanville, Calif., Donna Townsend of Eagle Point, Ore., and Donald R. Damron Jr. of Rogue River, Ore.; two sons-in-law Roy Thiels and Mark Townsend; daughter-in-law Christa Damron; three grandchildren Dustin Thiels of Susanville, Jacob and Piper Thiels of Michigan, and Kaymon Townsend of Eagle Point; sister Ann Louise Ramos of Corpus Christi, Texas; and brother George Damron of Landers, Calif. He also had three nieces and one nephew.