A graveside service was held on Dec. 3 at the East Prosser (Wash.) Cemetery for former Deer Park resident/businessman Donald R. Springer, 85, who passed away on Nov. 29 in Richland, Wash.
Born to Carl Clinton and Frances May (Read) Springer on Oct. 26, 1926, in Kelso, Wash., he attended Deer Park High School and entered the Naval Reserve at the age of 17.
In 1944, he attended basic training at Farragut, Idaho, and continued training at Lake Union Naval Training Center in Seattle as an electrician. Upon completion of his schooling he was assigned to the USS Tolland 64 located in The Philippines. When World War II ended, he was discharged from the Naval Reserve in April 1946.
After his Naval service Mr. Springer worked at various jobs and attended college at Whitworth College and then the University of Washington for two years. In 1949, he built and operated a restaurant in Deer Park.
He sold the restaurant and re-entered the Navy on Feb. 24, 1951, and served in the Korean War. He served aboard the LST 803 from May 1951-March 1954 and was discharged from the Navy in February 1955.
While in the Navy, he met Ruthann Marie Tufto of Spokane whom he nicknamed "Penny." The couple were married on March 8, 1952, in Spokane.
While in the Navy, Don and Penny lived in California and Great Lakes, Ill., before returning to Spokane.
Mr. Springer worked as an electrician at various jobs. In 1967 the family moved to Prosser, Wash. In 1974 he went to work for United Nuclear Industries on the Hanford Reservation. Starting as an electrician, he worked his way up to manager of skills training.
He was active in Alcoholics Anonymous for many years and wrote a column for The Prosser Record Bulletin called “Ask an Alcoholic.”
After retirement in 1985, he and his wife realized a life-long dream of touring the canyons in the Southwest United States. Their interests then turned to researching their family history all the way back to 1620 when his mother's family arrived in the new world on the Mayflower. They published the book with a genealogy containing 1,700 names and plenty of stories.
While researching their genealogy, they enjoyed traveling around the United States and met many relatives and friends. They also enjoyed gambling in Nevada and in Toppenish, Wash.
He was preceded in death by his wife, RuthAnn “Penny” Springer, who passed away on April 23, 2011; two brothers; one sister; and two half-sisters.
He is survived by four children, Steve (Bev) Springer of Yakima and Dale Springer of Naches, Wash., Cindy (Paul) Cross of Richland and Susan (Joel) Stephens of St. Johnsbury, Vt.; 12 grandchildren; six stepgrandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Prosser Funeral Home and Crematory was in charge of arrangements.