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Donald's Story

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Donald Lane Willson, 86, died Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at Poudre Valley Hospital following a brief illness.

He leaves his wife of 61 years, Elizabeth (Liz) Willson; his son and daughter-in-law, Bryan and Julie Willson; his daughter and son-in-law, Robin and Jeff Dorer; and their four grandchildren, Laura, Mary, Heather, and Justin.

Born in Tulsa and raised in Duncan, OK, the son of Perry Lane and Myrtle Moore Willson. In his early years, he was active in Boy Scouts. He attended Southern Baptist University and received a degree in Engineering. During college, he was drafted and he served in the Army during the Korean War. He was based in San Francisco. Later, he went on receive a Master of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, where he taught undergraduate classes. Upon graduating, he worked for Collins Radio in Richardson, TX, where he supervised the metallurgy lab. He worked there until retiring in 1991.

During his time in college, he met Liz and they were married at the Methodist Church in Gould, OK on September 1, 1956. She was a 4-H Extension Agent and had a degree in Home Economics from Oklahoma A&M. They soon after had their two children, and raised them in Richardson. He was very involved with their activities including sailing, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and music.

Upon his retirement, Don and Liz moved to Fort Collins, CO to be closer to son Bryan and grandchildren. They were very involved with their Samaritans Bible class at First United Methodist Church, in the Fort Collins Newcomers and alumni group, and with the Fort Collins Senior Center. They traveled all over the country and state, and even internationally with the Senior Center.

He was very proud of Bryan's work founding the Energy Institute at Colorado State University, and Robin's career as a legal assistant and musician. He enjoyed being a part of his grandchildren's lives, and watching them grow into adults.

A memorial service will be held in Fort Collins at First United Methodist Church (1005 Stover St.) on Saturday, August 26 at 10 a.m.
Published on August 15, 2017
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