DONALD ARTHUR GENERAUX
June 10, 1925 ~ August 16, 2015
An avid airplane enthusiast and pilot, Don Generaux took his final flight Sunday, August 16 dipping over the horizon and into the eternal light. Born in Portland to Lloyd and Alice Pearson Generaux, the family homesteaded in Ridgefield in 1929. Don and older brother Harry attended Good Hope Primary School and went on to graduate from Ridgefield High School during the WWII conflict. Harry joined the Air Force, serving as a decorated B17 pilot, while Don, who joined the Army two years later, was stationed in U.S. occupied Korea at war's-end.
Returning home, Don married high school sweetheart, Patricia Gross and enrolled at Western Washington in Bellingham, earning a degree in Education. Blessed with natural athletic abilities, he had a short stint in semi-pro baseball and was a member of the Western golf team. Don began his teaching career at Fruit Valley Elementary, transitioning thereafter to Lewis Junior High as a math/ industrial arts instructor and freshman head baseball coach - an assignment he thoroughly enjoyed.
After obtaining a Masters degree in Guidance Counseling from Oregon State University, Don moved to Hudson's Bay High School where he became a much-beloved counselor and mentor to students. In 1970, Don headed up the counseling staff for the opening of the new Fort Vancouver High School, where he completed his career.
An excellent craftsman, Don supplemented early teaching years by working as a carpenter. With the help of wife Patty and son Guy, they built their own homes, including two residences on Green Meadows Golf Club, where the family became original charter members.
In the mid-1950s, Don was treated to a flight in a rented Fairchild Tandem Trainer with brother Harry at the controls. Don was immediately hooked. He studied vigorously to earn his pilot's license, taking lessons from legendary instructor Wally Olson at Evergreen. Don also had restored antique Fords and was a longtime member of the Vancouver Slo Poks and Early Ford V8 Club.
This inclination carried over to airplanes as Don and a friend acquired a rare 1942 Meyers OTW biplane, which they worked on and flew to air shows. Don was devastated when his partner was killed in a crash of the biplane. Salvaging the wreckage, he eventually restored it to like-new condition. The Meyers became a showpiece at vintage aircraft displays up and down the West Coast and often was featured in Pearson Air Museum exhibits. Over the years, Don gave rides to hundreds of admirers, and he served a term as president of the Northwest Antique Air Club.
Don is survived by brother, Harry Generaux (Margaret); son, Guy Generaux (Pamela); granddaughter, Courtney Generaux Olson (Craig); grandson, Brian Thomas; nephew, David Generaux (Laura); former wife, Patty Generaux; former wife, Dottie (Fern) Generaux; plus three stepchildren and their families.
Special appreciation goes to supportive friends Dave Pickering and the late Carol Lawrence. The family also thanks the nearly 100 people who attended Don's recent 90th birthday celebration at his hangar in June. The family has opted for a private memorial remembrance.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits