Donald Olmstead Sr., 101, left his earthly home to join his beloved wife, Betty, on April 24, 2019. Don was born in Moran, Kansas on Nov. 2, 1917, the third child born to Fred E. and Alpha Olmstead. He came to Grandview by train with his parents and brothers in 1919, and spent 100 years as a proud Grandviewite.
Don attended Grandview schools, graduating with the class of 1935. During high school he was an avid athlete, and played football (despite being extremely nearsighted without his glasses) and softball, and continued with the town softball team. He was always very proud of having won the team pull at the Harvest Festival (now the Yakima Valley Junior Fair) for two years, one of the youngest men to ever claim such victories. For most of his life he faithfully attended the horse team pulls every August at the Grandview fairgrounds.
After high school Don attended Washington State College in Pullman, but returned to Grandview to marry his high school sweetheart, Betty Soot. They were wed on Nov. 23, 1938 in her family’s home in Grandview, and celebrated their 76th wedding anniversary before her passing away in 2015.
Don and Betty established their home in Grandview, where he was engaged in fruit ranching. He was one of the earliest members and secretary of National Grape Cooperative in Grandview, and also raised cherries, plums and pears. Don was also a member of the Grandview Masonic Lodge, the Kiwanis Club and the United Methodist Church. For many years he actively pursued Olmstead family genealogy, and attended several international family reunions.
Don and his wife raised their three children in Grandview – Peter, Susan and Don Jr. He truly enjoyed country life, monitoring fruit buds, taking his shovel out to irrigate, and sampling the bounty of fruit on his ranch. Sports were always a favorite, whether watching games in person or on television. He was an avid fan of the Grandview Greyhounds and WSU Cougars. In his later years Don purchased a handsome and rambunctious cutting horse and loved watching that horse go through his paces. For the past several years Don has resided in Prestige Care nursing home in Sunnyside.
Donald Olmstead Sr. is survived by his children and grandchildren: Peter Olmstead, and wife Patty, and their three children, Jim, Doug and Melissa; Susan Beaver, and husband Gene, and their sons, Kyle and Peter, and Donald Olmstead Jr., and wife Barbara, and their children, Carrie Perry and Donnie Olmstead III. In addition he is survived by 21 great-grandchildren. He was blessed to have a grandson and a great-granddaughter who shared his birth date. In addition to his wife, Don was preceded in death by his parents, by brothers Fred Olmstead Jr. and Marvin Olmstead, and sister Marylee Hamilton Thorpe.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Grandview, WA. Memorials may be made to the Yakima Valley Junior Fair and Rodeo. Those wishing to sign Donald's online memorial book may do so at www.funealhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home in care of arrangements.