March 10, 1920 - February 7, 2017
Donald " Don" House was born March 10, 1920 in Bismarck, North Dakota to Willis and Maude (Ellis) House. He and his family moved to Springfield, Oregon when Don was two. He spent those years playing baseball, picking beans and berries, as well as building hay forts with his three brothers. At age 13 Don and family moved to Medford where his father worked as the caretaker for Siskiyou Memorial Cemetery.
Don attended grade school in a one-room schoolhouse on North Phoenix Road, graduated from Medford High School in 1938, and attended Oregon State College (now OSU) for three terms. He then worked in Cynnabar plants producing mercury in Horsehaven, Ore., then in McDermitt, Nevada.
World War II began and Don enlisted in the United States Army at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was assigned to the 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. Don was the skipper of LCVP and LCM landing craft in the South Pacific. His most notable mission was the only night commando landing in WWII at Nassau Bay, New Guinea. Of 22 landing craft, his was the only craft not sunk on the beach on the initial assault, only to be sunk on the second landing that night. 20-foot waves and complete darkness caused the loss of the entire assault flotilla. Don spent 36 months in the South Pacific in places like Lae; Moro Bay; the Phillippines; and Inchon, South Korea.
Don returned to Medford in 1945 and worked for the California Oregon Power Company (COPCO), now Pacificorp, as a transformer repairman, then became a meter reader until retiring in 1982.
Don married Paulette Freshwater of Medford, Ore. January 26, 1947. They had four children, Carol, Gayle, Jon, and Ron.
In retirement, Don enjoyed reading and volunteering. Don was active in civic endeavors. He volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Kiwanis, and was an 80-year member of the Medford First Christian Church.
Don is survived by his four children, Carol Wolf, Gail (Jeffrey) Busby, Jon House, and Ron House; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded by his beloved wife of 62 years, Paulette in 2009; and by his three brothers, Irvin, Earl, and Willard House.
Don was a loving, devoted husband and father with a passion for giving. He was a kind man and always took pride in his family. Memories of camping, deep sea fishing, a modest heard of Polled Herefords, and his ranch are prominent in our hearts. Our dad was a patient and attentive leader and mentor to family and all who knew him. He will be deeply missed.
A celebration of his life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 17, 2017 at Medford First Christian Church. He will be laid to rest beside his wife, Paulette. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity or First Christian Church (building fund) in his name.