This Advent Season, we celebrate the life of Don Minnick, 84, child of God, who died November 14, 2020. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. His death occurred in their California home where his wife of 59 years and three children lovingly cared for him. Don was born on December 2, 1935 in Redfield, S.D. He was the youngest of eight children and devoted to his siblings. Later the family moved to Montevideo where he spent the majority of his growing years. He attended South Dakota State University where he played football and earned a degree in microbiology. He later enrolled at the University of Minnesota and earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. It was during the summers of his college years that he and a best friend travelled, using 3-speed bicycles, to Oregon to fight forest fires, and it was while making these trips that he began to develop a love for the Pacific Northwest. Don and Joan were married on June 18, 1961. They lived in Pipestone before moving West with their family and settling in Auburn, Wash. Once settled, he and William J. Moffat D.V.M. formed the Moffat Minnick Animal Hospital in Kent, Wash. where they remained in practice for 33 years. Don enjoyed caring for all types of animals and treasured the clients that he grew to know. Don was active in the outdoors as he enjoyed hunting with his son and beloved chocolate lab, fishing in Alaska, hiking in the mountains, and cycling with his Bike-and-Bible group. Following retirement, Don and Joan ventured to Palm Desert, Calif. Don was passionate working with Martha’s Kitchen, supported the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, and active in Kairos and TUMI prison ministries. The hungry and homeless, the imprisoned, and the overall disadvantaged have always been of great importance to him. He especially found joy in teaching ‘the guys in blue’ about Christ, the importance of caring for their families though incarcerated, and preparing them to eventually re-enter society. Most of all, it was the friendships of his fellow workers that he treasured. Don and Joan were members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Auburn and also attended Lord of Life in Richland. His faith was an intricate part of his life that he held close and instilled in his family. Don and Joan were married 59 years. They were blessed with three children and their spouses and grandchildren respectively; Steve (Lydia) and son Steven, Jodi (Howard) and sons Justin and Alex, and Amy (Tracy) and Joshua, Lydia, and Jacob. He is also survived by his two loving sisters, Ruth Heinmiller and Marilyn Hopkins, and many nieces and nephews that were so important to him in life. Don Minnick was a man of integrity and made this world a better place.
Posted online on December 23, 2020