Obituaries

Obituaries » Donald LeRoy Pelham

Donald LeRoy Pelham

January 2, 1940 - December 21, 2010

Memorial services will be planned sometime in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent is his name to the Sweet Home Boys and Girls Club where his grandsons Micah and Hayden attend.

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Donald LeRoy Pelham, 70, of Sweet Home passed away Tuesday at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital after a long battle with respiratory illness. He was born in Pasadena, California to Thomas Ivy and Marjorie Bertha (Hunter) Pelham.

Don spent his childhood in Pasadena, and then 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. Early in his career, he worked with his family 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 1960s.

Don has a lifetime 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 lieu of flowers, donations may be sent is his name to the Sweet Home Boys and Girls Club where his grandsons Micah and Hayden attend.

Arrangements are under the direction of Sweet Home Funeral Chapel.