Donald Fleischmann, a Salem-Keizer resident for 72 years, died on July 15, 2019. He was 93 years old. He was in the Salem Hospital with an infection when he suffered a stroke a few days before he died.
The Willamette Valley has always been home to him. Don was born on Jan. 24, 1926 at his parent’s farm in Suver, OR (south of Monmouth). He was the youngest of four children (Donald was the last remaining sibling). They lost the family farm to create Camp Adair Army Base when the U.S. entered WWII. The family then moved to a farm south of McMinnville, OR where he graduated from McMinnville High School in 1944. He continued helping his dad on the farm for several years.
In 1946 he met Elsie Wirfs from Dayton, OR. They were married in 1947 and lived in Salem, OR. Don worked with his brother, Raymond, and they operated the Salem-Tillamook Freight. His next job was driving truck for NW Poultry. He worked at Curly’s Dairy driving home deliveries before joining Willamette Grocery. He worked for Willamette/West Coast Grocery for 37 years before he retired.
Don and Elsie were very active members at Salem First Baptist Church for many years before transferring to First Nazarene Church in Salem. He had a strong faith built upon his knowledge of the Bible. Don was very involved with music at both churches. It was not unusual to see him singing with other church choirs in the Salem area as well. He loved southern gospel quartet music. He and Elsie rarely missed a southern gospel concert. They were known to travel some distance to concerts and music conventions.
Don, Elsie and their childen, Steve and Sue, did a lot of tent camping.; if there was a lake or stream there were lines in the water. And games. Always games whether traveling or at home. Once the kids were grown, Don and Elsie transitioned to campers and RVers. And travel they did. Quite often in a caravan with other friends and family. Many cross-country trips and spending some winters in Arizona. But there was no doubt about where his favorite spots were: anywhere along the Oregon coast.
Don’s Christian life could best be described as having a Servant’s Heart exemplified by touching people’s lives with his care and concern. Don and Elsie were married for 56 years.
After Elsie died in 2003, Don married Ruth Goertzen. He found a kindred spirit with Ruth. And in the midst of church and family Don and Ruth found a joy in singing with the Just For Fun Singers. The last number of years they thoroughly enjoyed the freedom they found at Avamere Senior Independent Living.
Donald is survived by his wife Ruth Goertzen Fleischmann. Son and daughter-in-law, Steve Fleischmann and Joyce of Vancouver, Wash. Daughter, Susan Fleischmann of Salem. Grandchildren: Kimberly Fleischmann of Beaverton, OR; Joshua Fleischmann and wife Riley of Bellingham, Wash, Great grandkids Elsie, and Hattie; Samuel Fleischmann and wife Noelle of Pittsburg, PA, Great grandkids West, August, and Exodus.
Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16 at Restlawn Funeral Home Chapel. Internment will be at Salt Creek Cemetery following the service.
There was never a doubt about Donald’s love for family, for his music, and his faith. He was prepared and ready to meet his Lord after a full life.