Donald "Don" Marseille

September 30, 1929 - June 9, 2023


Donald "Don" Marseille was born on Sept. 30, 1929. Don peacefully continued his path to another place in time on June 9, 2023.

Don attended Northwestern University in Illinois under the Navy's ROTC scholarship program, earning a degree in economics, along with a lasting enthusiasm for the Wildcats football team. It was there that he met his first wife, Catherine, while working in the dining hall. They had two children; Robert, and Thomas.

Don served for four years as a supply officer on the aircraft carrier USS Tripoli. Returning to civilian life he began his career with Union Carbide as office manager of sales, moving family from New York, Georgia, and Northern and Southern California.

He returned to Chicago in 1965 to work as sales manager for Chicago Metallic at the invitation of the owners, who were boyhood friends. There he remained for 34 years. It was during this time that he, and his second wife, Patricia, welcomed their son, Stephen.

Over the course of his adult life, Don owned 16 homes, honing his skill of buying, selling, and moving. Don loved being busy and was an excellent handyman and problem-solver.

While he didn't slow down often, vacations did come along. An annual favorite for Don during the '70s was taking the three boys on a weeklong fishing trip to the upper lakes of Minnesota.

In 1989 Don retired. After some exhaustive research he and then wife Barbara selected Port Townsend. The day he retired was the day he stopped shaving, winning Port Townsend's Beard Contest, twice. The following year he declined entry feeling another should have the honor.

True to his nature, he did not rest in retirement, but set about becoming a valuable member of the Port Townsend community. Don was a member of the Centrum Board of Directors in the very early days, working to establish the first Centrum auction, originally called The Back Yard Bash. Don walked from store to store, procuring auction items, receiving in 1993 the Fancy Footwork Award. He served on the Skookum Board of Directors for 15 years. Was a member of the Jefferson County Law and Justice Council for eight years and a volunteer for the Jefferson County Historical Society for six years. Don worked side by side with Barbara on the restoration of the Rose Theater, the building of the Historical Society's building annex on Rhody Drive, and numerous city projects. Barbara passed away in 2009. Don remained active in the community. He married Claudia in 2011 and remained together until his passing. Don and Claudia continued with community activities, volunteering for the Wooden Boat Festival, Centrum and fundraising events for Seattle Children's Hospital.

Don managed to find time to be a member of the City of Port Townsend Public Facilities Advisory Committee, the City of Port Townsend Noise Ordinance Committee, all the while volunteering for the police department for 23 years. He was the original member of the volunteers. This was by far his joy. The "Graffiti Warrior" (official title given to him by the PTPD) allowed Don to publicly display his love of community. At 92 years of age, Don could be seen, clipboard in hand, walking the streets of Port Townsend, taking notes on the location of the graffiti, the color paint needed to cover, or the materials needed to remove. He thoroughly enjoyed this and the opportunity to converse with the passersby. Don knew no strangers.

At the age of 93, in the spring of 2023, Don was recognized with the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Port Townsend Police Department.

Don was preceded in death by his parents George and Jessie (Brandt) Marseille, and younger brother Richard.

Surviving Don are his three sons, Robert, Thomas, and Stephen; his nephews, James and David; great-nephew Alexander; and great-nieces Marissa, Angela, and Sarah.

Don's zealous desire for knowledge of life after death filled his library with books on quantum theory and near-death experiences. May his curiosity be sated.

To celebrate Don's life, there will be a gathering in the fall, with date and location to be announced.