Landscapes 12

Donald W Peck

October 29, 1951 ~ November 1, 2021 (age 70)


On Nov. 1, 2021, Donald Warren Peck, passed away at the age of 70, surrounded by his loving wife and two daughters. “Don” was born on Oct. 29, 1951, at Walla Walla General Hospital to Donald Kendall Peck and Alice (Geer) Peck. He was the first of two children. His sister, Sharon (Peck) Brown, was born a few years later. The two created a lifetime bond, full of wonderful experiences and memories. Don grew up in Pilot Rock, Oregon, and worked as a youth at the Jim West Ranch on Butter Creek, fueling his drive for hard work, perseverance and dedication. One of Don’s favorite childhood memories was helping his parents build and maintain a quarter mile paved asphalt race car track in Pilot Rock, called the Rocket Speedway. Races were first held during the day, followed by evening races, which took place under the big lights. Crowds ranged from 600 to 1,400 spectators. Don loved visiting with the many spectators and race participants. He quickly became an avid motor sports fan and rider. While in high school, he was active in the 4-H Birch Creek Livestock Club, several gun clubs, tennis, basketball, and with his artistic ability, he drew most of the signs for the school games and helped make several of the homecoming floats in the family garage. His first car was a Pontiac, which he repainted candy apple red and white, fueling his love of showing cars. As a teenager, he also took apart and rebuilt his first motorcycle in the family living room. Don’s father was a sergeant in the Army Air Forces, proudly serving on a B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-24 Liberator as a tail gunner in the Pacific. His love of avionics was passed down to Don, who enjoyed helping with the Pendleton Air Museum. Don graduated from Pilot Rock High School in 1969. Upon graduation, he attended Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon. Don met the love of his life, Debra (Toronto) Peck, while she was working during the summer of 1970. The two were married after college in 1972, and Pendleton became their lifelong home. They had two girls, Julie (Peck) Rendon and Jackie (Peck) Garton, who were the light of Don’s eyes. They enjoyed rafting, camping, snowmobiling, and attending the girls’ sporting and horse showing events. After college, Don initially worked for Pioneer Title Company, followed by 11 years as a loan officer for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and finally retired from Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) after 20 years in 2009. Don made many lifelong friends working at EOCI and he was known for his quick wit, his infectious smile, and his kind and compassionate spirit. He often drew comics on anything he could get his hands on, to make people smile. He always knew how to brighten everyone’s day and he was known for leaving his drawings on napkins in restaurants around town. He was an avid photographer who loved showing off his pictures. He also loved to cook, and his family and friends always enjoyed his famous ribs. He could fix anything and spent years building his family a cabin in the mountains. His grandchildren referred to him as the “rock” who could always find a solution to any problem, with an overwhelming love that held the family together. After Don’s retirement, he spent his days socializing with his friends for morning coffee, attending his grandchildren’s sporting events, playing with his great-grandson, and camping with his family at Harris Park in Milton-Freewater and riding his ATV at the Morrow County OHV Park. Don is survived by an uncle, George Peck; his sister, Sharon (Peck) Brown and Larry Brown; his wife, Debra of 49 years; his two daughters, seven grandchildren, one great-grandson, and numerous nephews and cousins, and their children. The family is planning a celebration of life for Don in April of 2022, at his favorite camping site at Harris Park.

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