Obituary of Donald R. Denton
DENTON, DONALD R. “DON”
Born in Oakland, CA on December 31, 1931, Don passed away at his home in Penn Valley, CA on August 6. Preceded in death by his loving parents, H. Raymond (Ray ) and Esther (Noffsinger) Denton, he is survived by his wife of 58 years Linda (Allen) Denton, daughter and son-in-law Diane and Mike Wondolowski of Carpinteria, CA, daughter and son-in-law Deborah and Ben Argumedo, granddaughter Haley Argumedo of Woodland and daughter Allison Denton of Nevada City, CA.
A memorial service will be held on September 15 at 1:30 PM at Sierra Presbyterian Church, 175 Ridge Rd, Nevada City.
Don graduated from Oakland High School and continued his education at the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his degree in Business Administration in 1954. He was active on campus as a Yell Leader 1952-1954, President of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and a Fellow of the Order of the Golden Bear.
Upon graduation he joined the sales force of the Prudential Insurance Company of American in 1954 where he became a Chartered Life Underwriter (C.L.U.) with the company and remained until his retirement in 1992, then continued on until 2000 as an Agent Emeritus.
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Don served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1950 to 1957, where he was an instructor at the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center in Alameda.
For 35 years he was active on the Board of Directors for the Oakland YMCA, and for ten years a director and officer with the John Muir Memorial Association in Martinez at the home of the naturalist. Upon his move with Linda to Lake Wildwood in Penn Valley (Nevada County) he became a board member and officer for the South Yuba River State Park Association at Bridgeport along with leading tours as a Docent at the State Park.
All during his life he was an avid “Cal” supporter, continuing his activities as a Homecoming and Big Game rallies “vintage” yell leader on the Berkeley campus. In the 1995-1996 term period he served the California Alumni Association as a Director and was a recipient of a Trustees Citation from the University for his co-chairing the Class of 1954’s endowed gift to the Berkeley campus.
Prior to his demise Don had completed twenty five years as a volunteer mentor for the Match Two Prison Outreach program in California, visiting incarcerees on a monthly basis in San Quentin, Folsom, and most recently at the Vacaville Medical facility.
His hobbies included gardening, traveling, back-stroke swimming, dog-walking his and Linda’s dogs. One of his most favorite daily interests was reading nautical history and fiction of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic era of “The Age of Sail”, having completed the reading and studying of over 60,000 pages, a highlight of which was to attend the two hundredth celebration of Admiral Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar, held in 2005 at Oxford University.
Don was very active in Project Heart. Shortly before his death, Don learned that Project H.E.A.R.T’s Operation New Start, a Committee he formed, received a half million dollar grant to meet inmates immediately upon release to provide support and information about resources and invite them to Project H.E.A.R.T. meetings all aimed to give them a new start. Project H.E.A.R.T is successful in reducing the rate of recidivism to about 2.2% for Project Heart participants in Nevada County.
Most of all, Don enjoyed having his family around him during holidays and other special events, especially when the ‘clan’ could come together during the annual one-week summer trek to Tahoe.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Project HEART, Inc. 11180 Cedar Ridge Drive, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
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