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Donald L. DickinsonJuly 10, 1956 ~ October 22, 2017 (age 61)
A small private family ceremony will take place in Coos Bay for Donald Lavern Dickinson, 61, of Coos Bay. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date in Lewiston, Idaho, with family.
Donald was born in Lewiston, Idaho to Donald L. Dickinson Sr. and Naoma Dickinson, but raised by his father and his beloved step-mother, Louise Dickinson. He passed away Oct. 22, 2017 in Camas Valley. Donald graduated from Lewiston Sr. High in Lewiston, Idaho. During his youth, he was an active thespian and singer and had a band with friends. He spent a lot of time on his grandfather's ranch; raising cattle, roping and riding horses and all the talents that go with being a cowboy and horseman. Don was also a Fifth-degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, training with Ed Parker. For a time, he had his own dojo in Lewiston, Idaho.
Don served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era. He was proud to serve his country. He was a disabled vet and later worked as a volunteer at Southwestern Oregon Veterans Outreach in North Bend; helping other vets who faced the same struggles he had gone thru and overcome.
Don attended the University of Idaho, and graduated with a BA in psychology and a BA in fine arts. He was also a member of Mensa.
He lived in Boise, Idaho, for a time, later southern California, New Mexico, Sheridan, Wyoming and finally moving to Coos Bay. He loved the coast and the ocean and retired in Coos Bay to focus on his art. Don was an artist and was accomplished in his work with painting, acrylics, watercolor and also sculpture, including marble, bronze and other mediums. He worked with several fine artists over the years, including Chihuly; mixing pigments and Ralph Crawford, known for his western art. Don has murals scattered across the country as well.
Don suffered another terrible accident a few years ago, which affected his ability to be a fine painter, so he turned his creative talents to photography and in recent years that had been his passion. Don loved to travel and experience new places, new people and be able to capture the beauty of nature from behind the camera. His recent travels included the Redwoods National Forest, all the sea burgs along the Oregon coast, Juneau, Haines, Alaska, Yellowstone National Park, the Little Bighorn National Monument and the beautiful flatlands of Iowa, with his wife Cindy. Don was talented in so many ways, but he was especially loved for his great sense of humor, his caring for others and his philosophical perspectives in life. He was and will remain an inspiration to many. He loved his family, many of whom are not connected by blood, but by spirit. Don was Buddhist and believed that we are all connected as one. He lived his life serving others and committing random acts of kindness to people without expectations for acknowledgment or reward.
He is survived by his wife, Cindy Dickinson; sisters, Maria Walters Laswell of Idaho, Cherie Thornton of Texas; children, Donavon, Brandy of N.M., Rick of Idaho, Tilura of Canada, Gabrielle, and Dawnelle of Idaho; step-daughter, Jenny of Ore.; grandchildren, Zoe, Alayna and Hunter. As well as nieces, nephews, cousins, and many, many friends spread all around the world who also considered him to be like a brother. Also his furbabies, his therapy dog, Cooper and his cats, Cleopatra, Oden and Bodhi.
He is preceded in death by his parents, step-mother, and a brother who died in infancy.
The family requests in lieu of flowers to send donations to Southwestern Oregon Veterans Outreach, Pony Village Mall, Suite 212. 1611 Virginia Avenue, Box 406, North Bend, Ore. 97459 to honor Don's memory and his service to our country.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com