Official Obituary of

Donald Merle McDougall

December 28, 1934 ~ March 29, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Donald McDougall Obituary

Donald Merle McDougall, 89, of Winlock, Washington, passed away on March 29, 2024 of natural causes at Providence Centralia Hospital surrounded by loving family.


Possessing his signature mischievous smirk from the start, Don was born December 28, 1934 in Newberg, Oregon, the son of Merle and Myrtle (Ingraham) McDougall.


He graduated from Taft High School (Lincoln City, OR) in 1953, went on to study Electronics Engineering Technology at Oregon Technical Institute, spending summer vacations working at Salvage Logging Company setting chokers. Upon graduation, he began work at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) as an Electronics Technician. In October of 1957, he was drafted into the United States Army where he served at Fort Bliss. He was honorably discharged after his two years, and resumed work at LLNL in 1959.


Don married Carol Shulver on September 19, 1970 in Pleasanton, California. The story goes that on one particular date, he asked Carol “Will you marry me?” She replied, “What would you do if I said yes?” They were married 53 years and had two sons: Dan and Tim.


In addition to 41 years working as an electronics technician at LLNL, he was an avid HAM radio operator (W6OA) and was active in the Livermore Area Radio Klub (LARK). They awarded him a lifetime membership for his decades-long service, which included maintaining signal repeaters in the region and participating in countless Field Days and other events throughout the state.


Don could build or fix anything, and was skilled at methodically determining the cause of any mechanical or electrical failure. He replaced the engine in the family’s 1966 VW Beetle, reroofed their home, and built a color TV and a grandfather clock from kits. Weekly Saturday morning garage sale expeditions with the boys would yield bargain half-broken finds that soon would work as new under his care.


He was a passionate backpacker and instilled his love and respect for the outdoors in his two sons, and even brought Carol to experience nature with camping trips in their tent trailer. The garden he kept aside the family home would yield tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, carrots, and even artichokes.


He took beautiful 35mm photos of their trips. Years later, he would digitally scan these, along with thousands of family photos going back to the 19th century. They now serve as an archive and resource for generations.


When he retired from LLNL, he and Carol moved to Winlock, Washington where he served on the board of the Winlock Historical Museum, became involved with the Chehalis Valley Amateur Radio Society, and attended the Winlock-Olequa Senior Center’s weekly “coffee klatch”.


Retiring and moving to Washington allowed him the time and space to create a much larger garden, with produce often donated to the senior center. With enough land to warrant a Kubota tractor, and with the help of his brother Vonlee, he built a large shop and garage which he outfitted with tools for almost any project.


Don is survived by his wife, Carol; sons, Dan and Tim; grandson, Benjamin; and brother, Vonlee.


Preceding Don in death were his parents, Merle and Myrtle and sister, Sheree.


Don’s ashes will be interred near the final resting place of his parents and grandparents at Pacific View Memorial Gardens in Lincoln City, Oregon. No services are planned.

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