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Don Miniken (Don M)


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Jude, Don's wife, posted this on the Grieving boad, but I thought I would post it here as well. We will miss Don and this beautiful tribute explains just how special he is--Susan

Donald E. Miniken Jr., 64, died of complications from lung cancer on Monday, January 5, 2009. Don was born in Bremerton, Washington on September 3, 1944 to Don and Kathleen Miniken. He was the oldest of 13 children. He was raised in Everett, Washington where he attended Catholic and public schools, and then graduated from Cascade High School in 1962. After graduation, he attended seminary intending to enter the priesthood.

His plans changed, however (he couldn’t stand the bells), and after a brief stint in the National Guard, he transferred to Washington State University where he studied forestry. In 1973 he married Judith Fox and they had four children, Josh (35), Amanda (31), Joe (30) and Sarah (24). Don attended Green River College in Auburn to pursue his degree in forestry. The family moved to Quinault, Washington in 1979 when Don went to work for the U.S. Forest Service. He worked there until retiring in 2005. He loved his job, the woods, and the wonderful people with whom he worked.

Don had many hobbies and talents. He took thousands of photos over the years, of nature, of his children, and anything in which he caught a glimpse of beauty. He loved music of all kinds, but specifically classical music and rock and roll. He loved the out-of-doors and spent s lot of time camping and hiking with his children.

Don had a dry humor that could catch a person off guard. He had a way of helping people to broaden their perspective by his commentary on any given situation. He had a gentle, compassionate nature that is rare. He was eclectic in his spiritual beliefs, embracing the Spirit of Holiness wherever he could find it and in places where most people forget to look. He would rather give money to the homeless in secret than to sit at the table of the pompously rich. He was particularly drawn to Shamantic expression of faith and he loved Native American drumming. He enjoyed watching movies, reading, gardening, traveling, and visiting with people whom he loved.

When Don was diagnosed with lung cancer, he made a point to fight it by learning all that he could about it. In fact, more than one of his doctors who treated him over the past five years commented that he could converse with them in medical terms about his condition as though he had medical training himself. He visited a couple of cancer support groups on-line and was greatly appreciated by other cancer survivors with whom he shared his story. He was highly regarded as one who could bring hope and encouragement to those fighting the disease. He helped more than one person pursue treatment options that ultimately saved their lives.

Don is survived by his wife of 35 years, Jude; his children, Josh (Tracy), Amanda (fiancé Ian), Joe (Mandie), and Sarah (boyfriend) Danny; his mother Kathleen; brothers Michael, Kevin, Dennis, Jim and Jack, sisters Mary, Cecelia, Joan, Ellen, Suzanne, and Annie; grandchildren Devin, Chloe, Keaton and soon-to-be-born Sean; and many nieces and nephews. His father, Don Sr. and a brother, Ed preceded him in death.

A service to celebrate his life will be held at the Montesano Presbyterian Church on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. The family suggests remembrances be sent to the Montesano Presbyterian Church, the Union Gospel Mission or to Hospice of Grays Harbor. The family also sends out a special thanks to Robin H. and Kim of Hospice; Greg of Lincare; and the staff at Grays Harbor Community Hospital who tended to his needs during the last hours of his life.

Online tributes: http://www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com/r ... rId=117824

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