Donald Edward Rayner, 70, lost his life Friday, April 3, 2020, in Renton, Wash., surrounded by his loving family, after a short and hard-fought battle with glioblastoma.
Don was born in 1949 to Frank and Edith Rayner, in Phoenix. He lived his first seven years on the family farm and ranch in Litchfield Park, Ariz. When he was 7, his parents moved to Northern California, where they bought some property in Big Bend and began to raise cattle. Don lived on the family ranch, helping his parents until he started college.
Don graduated from Shasta High School in Redding in 1967. He met his wife, Pat, whom he said was the center of his universe, in August 1968 at Shasta Junior College in Redding, Calif. For them it was love at first sight. Don and Pat were married a year later on Oct. 5, 1969. They recently celebrated their 50th anniversary with a trip to Hawaii and a cruise to all the islands.
He went on to graduate from Shasta Junior College in 1969. He then continued his education at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., and College of the Redwoods in Eureka, Calif., where he completed his degree in forestry. He played football and wrestled while he attended those colleges. In January 1975, Don and Pat moved to Pierce, where Don started his career as a forester for Potlatch Corp. in Headquarters. During his tenure, he went on to work as a logging supervisor, a logging foreman and an area supervisor. He continued working for PFI until his retirement in June 2012.
Don and Pat raised twin sons, Dan and Tom, and a daughter, Kristy, while living in Pierce. Don was very active in his kids’ activities and he loved to coach them in the different sports they were involved with. He and his family spent many summers camping, boating, skiing and fishing with their friends on Dworshak Reservoir in Orofino. His love of football and coaching kids led him to volunteering at Timberline High School as a football coach, which turned into a permanent position for many years. After retirement, Don and Pat began to travel. He was able to return to California more often to help his dad out with his cows and various other projects. Don started trap shooting, which became his favorite hobby. He loved to hunt, fish and spend time in his woodshop. Don was an active member of the community. He served on the Pierce Library Board and, at the time of his death, had served the J. Howard Bradbury Logging Museum for more than 20 years. He was also a member of the Pierce/Orofino Gun Club.
Above all else, he loved his family and was very proud of them. He called many his friend and would lend a helping hand where he was needed. No one was ever a stranger; he could talk to anyone about anything. He made many lifelong friends who he thought of often and missed dearly during his illness.
He is survived by his wife, Pat; sons Dan (Renea) and Tom (Shannon); daughter Kristy (Derek); four grandchildren; brother Harold (Joan); and stepmother Mavis.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Edith Rayner.
The family will hold a memorial service at a later date. If you are inclined to send flowers or a gift to honor Don’s memory, the family asks to instead donate to the J. Howard Bradbury Logging Museum in Pierce. Don would be proud to know he is having a lasting impact on the museum and its contributions to the community he lived and worked in for so many years. Donations may be mailed to J. Howard Bradbury Logging Museum, C/O 239 Woods Road, Weippe, ID 83553, or online at the GoFundMe for Don Rayner.