Donald Lee Hersman, 84, passed away in Arlington, Washington on February 7, 2018. Don was born on October 18, 1933, he was one of four children born to Lewis & Mildred Hersman. The family lived on a chicken farm in Everson, Washington, and Don's early school years were spent in a rural school with 2 rooms and 2 teachers. When WWII started Don was attending Lynden high school, soon after graduating in 1951, he joined the U.S. Navy as a Seabee. Don finished boot camp and was ordered to the Philippines until he was transferred to Coronado, California for 2 years on what was then the home for underwater demolition team and is now the home for the Navy Seals. He served in the Navy from 1952-1958.
In 1959 Don married the love of his life, Sharry Telgenhoff, over the next few years they had three daughters and one son. In 1965 Don was one of 15 firefighters to help start the first ever paid fire department for the city of Bellevue Washington. After 25 years as a firefighter for various departments and once earning the rank of LT he retired in 1990. While working as a firefighter he did 3 years at Bellevue Community college and received 4 AA degrees with honors. Soon after retirement Don & Sharry purchased a motor home in which they lived and traveled in until 2006. In 2008 Don's wife Sharry passed away, Don coped by traveling a lot. Since 2009 he has driven over 350,000 miles, including driving his Cadillac from Ashley Pointe, where he lived for 5 years, to Maine, 6200 miles round trip! Don has also been on several cruises. Don loved to travel, read books, listen to the Statler Brothers & poke around in his family geneaology. He attended church at Holy Cross Lutheran in Lake Stevens. Don also enjoyed crafting with plastics, and latch hook rugs.
Don is preceded in death by his beloved wife Sharry Hersman, mother Mildred Hersman, father Lewis Hersman and brother Richard Hersman. He is survived by his children: Kandus Green (Milton) of Jackson, Georgia, Deborah Fly (David) of Lake Stevens, Washington, Rebecca Edwards of Tacoma, Washington, and son Kevin Hersman of Arlington, Washington, 9 grandkids, 15 great grandkids (with one more on the way), his sister Sharlene Hauge of Juanita, Washington and brother Kenneth Hersman of Custer, Washington.
On Saturday February 17, 2018, at Evergreen Washelli, 11111 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133, there will be a viewing at 1:00pm, with services at 2:00pm followed by an entombment. The family will be hosting a gathering in honor of Don's life at Ballard VFW hall, 2812 NW Market St, Seattle WA 98107. Words of comfort may be expressed for Don's family by clicking on the Tributes tab just below his name.
The staff of the Bellevue Fire Department send our heartfelt condolences to the Hersman family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Worked with Don at Bellevue Fire Dept. 1966 - 1975. So sorry he has left us. Son was always friendly, fun to work with. Victor Paolino
Sharlene Hauge Don was my oldest brother. We had great fun growing up on the farm, among the 1,000's of chickens used for the Hersman Egg Factory and the registered cows that Don and his brother, Ken, raised for 4H and FFA. Get away vacations were rare, so the three of us created outside activities that we could do between chores. Don was also active in the Lynden schools and Methodist Church youth activities. .Our parents and grandparents would provide a large influence in our growing up years. These times will be remembered and cherished.
My grandfather was one of the best men I knew growing up. I saw how much he loved his family and always wanted to find a man just as caring. One of my favorite memories growing up was spending the weekend with my Grandparent's, going out to eat with them and most of all sitting around playing video games. Our favorite games to play were Arkanoid & Tetris. I always loved that my Grandfather was tech savvy, most people his age weren't. One thing I am also thankful for is that in 2014 he came to visit my family & I in Georgia and he was able to meet all of my children. He will forever be in my heart!
Don & I go back over 60 years and was a devoted brother-in-law. He and Sharry had their ups and downs --- but always came thru them together. He took such wonderful care of her and her health the last years of her life and all the while he had his own issues of diet and health to contend with. Very, very few times in all those years did I ever see Don complain.
He will be missed greatly by the Telgenhoff and Lunger families.
Please accept my condolences as you mourn the loss of your dear Donald. Be assured that not only is almighty God keenly aware of your plight, he will soon forever end all suffering on earth including death, as this video link clearly shows: vimeo.com/254687576
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