Donald E Kissinger was born May 21, 1935 to Merle and Dorothy Kissinger in Orofino, Idaho. He died October 11, 2021 due to complications from cancer. He spent his early schooling years in Spokane, WA but summers he often visited family in Grangeville, Sweetwater and Yellow Pine. He moved to Grangeville in 1951 and graduated from GHS in 1953. He married Jane Heron on November 7, 1953 and attended Washington State University from 1953-1958, graduating with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. During those college years, all four of his children were born. He later received a M.S. degree from University of Idaho in 1968.
He was employed as an antenna specialist for the U.S. Navy at Point Magu, California, from 1958 to 1961. He returned to Grangeville and taught in the Grangeville school system both at the Jr. High and High School in math and science from 1963 to his retirement in 1993. He was a lifetime member of the Idaho Education Association and the national association. In 1970 he was named Outstanding Educator and in 1993 he received the Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Idaho Alumni Association and the Tandy Outstanding Science Instructor award. He served as commencement speaker for GHS in 1992, and as a volunteer science and math tutor for adults seeking to advance their education.
He is remembered for initiating the GHS wrestling program and serving as head coach for 20 years. He received numerous coaching awards including District Coach of the Year 1978 and was the honored coach at the State Wrestling Tournament in 1992. In 2001 Don received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
He served on the Board of the Camas Credit Union (now Pine Tree Credit Union) for 20 years and was Treasurer/Manager for 15 of those years. In 1978 he became a licensed land surveyor and accompanied his father-in-law Bert Heron on many surveying jobs. He also held a private pilot’s license for a number of years. He was a lifetime member of the Trinity Lutheran Church and served as elder and Treasurer for many years.
In 2003 Don and Jane celebrated 50 years of love and blessings. After an extended battle with cancer, Jane passed in 2006. On the 28th of February 2015 Don married Linda Aiken and they had close to 6 years of happy companionship before Linda passed in 2021. Most of those years they had the joy of providing day care for their grandchildren Kayla and Jayce.
Don spent his retirement years substituting at GHS, shooting and loading guns from his large collection, 4 wheeling with family and friends, and driving for a shuttle service.
Don is survived by his three children: Anne (Mark) Waite of Marysville, WA; Robert (Michiko) Kissinger of Cincinnati, OH; and David (Chikako) Kissinger of Coeur d’Alene, ID; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his son Scott Kissinger.
Don’s final months were spent at Meadowlark Home. He absolutely refused to leave Grangeville! The family would like to thank the staff there and that of Grangeville Hospice for their excellent and loving care as his life came to an end.
There will be funeral service at Blackmer Funeral Home on November 6 at 11 a.m., followed by the internment of ashes at Grangeville Cemetery. Please join the family for a reception at the Grangeville Senior Center from 1 to 3 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home, Grangeville. Send condolences to the family to blackmerfuneralhome.com.