The family farm was sold in the early 80’s and Don and Helen moved into Draper, taking on a gas station and cafe along I-90. The locals became the coffee crew who met up in the mornings and afternoons.
During this time, coffee shops and diners around the country were touting their “Rush Rooms”.
He did not talk much about his service other than these kinds of comments.
While in Korea, Don received one of those “Dear John” letters. An Army friend from Indiana suggested that Don write to a friend of his girlfriend and who both thought Don would enjoy and appreciate.
After graduating from Draper High School, Don worked on the farm until he was drafted in 1952 and served in the Army during the Korean War.
While serving as an Army Private, Don received a field promotion to Sergeant.
Don stated in interviews that he had a problem with anyone who would talk trash about women because it was good that women be strong independent people.
Don was preceded in death by daughters Deb Haka and Donna Westhoff, and siblings, Laura Mae (at age 2), Clarence, Lawrence and Hazel Darnaby.
Don and Helen wrote letters to each other for almost two years while Don served in the Army.
On Don’s Army discharge there were letters going back and forth and an understanding that Don was going back to the family farm.
Don said that even if you didn’t know what you were doing it would probably work out okay if you just tried to do the right thing.
Family and friends would probably recognize his catch phrase of “ah hell, you can do that”.
Coming back to Draper, Don started wearing many hats.