Donald William Moos
March 4, 1923 ~ February 28, 2014
“For what purpose does your existence serve?” Don Moos asked himself and then replied, “…the most noble endeavors of both man and government are the fulfillment of their obligations to those generations yet unborn.”
On February 28, 2014, Don Moos, 90, a lifelong Washington state resident, passed away peacefully at the Colonial Vista Retirement and Care Center in Wenatchee. His legacy of public service began in October 1942, when he left Washington State (College) University to volunteer for induction into the U.S. Army. A proud Veteran of the European Theater during World War II, where he earned a Combat Infantry badge, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, he saw action in the Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhine River Campaign. In 1945, while on leave from the Army, he married Parmalee Brouillard of Sunnyside, WA. After 68 years of marriage, Parmalee predeceased him in 2013.
Shortly after their graduations from WSU, Don and Parmalee moved to Edwall, WA to carry on the family tradition of farming. During this time, Don served on the Edwall School Board and was one of the prime founders and second President of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers. In 1958, Don was elected to the Washington State Legislature, representing Lincoln, Adams and Ferry counties. After serving four terms, he became the state’s Director of Agriculture (1965 to 1973) in the cabinet of Governor Daniel J. Evans. His commitment to service continued as he became the Director of Cabinet Affairs and Special Assistant for Natural Resources (1973 to 1975) and state Director of Fisheries (1975 to 1977) in the same administration. In 1978, he and Parmalee moved to East Wenatchee when Don became the Fisheries Coordinator for the Chelan, Douglas and Grant County P.U.Ds. In 1981, he again accepted a position in Olympia to become the state’s Director of Ecology (1981 to 1985) in the administration of Governor John Spellman. Because Don and Parmalee were committed to making the Wenatchee area their final address, he commuted weekly between an apartment in Olympia and Parmalee’s great meals in Wenatchee. In 1985, Don discontinued his weekly travels and accepted the position of Senior Policy Advisor to United States Senator Slade Gorton, with an emphasis on agriculture, ecology, water and fisheries. His final position of formal service began in 1993, when he became the Land Use Hearing Examiner for Douglas County. Service also marked his volunteer efforts: one of his favorites was working with a teacher and students at Eastmont High School to launch their “Honor by Listening” project.
Don’s respect in these many positions was built on his analytic skills, his ability to forge compromise and his principled fairness. Those who knew and loved him most celebrated his great wit, his never-ending optimism, his love of stories and nature as demonstrated through his delight in hunting and fishing and digging in the earth, and his commitment to make a difference. Indeed, he lived his purpose.
He is survived by one daughter and son-in-law, Merry-K. Moos and Locke deBruyne of Durham, NC; one son and daughter-in-law, William H. Moos and Kendra Moos of Pullman, WA; one brother and sister-in-law, Lester and JoAnn Moos of Edwall, WA; five grandchildren, Christa Bohlke of Richland, WA, Brittany Johnson of Valleyford, WA, Robert “Bo” Moos of San Francisco, CA, and Kaitlin and Benjamin Moos of Pullman, WA; and six great-grandchildren, Abigail, Hannah, Caleb and Jordon Bohlke of Richland, WA, and Landon and Wyatt Johnson of Valleyford, WA.
His children wish to publicly thank Jim and Gaylene Pope, Don’s dear niece and nephew, who always found time to assure he felt special; his decades-long Rock Island lunch buddies, who brought Don laughter, shared passions for fly fishing and who stayed connected even as Don’s health deteriorated; the staff of Colonial Vista, whose compassionate caring for and about Don made them seem like an extension of his family; and the Central Washington Hospice, for making their father’s final earthly chapter one befitting a wonderful man.
A Private Graveside Ceremony will be held at the Edwall Cemetery, with a Celebration of Don’s Life to be scheduled for later in the year. The family desires no flowers. Instead, they suggest people pay tribute to Don by taking a Veteran to lunch, teaching a child to fish, or volunteering at a local school. Contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. You are invited to view his online guestbook at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com. Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee, WA.