Nov. 28, 1955-July 25, 2018
Don Felton, 62, also known as Mr. Poinsettia, the Mayor of Harper Drive, and Crazy Don, died suddenly and unexpectedly on July 25, 2018, surrounded by those he loved and who loved him dearly in return.
Don was born Nov. 28, 1955 and raised in the Los Angeles area and relocated to Ventura, California, in 1980, where he and his wife, Joan, started their family. As their children grew, Don discovered a passion working with kids as a mentor, coach and referee. He volunteered countless hours at Poinsettia School, often taking pies in the face and dunks in the water tank at many school functions. He organized the annual block party on Harper Drive, and was the instigator of epic water balloon competitions. He was a coach, referee, and division director for AYSO Division 39 and coach and umpire for Montalvo Little League. It was through his experience with little league that he found his true calling as a baseball umpire. He spent more than 25 years umpiring little league, high school, and adult ball, and felt that his most important contribution was to not only teach kids about the rules of the game, but about life itself. He was never happier than when he would be approached and thanked years later by a young adult who recognized him from baseball or soccer. The highlight of his umpire career was calling a game with Montalvo Little League at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
In 2012, following his retirement, Don and Joan relocated to Homer, Alaska, where Don continued umpiring Homer and Kenai Little League games, high school baseball and softball, American Legion baseball and adult softball. When health issues forced him to give up his beloved umpiring, he spent many hours volunteering at the South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center (SPARC), where his favorite time was spent helping kids practice their baseball and soccer skills. Don loved living in Homer, and often commented that he had no desire to travel to other places as he had everything he wanted and needed in his adopted hometown. He especially loved the changing of the seasons and watching the winter storms roll over Kachemak Bay.
Don was passionate about organ donation, as he was an organ transplant recipient and knew what a life changing experience it could be. Upon his passing, he was able to donate to others. He would have been thrilled to know what a difference he made, and it was the only bright spot for his family in a devastating time. In Don’s memory, if you have never considered organ donation, please do so, and speak with your loved ones about it. The gift of life is so, so dear and brings such brightness in a time of sorrow.
Left to cherish his memory and miss him forever are his wife, Joan Splinter of Homer, Alaska; son, Andrew Splinter-Felton of Bend, Oregon; daughter, Emily Splinter-Felton of Anchorage, Alaska; mother and sister, Ellen Felton and Carol Malnick of Menlo Park, California; brother, James Felton of Agoura Hills, California; countless other relatives and friends; and his beloved dachshund, Willie Mays.
At Don’s request, a private family memorial will be held at a later time. For those wishing to do so, memorial contributions may be made to SPARC at http://sparchomer.org or SPARC, P.O. Box 698, Homer, Alaska, 99603. Most of all, to honor his memory, hold your loved ones close and donate the gift of life.