A consummate joke teller, Don passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2022 surrounded by love and his family. To list the titles he held doesn’t properly do him justice, he was so many things - loving husband, father, Papa, brother, fishing buddy, the list goes on.
Don was born June 21, 1945, to the late William A. and Byrdella. He graduated from Arthur Hill HS Class of 1964 as a baseball superstar and married Julie A. Willett on June 27, 1964. She has been waiting for him in heaven since February 2, 2021. A hardworking man, he was the provider for his family and became a powerhouse in the automotive service industry, working for McDonald Pontiac, Wickstrom Chevrolet, Draper Chevrolet and Jim Canary Chevrolet over the years. In addition to working, he also coached his boy’s baseball teams and led them to repeated victories. “Choke and Poke!” will forever ring across those fields. He was always so incredibly proud that his grandsons inherited his love of the game.
Don was a family man and left behind great memories of family vacations to Kings Island, UP trips with bears (had to leave early), Disney (Ronald Reagan at Epcot!), Cadillac, multiple Cedar Point trips and many more. Dad loved to drive the family around the state and whistle from the second we left the driveway until we arrived at our destination. He loved hockey, never missed a Wings game during the “Russian 5” era and spent many nights cheering on the Saginaw Spirit, making many friends in the stands. Don loved fishing as well, always chasing “the big one”, tangling his line and catching his hook on multiple things but always loving being out on the water.
Don adored his family and loved watching it grow. Leaving to miss him are his children, Nick (Corina) Vlassis, Chris (Shannon) Vlassis, Tom (Michelle) Vlassis, Jodi (Kevin) Scorsone, Jill Reynolds and Tim Reynolds, 15 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, brother Bill Vlassis, sister Betty Galbraith, sister-in-law, Carm Vlassis, sister in law Patricia (Larry) Wahl, special neighbor, friend and fishing buddy Roger (Phyllis) Lietzke, many nieces, nephews and friends. Don will forever be missed and remembered for his booming laugh, inappropriate sense of humor and love of family.
Don was a friend to everyone, even if he hadn’t met you yet.
Per Don’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of life for both Don and Julie will be held on June 26, 2022 at 2pm at The Golden Glow Ballroom. We are forever grateful to those that brought Don joy this past year, as he missed his Julie so much. Although we will miss him here with us, we are comforted that they are now reunited in love.