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Donald Keith Meldrum passed away February 27, 2018 at an assisted living facility in Vale, Oregon.
Don was born April 9, 1923 in Provo, Utah to Calvin Ray and Mildred Patten Meldrum. He was the third of five children. He helped his parents on the family farm taking care of the orchards and the animals until the depression hit.
Land was opening up in Oregon, under the Vale, Oregon Irrigation Project. The family packed up and moved to Vale in 1935 when Don was 12. When they moved here, their belongings were packed into one side of a railcar and their livestock and Don’s pony on the other side. He rode in the car to tend to the animals from Provo to Vale. They homesteaded on an 80 acre property they cleared from sagebrush on the East Bench in Vale. Don (Keith) graduated from Vale High School in 1941.
Don went to Benson Polytechnic School of Portland, a trade school. There he studied electrical systems for airplanes. He was assigned to work at Gowen Field where he met his wife, a cute secretary, Leah Patterson. They were married May 5, 1943 in the Salt Lake City, Utah LDS temple.
He was drafted into the Army Airforce in July 1943 and spent two and a half years in Europe on the Warrington Airbase repairing and maintaining the airplanes. He served in the 597th Bomb Squadron of the 397th Bomber Group.
After his discharge in January 1946, he moved his family to Ontario, Oregon, where he built the house he raised his family in. He lived there until this last year. He worked as an electrician at Amalgamated Sugar Factory in Nyssa, Oregon, until he was hired to be the electrical supervisor for Ore-Ida Foods at its inception. He retired from Ore-Ida in 1988.
Don spent his retirement years doing the things he loved the most. He loved the outdoors and Hells Canyon was his favorite area. He fished, hunted and camped all over the west. He enjoyed spending time in his yard. He had beautiful flowers and abundant fruit and vegetables. He spent a lot of time with family.
He loved his church family and served in many callings throughout his life. He helped build the Red Rock Chapel, the first LDS Chapel in Vale, Oregon.
Leah passed away in 2002. In 2003 he married his widowed sister-in-law, Jahaza Patterson.
Donald Keith was preceded in death by his wife, Leah and his parents; his sisters Evelyn Haws, Lenore Brown and Belle Fasbender;and his brother Ray Meldrum.
Don is survived by his wife Jahaza, his six children, Brent (Sydnee) Meldrum of Olympia, Washington, Ted (Sheryll) Meldrum of Auburn, Washington; Jeannie (Dennis) Ackroyd of Ontario, Oregon; Sue (Jay) Jones of Ontario, Oregon; Ruth (Lowell) Whitaker of Vale, Oregon; Laura (Dennis) Buckmaster of Newport, Oregon; 29 grandchildren; 70 Great grandchildren; 6 step children and their families; one brother-in-Law, Gerald Fasbender.
Services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center, 1705 NW 4th Avenue, Ontario, Oregon on March 9. 2018 at 11 am. A viewing will be held the evening before at Haren-Wood Funeral Chapel from 6:30 to 8 pm and one hour prior to services. Burial will be in Rosedale Memorial Gardens in Payette, Idaho.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at email@example.com. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Pioneer Place Assisted Living in Vale, OR