Westminster Memorial Park and Mortuary

14801 Beach Blvd, Westminster, CA


Donald Dean Peters

May 2, 1930November 28, 2019

Don’s golden heart stopped beating on Thanksgiving morning, November 28, 2019. He graced this world for 89 wonderful years, picking up many friends along the way. Don was blessed by the gift of “wearing out evenly”, slowing down, but continuing to enjoy life to the end. A 37-year resident of Crescent City, Don left this life peacefully and without regret.

Born May 2, 1930 in Lake View, Iowa, Don was the youngest of 6 children born to Herman and Dorthea (Jensen) Peters. Following his mother’s death when Don was 3 years old, his father and 4 surviving siblings were left to care for him.

Raised on the family farm in Lake View, Iowa, Don was proud of his farmland roots. His formative years were filled with family, friends, school, and lots of hard work. Soon after graduating High School (Class of 1947) Don was inducted in to the U.S. Army, honorably serving his country during the Korean War.

No longer wanting to farm for a living, Don headed to Southern California to build a new life. He met and fell in love with his future wife, Lea Zachary Haifley, and they married in 1957. Both were residents of the same apartment complex, and Lea was a waitress at a nearby restaurant Don frequented. It was love at first bite. Don and Lea enjoyed 47 years of life together until Lea’s death separated them in 2004.

Don found love again in 2007 when he met Crista Perl. Don and Crista made each other smile, and together was their favorite place to be. They soon knew they were looking at their future and became engaged in 2008. Sadly, Crista passed away in 2011, leaving Don to again experience a broken heart.

Don spent his entire career in the aerospace industry working as a machinist while employed by Rocketdyne, McDonnell-Douglas, and Rockwell. Upon retiring at 52, Don and Lea relocated from Lakewood, CA. to Crescent City in 1982.

It’s always the simple that produces the marvelous. A humble, honest, quiet and kind gentleman, he had an easy-going demeanor and optimistic spirit. Don was the exemplification of goodness, decency and hard work, and led his life with honor and wisdom. Common sense was Don’s superpower.

Don loved tinkering in his garage. “Nothing had an expiration date and everything was fixable”. Adept at using his VCR, and able to use his flip-phone with confidence, Don was a late adopter of modern technology, using his oversized TV remote to flip between watching TV news and western movies. Don cherished his favorite coffee mug, considering it “well-seasoned”. Fishing played an important role in Don’s life. Affectionately known as “Ding Dong Daddy”, fish trembled at the mention of his name. The fish of Del Norte County can finally relax. Known for his famous smoked salmon, Don’s recipe and technique were unparalleled. Gardening was just another day at the plant for Don and Lea. Together they grew, made, canned and stored vegetables from their own garden. Trips to the casino were a favorite pastime for Don, enjoying “slots of fun”.

Don was a loving Grandfather to Debbie (Larry) Kennedy, Sherry (Frank) Abate, Guy Danielsen (deceased), and Brian Weller. Proud “Great-Grandpa” of 8… Jared, Lauren, Sommer, Lindsey, Brooke, Jettah, Aaliyah and Araya, and honored to be a “Great-Great Grandpa” of 8. A much loved Uncle, Don is fondly remembered by his Iowa family …nephews Todd, Brent, Lance Peters, and sister-in-law Bonnie Peters; and loving family members Kathy Beckman, Rodney Walters, Bryan Harvey and Audra, and other loving family.

Don will be greatly missed by those that knew him (except the fish). The cherished memory of this kind, sweet gentleman will forever be in our hearts. Don’s path to Heaven was well paved. He was preceded in death by his parents, his 5 siblings, Lillian, Gladys, Ruth (stillborn), Mabel, and Harold, his beloved wife Lea, grandson Guy, fiancé Crista, grandson-in-law Larry Kennedy, and many other treasured family and friends.

It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey. Don leaves behind a multitude of so many supportive, loyal, and loving friendships. Thank you Lesley and Lynn for your time, friendship, caring and kindness. Thanks, love, and eternal gratitude to Don’s amazing neighbors, Bobby, Tony and Michelle, for their friendship, loyalty, help, and hugs. As age would have it, Don’s mobility became limited, progressing from cane to walker to wheelchair. Bobby generously became Don’s chauffeur and personal shopper. Don so enjoyed their weekly breakfast outings and backgammon games. Thank you to the care team at Addie Meedom House for their kind attention and care of our Grandfather.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, December 13, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. at Westminster Memorial Park, 14801 Beach Blvd., Westminster, CA.

We welcome everyone to share this special man’s life. Please sign the guestbook at www.westminstermemorial.com to share your memories.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Donald Dean Peters

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Debbie Kennedy

December 6, 2019

My Grandfather Don was such a great man. Loving, caring and funny. I will miss you dearly.

Cathy Beckman

December 3, 2019

I’ll never forget the day we spent together when I was on vacation along the west coast and stopped to see you. You took me to your favorite breakfast place, the light house and other great sites around Crescent City. While we didn’t see much of each other over the years you were always in my thoughts and my heart.

Love always, your Niece Cathy Beckman