Don and Michelle 1Don was born April 7, 1958, in Sacramento, CA, and lived life to the fullest for 65 years on this beautiful earth. He graduated from Casa Roble High School, CA, in 1976, where he played Football, Basketball, and Baseball and maintained good grades. His Mother Jackie, sister, Debbie, and brother, Cliff, supported and cheered him on in sports and in life. He loved and cherished them with all his heart.

Don traveled to visit with them most years, doting on nephew Matthew and niece Michelle on birthdays and holidays. He visited his dad and Rosie (dad’s wife) in Germany many times and made good memories with them, typically including golfing. Every year, Don would go stay with his best friend and his wife, Jerry & Michelle. Their friendship and home were a haven for Don. He always enjoyed his time with them. It’s incredible to witness such a strong friendship.

Don loved to laugh, have fun with friends, play sports as a youth, watch sports as an adult, ride his motorcycle, golf, and travel. He introduced me to motorcycles, a passion I enjoy to this day. He was a roofer for most of his life, starting on the roof and ending up in the office. Don used all sorts of tools during his career to get jobs done. They were a big part of the process: hammers, carpenter pencils, roofing shovels to digitizer, pens, and computers.

Well-known and respected in the roofing community, Don was involved with the Roofing Contractor Association of WA for over 35 years. Co-owner of Legends Roofing Company from its start in 2002, with business partners and friends Tim O’Brien and Glen Paine Jr.

Don felt a strong sense of responsibility to his business partners, employees, and customers to provide good service and have a place where people want to come to work each day while making a good living. Don was the type of person who would support others in their dreams, even if it meant losing them as a valued employee. He was a mentor to many.

I have always been a workaholic, but Don taught me how to live. Whether Ray & Theresa treated us to a concert at the Puyallup or attended the RCAW Gala with them, Marco, and his daughter. There was always dancing or singing at the end of those nights. Throughout the years, there was boating or biking with Don’s friends or music nights with my friends Denise, Kir, and Lisa. Don’s In-Laws and family loved him like he was their own son and always referred to him as a good man.

The most endearing thing about Don was his love for the Hallmark channel movies because they always have happy endings. I wasn’t a fan at first, but I grew to enjoy them. Weekend dates would include a Hallmark movie and popcorn.

Being the tool guy, he wasn’t afraid to use a walker, wheelchair, commode, or shower chair during his battle with cancer. Don wasn’t crazy about them but understood they were tools to help him navigate this new chapter.

The color on the cancer ribbon chart that represents my husband’s lung cancer is white. He didn't technically pass away from cancer; rather, it forced Don down the path to take his final breath from pneumonia. Then he was gone, and I have been mourning him ever since. I find that mourning really comes down to my memories of him, which bring on tears and panicked breaths, many times ending in a deep, painful, heavy feeling inside the pit of my stomach.

The pain pushes against me until I can’t breathe anymore, prompting me to gasp for air. It is an ugly thing. These moments are random throughout the day or night. It also brings a sort of temporary relief and opens a space within me to remember times with Don. I play his hearty voice inside my head or try to picture his face. Just a little glimpse or sound, sometimes it’s fleeting. I take what I can get.

Don is a good man.

He is the best man I’ve ever known.

I am SO blessed to have met this man who IS the love of my life. We loved and respected each other and loved to laugh together.

He passed away peacefully at Good Sam Hospital in Puyallup, WA on July 18, 2023, with his loving family by his side.

Like it says on the photo album your mom and sister made you:

You only live once…but if you work it right, once is enough.

Don, I am SO sad you are gone, but I know you would look me in the eyes and say, “Mimi, it is what it is” and tell me you love me.

I ride for you.

Michèle Courvoisier aka Mimi/Stitch