Donald Stephen Taylor of Hermiston was born February 6, 1940 in Yakima, Washington the son of E. Lee and Irene (Dufault) Taylor. He passed away surrounded by loved ones in Hermiston on Thursday January 31, 2019 at the age of 78.
Don grew up in and graduated high school in White Swan, Washington. He served six years in the Coast Guard and went to college for a year "before he ran out of money," he jokes, and went to work to build up the farm with his dad. He met the woman who swept him off his feet, Sami Rae Wilson, in 1972. The couple were united in marriage on January 23, 1973 in Yakima, WA. They began their journey together in Wapato, WA where Sami joined in on the work on the ranch. In 1976, the couple moved to Hermiston where they built, owned and operated Frasu's Restaurant until 1991. It was considered the premier watering hole and place to enjoy a good meal across the region and afforded Don and Sami ample opportunities to enrich the community with acts of service and fund raising. In 1990, they opened Marti's restaurant in Yakima, WA which they operated for several years. Don then returned to his passion of ranching, and the couple ran a cattle ranch in Starkey and a wheat ranch near Cayuse for several years.
When the couple retired, they enjoyed many trips to Alaska, Canada, Nevada, the Blue Mountains and the Oregon Coast. They frequented the casinos together where Don notoriously ran out of gambling money first and went to get more from Sami, who was the firm community chest. They were also known for their fervent love of football and enjoyed a tradition of watching weekly games, each betting exactly $1 on the opposing team, and cheering their heads off for their respective choice.
Don and Sami created a beautiful life of forty-six years together, and each cherished the other. Sami passed on January 3, 2019, and Don followed her just 28 days later, a testament to the power of love. May each of us be so blessed to find a love we simply can't live without.
He is survived by his children; Stephen (Shawna)Taylor of Hermiston, Jamie (Simon) Meacham of Washington D.C., Angie Lane of Spokane, WA and Alise Cortez of Dallas, TX; twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A Celebration of life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Friday February 8, 2019 in the Burns Mortuary Chapel (685 W. Hermiston Avenue Hermiston, OR 97838). Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of final arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, family suggest memorial donations be made in Don's name to any charity of their choice, or as Dad would lean, "go ahead and donate it toward Trump's wall." To leave an online condolence for the family please go to www.burnsmortuaryhermiston.com