Donald Gordon Kent, 86, of Anacortes died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010.
He was born Oct. 2, 1923 in Longview and was raised by his parents, Varney and Marjorie (Bordlin) Kent, in Grandview.
Don met Pat Cornell in second grade and declared he would marry her one day. As a teenager, Don and his mother Marjorie moved to Seattle, where he graduated from Broadway High School in 1941.
Immediately following graduation, he answered the call to service and was commissioned as a U.S. Naval aviator at the age of 18. In between tours of duty, Don made good on his promise and married Pat in 1944, and together they raised three sons. Don retired from the Navy 26 years later as a decorated commander with many commendations, and during that time he earned a degree from George Washington University.
In 1967 he and his family relocated for the last time to Anacortes. He spent the next 15 years enjoying his career as a fourth grade teacher at Clearlake Elementary School in the Sedro-Woolley school district.
After he retired from teaching, Don focused his energy on lowering his golf handicap, volunteering at the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, and supporting Pat at the community theater. He also honed his skills woodworking and, even more importantly, pickle canning. Anybody lucky enough to get a bottle of Don and Pat's pickles would eat them sparingly, always hoping they would last until the next Mason jar came along.
During his last years, Don received loving support from his caregivers Jennifer Anderson, Sonya Nemnich, Mary Murray, Angie Baglien, Karen Gerlach, Skagit Hospice, and many others.
Don is survived by his wife, Pat; his sons, Rick, Brooks and Tracy; grandchildren Lisa, Teri and David; and his great-grandchildren, Brittany, Jacob, Sydney and Madison.
Don met every goal and challenge of his life often with nothing more than his quiet strength and determination. He will be sorely missed and never replaced. The family has not planned a public service.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity.
To share memories of Don please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc. in Anacortes and the San Juan Islands is in charge of arrangements.