Donald Mackay Goodfellow: Loved his family, hunting and fishing

Don Goodfellow

On March 4, 2019, Donald Mackay Goodfellow, age 89, died peacefully at home with his wife and eldest daughter by his side. Born 9 /11/1929 in Seattle, shortly after relocated to Baby Island Heights, Whidbey Island where he was raised at Art Goodfellow’s Baby Island Fishing Resort. He and his brother Art chopped wood for the 14 cabins and helped put out and take in the 40 fishing boats. Among a class of 18 students, Don graduated from Langley High School in 1947.

After graduation Don sailed to and from Alaska as a Merchant Marine. His last sailing was to transport the Army’s 2nd Division from Fort Lewis Army Base in Tacoma to Poussin Korea. In 1951, Don was drafted into the Army and stationed at Fort Lewis. The only time he ever volunteered in the army, he stepped up to take an assignment driving 18-wheelers for the Water Purification outfit in France. Upon his return, on the GI Bill, he attended Edison Technology School in Seattle, earning a two-year degree in Accounting.

While studying he met the love of his life, Jean Katharine MacGilvra, teaching her first year at Langley High. Their first date, on April 3 1954, was a dance at the Ingleside Community Hall, their second crabbing on the shores of Possession Point. Married April 2, 1955, in 1963 they bought their lifetime cabin/home in that bay.

In 1957 Jean presented him with his first of three daughters. And, in 1959 Don embarked on a new business venture with neighbor and new life-long friend, James (Jim) O’Connor. Two families raised side by side, Don and Jim’s business partnership spanned 22 years. Based in Edmonds/Lynnwood, they created the largest automatic floor cleaning machine service in the country. Members of the Seattle Building Maintenance Association, Don served one term as president. Teaching strong work ethics to his daughters, Don paid 50 cents for every fleet van washed.

Don and his family lived in Edmonds, summering on South Whidbey Island. He raised his girls using the following philosophies: “Remember who you are and what you stand for,” “Goodfellows don’t cheat,” “You catch ‘em, you clean ‘em (and mine, too),” and “I’m not raising sissies”, with a little “Do as I say, not as I do” thrown in. Don shared his love of fishing, clamming, duck hunting and boating with them. He also shared his love for moose hunting with his two eldest grandsons. Don welcomed all his children’s friends in his house, but if they came, they had to live by his rules. His house was always full.

In 1984 he sold Highlands Building Maintenance to his partner and moved into semi-retirement as Jean opened her secretarial business in Langley. Don became the CFO, meaning he went to the local coffee klatch in the morning and walked the bills to the post office each afternoon. Through the next sixteen years the business expanded to include yarn, lingerie and then t-shirts into a full resort wear and gift store.

Civic and social activities included serving on the Sandy Hook Board of Directors, proprietary member (son of founding member) of the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club, serving on the BOD for nine years, including one as President, South Whidbey Rotary and South Snohomish County Elks Club.

Retiring from the business in Langley in 2000, he and his wife spent the rest of their marriage on the shores of Sandy Hook, playing tennis, pinochle, cribbage, dominoes, poker, traveling, enjoying their children’s families, and going to Friday night grill at the club. Don was always one for gatherings — any excuse to socialize with friends and family, share an old joke and hopefully be serenaded by a bagpipe.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and brother Arthur Lewis Goodfellow. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jean MacGilvra Goodfellow and daughters Janet Scott (Christopher) of Spokane, Molly Winton (Larry) of Oak Harbor, Barbara Childs (John) of Lynnwood, six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

A celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 27 from 2-4 at the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club in Langley, WA.



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