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Obituary: Don Lee North – Track & Field 1957 & 58 – November 28, 2014

Don Lee North

November 13, 1937 – November 28, 2014

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On November 28,2014, Don Lee North passed away peacefully surrounded by his family. Don North was born on November 13, 1937 to Adalie and Walter North. He was raised in Buras, Louisiana with his brother, Jack North.

Don became a football and track star at Buras High School and continued to LSU where he excelled in track. He later transferred to Southwestern University (ULL- University of Lafayette Louisiana) where he lettered in track and became a member of the "S" Club. His love of athletics continued throughout his life.

At Southwestern, Don met his wife, Alice, on a blind date. It was also there that Don and Alice met their lifelong friends; Expadie and Linda Laperouse , A.J. and Earline Bernard, and Linden and Carolyn Bercegeay. This crew has shared so many memories and good times together for over 56 years. After marrying the love of his life, Alice Wilmoth North, in 1959, he graduated from Southwestern with a business degree. He worked at SWACO, an oil company, and then started a career in management with J.C. Penney.

Don and Alice moved with their family to Pineville from Oklahoma in 1972. He became a manager of J.C. Penney, then manager of BeaIls Dept. Store in the Alexandria Mall. Years later he became a district manager for Bill’s Dollar Stores.

Don’s son-in-law, William Barron, started him on a new career path as a timber broker which he enjoyed. When his wife Alice became a Realtor, Don then decided he would study to become a Real Estate Home Inspector. This job was a perfect fit because he never met a stranger and enjoyed getting to know the people he did inspections for. He loved talking to them about their lives. He would often come home and tell his wife about the great people he would meet in his line of work. Don also made many friends with Realtors and other Home Inspectors along the way.

At the age of 55, Don rekindled his passion for track and field with Senior Olympics. He medaled in Javelin, Discus, and Shot Put. In 1993 he traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to the International Masters Championship where he won 2 Gold, 1 Silver, and 4 Bronze medals. In 1994, he won medals in the Southwest Regional Masters Track and Field for all age groups. In 1995, Don medaled in the World Senior Olympics in Buffalo, New York. Also in 1995 he was inducted into the Louisiana Senior Olympics Sports Hall of Fame. Other outstanding meets included the North and Central American and Caribbean World Championship in 1998 in Barbados and 2nd place in the Javelin in the National Senior Games in Orlando. Don was involved with Senior Olympics for 22 years and served on our local district and state boards. He made so many friends through his passion for competition.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Pineville since 1972. Introduced to CASA by his granddaughter, Natalie North, Don and his son Mike became certified CASA volunteers to help children in need.

Don started his day with coffee and friends at Louisiana Athletic Center. He did manage to get a workout in after teasing and joking with all of his friends. This was the perfect start to his day. It was so fitting that he enjoyed this routine one more time the morning he became ill. Don enjoyed life to the fullest no matter what he was doing and he brought joy to his friends and family. He did not want to retire, but lived life enjoying what he wanted to do until his death. He was working when he suffered a pulmonary embolism.

Don will be greatly missed by his loving wife Alice, married 55 years. He was so proud of his three children and their families: Daughter, Donna North Barron and husband William Barron; Son, Mike North; Daughter, Laura North Lavespere and her husband Steve Lavespere.

His Grandchildren were the light of his life: Will Barron, Ross Barron, Natalie North, Rachel North, Michael North Jr., Jacob North, and Stacy Lavespere. Stacy, his oldest granddaughter, gave him two beautiful great- granddaughters Madelyn and Ava, whom he truly adored.

Don was also privileged to be godfather to his lifelong friend’s son, Patrick Laperouse.

He leaves behind his only brother Jack North and wife Nancy; his niece Jennifer North Bryan and husband Sean Bryan; Nephews: Jack North and John North.

Also mourning his passing are his sister and brother-in-law Ellin and Brit Busch, niece, Rebecca Busch Blanchet and husband Bill; and nephew Bradley Busch and wife Renee; brother-in-law Carroll Morgan and wife Joyce, niece Jenny Morgan Carriere, nephews, Kent Morgan and wife Janet and Tracy Morgan and wife Beverly.

Don is preceded in death by his parents Adalie Meyer North and Walter North and sister-in-law Linda Wilmoth Morgan.

Family was the most important thing to Don and he will leave behind cherished memories and a passion for living each day to the fullest.

Visitation and Services will be held on Monday, December 1, 2014 at First United Methodist Church at 2550 Monroe Highway in Pineville, with Reverend Steve Fowler and Reverend Jon Tellifero. Visitation will be held in the church from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00p.m. The service begins at 2:00 p.m. and Don will be laid to rest at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.

Pallbearers are son-in-laws: William Barron and Steve Lavespere and, Grandsons; Will Barron, Ross Barron, Michael North, Jr., and Jacob North.

Honorary Pallbearers are: Gene Kohnen, Wally Metrejean, Don Moore, Joe Moreau, Bill Roberts, Ronnie Schwartz, Mark Setliff, Friends at LAC, and Senior Olympic friends.

The family wants to extend our deepest appreciation to Cabrini and especially the ICU nursing staff. Special thanks to nurse Celeste Lachney and Dr. Gonzalo Hidalgo who went above and beyond to give such care and compassion to our whole family in our time of need.

To extend online condolences to the North family, please visit us at www.hixsonbrothers.com.

Published in The Town Talk on Nov. 30, 2014