Donald (Donny), age 88, passed away March 5, 2022 after a brief illness. He was born on November 10, 1933 in Pasadena, California to Wallace Ward and Norma Pauline (Willson) Stultz.
Donny left high school at seventeen to help his mother after his father passed at age 49. He worked as a mechanic to help his mother stay in the family home.
Donny met his future wife, Barbara Gail (Blevins) in 1953 after a mutual friend arranged a blind date. They fell in love and eloped to Las Vegas in 1954. The newlyweds welcomed their first son in 1956, two more sons followed in 1959 and 1961. Donny served in the US Army from 1956-1958 completing a tour in Germany. When Donny returned to Pasadena in 1958, he continued as an auto mechanic until he joined the Pasadena Fire Department in 1961. He worked his way up to Engineer, which was the highlight of his career.
Donny used all his previous knowledge as a mechanic to help his fellow firemen restore a 1909 Seagrave Apparatus (fire engine), which was found in the basement of a Pasadena fire house. The restoration turned that engine into the pride of the Pasadena Fire Department and was often used in the Pasadena Rose Parade and other community events. Donny retired from the Pasadena Fire Department in 1986 after 25 years of service. In his retirement, Don and another retired fireman started the D&D Golf Cart Rental and Repair Company, which kept Donny busy using his mechanic skills while working on his golf game.
Donny and Gail, along with several other Pasadena Fire Department retirees, relocated to Whidbey Island in 1990, where his real retirement began on the golf course. Donny was very active at the Whidbey Golf Club until 2022. Donny loved golf and often told friends that it was the reason why he retired. Donny was a charter member of the Whidbey Cruzers and enjoyed showing his 1940 Ford 2-door Sedan, which he completely restored and customized. Donny and Gail went on many trips with the group for car shows and tours of the western states. When Donny wasn’t playing golf or out in his garage working on cars, he enjoyed building model wood ships. Donny always made time to help his friends and family and was known for unassuming manner, sense of humor, and kindness.
Donny was preceded in death by his father and mother. He is survived by his wife, Gail, who he loved for 68 years, his three sons, Greg (Susan), Gary (Nancy), and Doug (Liz) plus seven grandchildren, Jeremy (Lacey), Matt, Alyssa (Daniel), Tim, Gillian, Kyle, Ryan, and six great grandchildren. Donny is also survived by his older brother Richard (Betsy) and eight nieces and nephews.
Donny, we will all miss you dearly and will love you forever.
A Celebration of Life will be held April 3, 2022 at the Whidbey Golf Club at 2:00 pm.
The family would like to thank the staff at Regency on Whidbey-Harbor Care and Whidbey Health Hospice for the excellent care and compassion shown to Donny and Gail during his short illness and passing. We are very grateful that you all were there to walk alongside the family at this difficult time.