Donald L. McMindsSept. 10, 1939 — Feb. 27, 2024

Donald L. McMinds, 84, of Ocean Shores, Washington passed away peacefully on February 27, 2024 after an extended illness.

Donald L. McMinds, 84, of Ocean Shores, Washington passed away peacefully on February 27, 2024 after an extended illness.

Don was born on October 2, 1939 in Wenatchee, Washington. The family relocated to Aberdeen, where Don graduated from Weatherwax High School, then on to Grays Harbor College. Always restless in pursuit of a challenge, Don was accepted into the Air Force and earned a Masters Degree at his forever beloved University of Nebraska.

Don served our country for 23 years in the United Stated Air Force, achieving the rank of Major in 1976, graduate of the Armed Forces Staff (AFSC) in 1978, and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1980. He retired with full honors in 1982.

After his military career, Don worked with Hewlett-Packard in Corvalis, Oregon for 17 years. During that time with HP he authored two extensive works entitled “Mastering OSF/Motif Widgets” and “Writing Your Own OSF/MOTIF Widgets”. Each included an exceptional dedication in the forward page of the original works to his family.

Post retirement from HP, Don moved to Ocean Shores where he lived with his wife Kay for 16 years.

Don will always be remembered for his homemade/handpicked blackberry pies baked in tins he designed so the crust was “always right.” And they were truly awesome pies!

In his self-imposed limited free time in Ocean Shores, Don was also very active in Ham Radio (K7DM) in the Grays County Community. Finding his home on Duck Lake was always easy. All one had to do was look for the immaculate lawn and prominent vertical antenna close to the regulation handmade oyster shell-based bocce ball court.

He loved fly fishing, model trains, model planes, playing the trombone and anything of a nature that required intense dedication.

And it would be remiss not to mention the complete love he had for every one of his dogs throughout his life.

Don is survived by his wife Kay, daughters Debbie (Marc) and Diane (Scott), five grandchildren, and brothers Doug (Pat) and Mike. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Beatrice McMinds and first wife Barbara Myers McMinds.

Several years ago during a card game of 31, Don posed a question to each of us of at the table what quality in life we find most important. When it was his turn, Don replied — without hesitation — “to be honorable”. Here is to an honorable man, who we will always remember with his final admonishment upon leaving his home “Be careful out there — among the English.”

A special thank you from the family to the Ocean Shores Fire Department EMTs, and Harbor Home Health and Hospice.

A Military Graveside service to honor Donald’s life will be held at Fern Hill Cemetery in Aberdeen, Washington on Tuesday, May 21 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to North Beach Paws (

In respect, Don asks to please “throw a nickel in the grass, save a fighter pilots ass”.

“73”, Don.