Donald R. Arseneau
April 3, 1931-April 3, 2018
Donald Ray Arseneau, age 87, died peacefully surrounded by family on Tuesday April 3, 2018, at Providence Hospital.
Services will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Homer Elks Club. All who knew and loved Don are welcome.
Don was born in Kankakee, Illinois, April 3, 1931, to Mayotte and Hazel Arseneau. He grew up in Walkerton, Indiana, near South Bend. After graduating high school, Don joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean War as a flight engineer. He was decorated with several citations for his efforts during harrowing B-29 bombing missions over North Korea.
Don met Dolores Marie Leith while stationed in Alameda. They married in 1953. Don and Dolores welcomed their first daughter, Dorothy Hazel, in 1955, a second daughter, Diane Kay, in 1957, and Susan Marie in 1961.
After being honorably discharged, Don was hired as a teacher in San Jose at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School. Diane was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away in 1961. Soon after the loss of their daughter, Don went to work at Pay Less Drugstore. Starting at an entry-level position he worked his way to be manager of a large, brand-new store in Santa Barbara. This was a job he loved and excelled at.
Don went on to manage the Office Max store in Downtown Santa Barbara. Soon thereafter he and his wife started the business “D-Max.” This entrepreneurial venture involved creating beautiful wood carvings, coat racks and other whimsical pieces.
In 1994 Don and Dolores moved to Homer to be closer to their new grandson, Grant Philip Lee Arseneau. The family ran a day-care out of their home while Don worked at Paul Banks Elementary School. Don also worked at Homer Mental Health until he retired. Dolores died of complications resulting from a car crash in 1997.
Don met Pam Breckenridge at a local event in 2008 and fell in love shortly thereafter. Don and Pam loved to travel, going to Raider games and Las Vegas among their many destinations.
By his own admission he was a bad student … who became a decorated Korean War veteran, teacher, and manager of stores/teams/cheering sections. He was a key part in the success of Bear Creek Winery. Don was a mentor and supporter to all he knew throughout his life, and was also an active member in many civic groups: ELAMs, Optimists, Elks Club and the American Legion. Don loved his family, golfing, dancing, playing cards, good food and good company. He enjoyed working to help others. Don was truly a cheerful man who brought much to the table of life.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his brother; Eddie; his daughter; Diane; his first wife Dolores, and his granddaughter Nikki.
He is survived by his loving partner Pam; children, Dorothy and Susan; grandchildren, Jasmine and Grant; great-grandchildren, Hank and Maggie, all of Homer. He is also survived by his Sister Kay Cheeseborough of Illinois, extended family and dear friends, many of which consider him “Grandpa Don.”