Donn Alan Calder
August 30, 1930 - December 21, 2016
A true old world gentleman
Donn Calder, 86, of Southern California and Colorado Springs, CO passed away on December 21st 2016. At the home of his oldest son, in Langley, Washington. Donn lived with his son, Doug, daughter in-law ,Cindy and their son Reed for two and half years in Langley. During this time he became a fixture in the neighborhood as he went on his daily walks, and later in the community when he wandered into Langley. He was cordial to all he met, and was appreciated by many as a gentleman. Prior to coming to Langley, he lived in California where Donn watched his brother Jack struggle with dementia for several years, before dying from complications of Alzheimer's in 2010
Donn was born August 30th 1930 in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Hospital to John Alexander and Alice Ethel Lewis Calder. John, a Scottish Canadian, born in York, Ontario Canada was the youngest of seven, a junior tennis champion and a pilot in the RCAF, after arriving in California he worked for AAA selling auto insurance. Alice, who was originally from Nebraska and Iowa worked for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Donn was the youngest of three: his older sister Ann "Nonnie" Calder, known very well for her charming appeal and glamour but sadly passed away much to young in 1973. And Jack Calder, the ideal eldest brother, who had a variety of interests but primarily aviation, passed away in 2011.
In Los Angeles Donn attended Westwood Elementary School, Emerson Junior High, University High school (“Uni High”), then went onto UCLA. During the Korean War, he enlisted in the Air Force and eventually taught in the California Sierra’s and Colorado Rockies, what was the model for and known today as SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Escape) teaching, among other things, newly formed techniques of living off nature in the wilds.
It was after arriving home to Newport Beach from the 1955 Transpac when (at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club) Donn met the woman who was to be the love of his life, Judy Woodard of Nowata, Oklahoma. Judy, who lived on Balboa Island, CA had recently quit flying as a stewardess for TWA and was working as a receptionist for Dr. Allan Cottle. Judy and Donn were married September 15,1956 at the St. James Church in Newport Beach. Ultimately , they had three boys, Douglas, Jeffrey and Donn, Jr. It was Judy’s grace, intelligence and levelheadedness that rounded out her husband's character and made them inseparable up until the time of her death.
The Calders left Southern California and eventually landed in Colorado Springs, CO in 1968 where they lived for the next 18 years. Early on, Donn was the VP of Sales at the Woodmore Corporation. Later he started Calder & Co, a mining and precious metal investments firm. Donn & Judy so loved their years in Colorado Springs, so many wonderful friends and a fabulous area to raise their three sons.
In the mid 80’s with the boys all out of the house, Donn & Judy split their time between Colorado Springs and Mazatlan, Mexico. In 1991, they left Colorado Springs permanently and settled in La Jolla, California. It was there Judy was diagnosed with non Hodgkin lymphoma in 1994 and eventually succumbed to the disease later that year.
Donn continued living in Southern California being physically and socially active up until 2012. Upon being diagnosed with dementia he moved up north to the Seattle area to be with eldest son Douglas, and his loving family where he lived out the rest of his life in comfort and happiness.
Donn’s many interests included: sailing, flying and aviation, travel, car racing, skiing, golf and sharing on his passions with his beloved wife and boys. He was considered a true old world gentleman, with a wonderful sense of humor and a great love of family and friends.Donn is survived by his 3 sons: Douglas Calder and wife Cindy of Langley, Washington, Jeffrey Calder and wife Julie of Mill Valley, California and Donn Calder, Jr. and wife Alexandra of Tahoe City, California. And three grand children, Reed Calder of Portland, Oregon, Sophia and Jackson Calder of Mill Valley California.
A memorial serviced will be planned for the fall of 2017 in Southern CA.