Donald A. Tavalero entered Heaven surrounded by his family after a lengthy battle with leukemia on March 1, 2014. Donald was born May 5, 1926 in St. Helena, Calif. to Nicolas and Bertha Tavalero. He spent his early years on the family ranch in Fairfield, Calif. At 17 years old, Don went to Mare Island Shipyard as an apprentice to his older brother, Robert, in the foundry. He entered the U.S. Navy soon after and served in the Pacific during WWII. After leaving the Navy he returned to Mare Island, Calif. Donald earned his commercial pilot's license and kept up his love of flying. He later joined the Air Force Reserve and was called to duty in the Korean Conflict.

Donald worked at Red Top Dairy and became reacquainted with his future wife, Edith Crannell, whom he first met in the 2nd grade. Donald and Edith married June 5, 1949 in Vallejo, Calif,. They celebrated 64 years of marriage in June of 2013. Donald leaves behind his son, Lance (Lucy) of Medford, Ore.; son, Scott (Sue) of Weed, Calif. and their two children, "Grandpa's Favorite Grandchildren", Andrew of Weed, Calif. and Elizabeth of Ashland, Ore. There was never a doubt he loved his family.

Donald was a blood donor most of his life until 1993, after open heart surgery, he was told he could no longer donate. He donated well over 50 gallons of blood in his lifetime. He was a proud lifetime member of the NRA. He was a proud volunteer, he volunteered at Providence Hospital in Medford, Ore., he was a disabled parking enforcer for the State of Oregon Police, he served on the Election Boards for over 15 years, he and Edith read to elementary students. Donald loved a great joke and loved people. He satisfied both of those loves with the love of his life, Edith. As Edith worked at Food and Friends, Donald volunteered, telling jokes and helping people.

Don was an avid waterfowl hunter in California and passed the love of hunting to his sons and grandson. He loved God, he loved his family, and he loved his country. He was a true patriot. His family would like to thank Dr. Dibbs and all his staff at Southern Oregon Oncology for their kindness and caring and Dr. Van Vaulkenburg from Medford Medical Center.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 21, 2014 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2000 Oakwood Drive, Medford. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Food and Friends or the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.