Obituary: Donald R. Gee

Donald R. Gee

Donald Ray Gee, formerly of Lindsay, Calif., passed away on Jan. 21, 2018, in Santa Maria surrounded by family at the age of 85.

He was born March 16, 1932 in DeQueen, Ark. to Albert and Cora Gee. At age 18, Don and his brother Robert started a logging business in Northern California. Don started with Copeland Lumber Yards in 1963 as a truck driver and yardman working his way up to a managerial position.

Don accepted a managerial position at Lindsay Copeland Lumber Yards in 1966, where he met June, who at the time was a bookkeeper, they were married within a couple of years.  Don worked there until the mid 1980s, retired, and then went to work for Lampe Lumber in Tulare for over 10 years.  Don kept busy after retirement by becoming a locksmith as well as preparing material lists for contractors as it related to building plans for another 10 years.

Most of you knew him as Don and many of us knew him as Dad, Pa, Papa, Pops, Grandpa, and Grandpa GG. He was the best Dad and friend a person could ask for as he was always there when you needed him.  He would drop what he was doing and lend a helping hand or share words of wisdom.  He was educated way beyond his years with a lifetime of experiences and a boatload of common sense.  He could just about look at anything that needed to be built or fixed and he would know how to do it.

His infectious laugh and big smile filled a room faster and brighter than the morning sunlight starting a new day. He loved to fish, enjoyed a good game of pinochle, and puttering around the house. He was our amazing Dad and friend. He will be missed by all of us as he touched many lives throughout his years in Lindsay, Visalia, and his new BFFs at Merrill Gardens in Santa Maria.  He shared with us that he is living each day like it was his last.  He was our hero and the toughest man we knew.

Don is predeceased by his parents Albert and Cora Gee, sister Wilma Brown, brothers Robert Gee and William Gee, sons Dennis Gee and Bob Gee, grandson David Gee, and the love of his life, June Gee. He is survived by his sisters, Eunice Richman, Frances Lowe, and Sally Wilson; children Katherine Dillon, Tom Dillon, Susan Hunt, David Gum, and Laurie Johnson; grandchildren Danny Gee, Jeremy Gee, Jennifer Gee Thornton, Jason Dupler, David Thomas, Eric Salinas, Brad Salinas, Julie Dillon, Kevin Dillon, Justen Starnes, and Lauren Starnes; great grandchildren Max Gee, Keegan Gee, Drayson Gee, Faithlyn Gee, Trent Gee, Kierstyn Howard, Mason Capps, Blayklee June Starnes, Raph Carroll, Sydney Thomas, Jackson Dupler, Kenzie Dupler, Yareli Robledo, and Lesley Robledo; his sons-in-law Jerry Luallen, Buster Hunt, and Shane Johnson; and daughters-in-law Glenda Gee, Ginger Dillon, and Melissa Gum.

Family and friends will get together later in the year to celebrate his life and share stories of Don. In lieu of flowers and in celebration of Don’s life, the family would be delighted for donations to be made to The American Cancer Society or your local animal rescue shelter.

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