Donald Carl Macy was born on June 12th, 1930 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Carl and Faye Macy. He passed away on September 5th 2021 in Yakima, Washington at the age of 91. Growing up, his family were migrant workers and they first came to the Yakima Valley in the early 1940’s. He first attended Washington High School in Indianapolis then Yakima High School, and finally graduated from Highland High School in 1949 where he excelled as a student and in track, and met the love of his life, Barbara Jean Webert. They were married on August 18th, 1950. He would however always remain a Hoosier!!
Don’s early years were often difficult as the family of 10 followed the crops and much of the time they didn’t have suitable housing. The stories of poverty, an unstable family life, and desperate living conditions are in sharp contrast to the life that he and his beloved Jean carved out here in the Yakima Valley. He often said that if it weren’t for Jean he’d have never known what it feels like to sleep on sheets!!
Though Don had several jobs after high school, his most memorable was in the orchard working with his father-in-law Hamilton Webert, in Tieton, Washington. Don and Jean were provided housing and a small salary and Ham was a tough and demanding boss. Those early years on the farm were often difficult but it laid the groundwork for his long and successful career as a faithful and devoted family man and an outstanding orchardist. One of the many Hamilton stories Don related to us was when Don and Jean’s third child was ready to be born Ham instructed Don to keep working while Ham and his wife took Jean to the hospital to deliver their youngest child!
It wasn’t long before Don’s fierce independence, his desire to succeed, his incredibly sharp mind, and the support of his beloved Jean, he left his father-in-law’s employment and began the journey that would change his family tree forever. Guided by his enduring spiritual faith, he had several jobs in those early years to meet the needs of his growing family. He worked as a carpenter, leased small orchards, and worked as a foreman on a large farming operation, all the while learning what it would take for him to have his own place.
Finally in the fall of 1971 he purchased his first orchard on Cheyne Road in Zillah. It quickly became a family operation with their children playing a big role supporting the growing enterprise. Their life became hard work, church responsibilities, and family. Since Don was an avid reader and had a natural curiosity about many subjects he quickly found himself on the cutting edge of the tree fruit industry. It was known to everyone that knew Don that he was a man of high moral values and unquestioned integrity.
In 1979 a larger orchard just east of Zillah came up for sale and Don and Jean felt that God was leading them to even greater service. As his life as an orchardist grew so did his desire to faithfully serve his God. Don and Jean co-chaired a mission outreach at the Ahtanum Pioneer Church and led a short Mission trip to Venezuela which became an annual mission trip for church volunteers. Out of this outreach ministry to Venezuela, CrossLink was born, along with Elias Garcia’s family moving to Yakima to guide and grow the Hispanic ministry here in the Yakima Valley. Through the CrossLink ministry Juan and Dina Aguilar and their sons Juan, Henri, and Josue helped expand the ministry in the Yakima Valley. Don and Jean also led a prayer team for the international ministry of RREACH with Ramesh Richards from Dallas, Texas.
Don and Jean were devoted grandparents to each one of their 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. They attended countless athletic events, school plays/musicals, graduations, or any event that was important to that grandchild. They always waited to share the moment and beamed with pride at their accomplishments. As the grandchildren got older, birthdays continued to be remembered and both prayed for each one. Don’s grandchildren often sought out his advice on a wide range of life’s problems. Don was never judgemental and his advice was filtered through his profound faith that was always valuable and practical. As recently as last week Don related that he continued to pray daily for each of his children and their spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren… by name!
Don and Jean gave generously to the Yakima Union Gospel Mission, Crosslinks Hispanic Ministries, and his church.
As the years went by Don and Jean explored the world with trips to Hawaii, India, Israel, Jordan, England, Italy, Venezuela, and Greece. Don also traveled to China and New Zealand where he observed apple growing practices.
Don took great pleasure in volunteering in his daughter Janet’s 3rd grade classroom at Roosevelt Elementary in the Granger school district. He loved reading to 3rd graders and sharing experiences whenever asked.
Don is survived by three children, Janet Leach, Mike Macy (Becky), and Patti Brown (Denny), 17 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild. He is also survived by sisters Jacquiline Seidel and Dr. William Seidel, Twila Jean Kuhn, Shirley June Lomelino, Delores (Dolly) and Tom Hagerman, and brother Jerry Richard and Janet Macy.
Preceding him in death are: His beloved wife of 62 years Barbara Jean Macy, son in law David Leach, sisters Nellie Jo Macy and Melanie Lynn Jarrett, brothers Larry Lee Macy, Daniel Macy and Steven Gene Macy.
A celebration of life service is scheduled for Saturday, September 25th at 1:00 PM at Keith and Keith Funeral home in Yakima. There will be a reception to share and commemorate his life immediately following. Donations in Don’s memory can be made to the Yakima Union Gospel Mission or CrossLink Ministries.
A very special thanks to Hospice and the amazing staff at Living Care.
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