Donald Ralph Greenwood
June 21, 1922 - June 02, 2013
N7DG Don Greenwood signed off the air for the last time on June 2, 2013.
Don was born in San Francisco on June 21, 1922, to Ralph Brown Greenwood and Olga Amelia (Sheets) Greenwood. As a young boy, he took care of his younger brother, Arthur, and younger sister, Patricia, while still finding time to develop the interests that would become his lifelong passions: exploring the outdoors, enjoying nature, pursuing the elusive rainbow and steelhead, and tinkering with electronic and mechanical gadgets to learn how they worked Ė and how to fix them when they didnít.
Don graduated from Pittsburg (CA) High School in 1940. He enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor and was commended for his distinguished service as a high-speed radio operator and radar crew chief with the 582nd Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion in the Tunisia, Naples Foggia, Rome-Arno, Northern and Southern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe Campaigns.
He was wounded in 1945, but the silver lining was catching the attention of a beautiful redheaded WAC nurse. He and Hazel Emily Thompson were married on April 19, 1946. They started their new life together in California, where Don was recruited as a code operator into a new organization called the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. During his long tenure with FBIS, Don and Hazel and their daughter, Cheryll, traveled the world. He completed his BSEE (with honors), learned to love golf (he was proud of his hole-in-one), cheered on whatever baseball and football teams were near his home base, made sure his family respected the people and the cultures of the countries where we lived or visited, and tried to be the best husband, father, friend, and co-worker he could be. He became Chief Engineer of FBIS, supervising many engineers and technicians at more than a dozen locations around the world. He stayed in close contact with many of them till the end of his life, sharing memories of the time they spent together and the good work they did in service to their country.
Don became an amateur radio operator in 1950 and worked hard to qualify for his Extra Class license. He was an active, dedicated ham who was particularly proud of his service as Net Control for ham networks set up to provide emergency assistance during natural disasters worldwide.
Don and Hazel retired to Grants Pass, Oregon, where they thoroughly appreciated all the many wonders of that beautiful area. They fished the Rogue, enjoyed plays and concerts, served their community as volunteers for many organizations, explored and traveled widely with family and friends, counted birds for the Audubon Society, built birdhouses with the Boy Scouts, and drove to the coast to crab.
As Hazelís health declined, in 2008 they moved to Bellingham, Washington, to be closer to their daughter, Cheryll Greenwood Kinsley, her husband Dale Kinsley, and their grandson Leon Christopher Greenwood Kinsley. And that is where Don signed off at last, surrounded by the love of his family and the compassionate care of the wonderful people at St. Francis.
We will miss Don very much. Please think of him if you find yourself enjoying chocolate, crab cakes, strawberries, or martinis. If you would care to make a donation in his memory, please consider the Whatcom Humane Society (3710 Williamson Way, Bellingham, WA 98226), the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org), the St. Francis Foundation (3121 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225), or a charity of your choice.
A private family celebration of Donís life will take place later this summer. He will be laid to rest in Promise, Oregon. Moles Farewell Tributes-Bellingham
Farewell Tribute Information
A private family celebration of Donís life will take place later this summer. He will be laid to rest in Promise, Oregon.
If you would care to make a donation in his memory, please consider the Whatcom Humane Society (3710 Williamson Way, Bellingham, WA 98226), the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmyusa.org), the St. Francis Foundation (3121 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225), or a charity of your choice.