Donald Frederick Wasson

Dec 21, 1926 – Feb 20, 2016


Donald Wasson

December 21, 1926-February 20, 2016

Don Wasson, former Des Moines Mayor and City Councilman, business owner, and civic activist, died at age 89. He also served as President of Des Moines Kiwanis, and President of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce.

Born in Seattle WA to Dick and Winnifred Wasson, Don graduated from Franklin High (1946) and attended the UW. He was a journeyman machinist and founded two successful machine shops: Sea-Tac Industries, which he later sold, and Tech-Marine Enterprises which he operated until he retired at age 84. Don was an active community volunteer which led to an interest in local political issues. He was known for passionate opinions and a willingness to stand alone for what he believed was the public good. He loved to expose special interests, challenge misplaced priorities, and stand up to those who abused authority. His style resulted in numerous admirers and detractors.

Don passed away just a few weeks after losing MaryJane, the love of his life, best friend, and wife of 47 years. They lived an active life, traveling the world and enjoying their home on the Des Moines waterfront. Don is survived by his sisters-in-law Madeleine Wasson and Phyllis Coyle, nephews Steve Wasson and Jim Jollimore, nieces Lorraine (Wasson) Comen and Janie (Jollimore) Lyle, several grand-nieces and nephews and many great-grand-nieces and nephews. A long list of close friends is headed by Jan Ursino and Teresa Schultz. Don was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; his sons, Bruce Wasson and Brian Wasson, and his brother Richard Wasson.

With typical humor, Don chuckled about writing his own obituary:

"I've had an enjoyable, wonderful life... every facet was an adventure!! I had loving parents that encouraged my every endeavor. I enjoyed the finest family any man could wish for, and the most beautiful loving wife - all who knew her, loved her. I had the privilege of raising the two most wonderful sons a man could hope for, for the short time that they lived. Please don't mourn my passing. Rejoice for my long and fruitful life, and my finding and recognizing the American Dream in my fully lived life! One of my character flaws is that sometimes I was a slow learner. If while you read this you find areas where you think it could be improved, contact me and I will try to improve it the next time!"

A memorial service will be held on March 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Normandy Park Congregational Church, 19247 1st Avenue So., between Burien and Des Moines.


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