Donald “Don” A. Malcolm Jr.

Donald “Don”
Alexander Malcom Jr.

Jan. 24, 1955-Feb. 28, 2015

Captain Donald (Don) Alexander Malcolm Jr., 60, died Feb. 28, 2015, “nestled in the bosom of his family, while smoking, drinking whisky and telling lies,” his family said. “He died due to complications resulting from being stubborn, refusing to go to the doctor and raising hell for six decades. Stomach cancer also played a minor role in his demise.”

Don cherished family above all else, and was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. He met his future wife, Maureen (Moe) Belisle Malcolm, after months at sea crab fishing. “He found her in his bed and decided to keep her. Their daughter Melissa was born ‘early’ six months later,” the family wrote. “They decided to have a boy a couple years later, and ended up with another daughter, Megan. He taught his girls how to hold their liquor, filet a fish and change a tire. He took pride in his daughters, but his greatest joy in life was the birth of his grandson Marley, a child to whom he could impart all of his wisdom that his daughters ignored.”

After spending his formative years in Kirkland, Wash., with a fishing pole in hand, Don decided his life’s calling was to yell at deckhands on commercial fishing boats in Alaska. As a strapping young man of 19, he moved to Dutch Harbor to fulfill this dream. Over the next 40 years, Don was a boat cook, mechanic, deckhand, captain and boat owner. Although Don worked nearly every fishery in the Pacific Northwest at one time or another, his main hunting ground was the Bering Sea. He cut his teeth crabbing, kept his family fed by longlining halibut and black cod and then retired as a salmon gillnetter in Southeast Alaska. 

Don had a life-time love affair with Patsy Cline, Rainier beer, iceberg lettuce salads, and the History Channel (which allowed him to call his wife and daughters every day in order to relay the latest World War II facts he learned). He excelled at attempting home improvement projects, outsmarting rabbits, annoying the women in his life and reading every book he could get his hands on. He thought everyone could, and should, live on a strict diet of salmon, canned peas and rice pilaf, and took extreme pride in the fact that he had a chest freezer stocked full of wild game and seafood. His life goal was to beat his wife at Scrabble, and although he never succeeded, his dream lives on in the family he left behind.

Don is survived not only by his wife, daughters and grandson, but by his father, Donald Malcolm Sr.; brothers, Howard and Mike Malcolm; and sisters, Lisa Shumaker, Nicki White, Melinda Borg and Patsi Solano. He also has many nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins who love him dearly, and deckhands who knew him.

He will be having an extended family reunion with his mother, Winifred Thorton; foster parents Marvel and Dutch Roth; brothers Larry and Steve Malcolm; sister Doodie Cake, and other assorted family and friends who died too young. 

The family held a life celebration for Don on Saturday, March 21, 2015, in Gig Harbor, Wash.