Donald was born in Allison, Mississippi to William and Catherine Harbour, the third of five siblings.
At age 12, the family moved to Glendale, Oregon where his father performed veterinary services and ran the local lumber mill. After graduating high school in Glendale, Donald started his career in the logging industry in southern Oregon.
Don had a fascination with fast machines and, after hotrodding a handful of motorcycles and cars, he purchased a surplus army training plane with his friend Sparky (Jack Sparks). Using the flight manual found in the plane, they learned to fly and Don’s lifelong passion for flying began.
He realized one of his dreams by moving to Edna Bay, Alaska, with his first wife Gloria where he went to work for Falls Creek Logging and quickly gained a reputation as a skilled pilot and excellent logger. Many lifelong friendships were forged during this time.
Don spent much of his spare time exploring Southeast Alaska by air and boat while getting to know most of the pioneers in the area on a first name basis.
His special skills allowed him and his second wife Janice to successfully own and operate one of the last small island salvage logging operations in the area. Their unique floating camp housed 40 people and included a one-room schoolhouse for his children, as well as the children of his employees. The camp moved up and down hundreds of miles of Alaska coastline in its heyday.
In his retirement years, Don partnered with friends to keep flying, regularly putting in hundreds of hours a year in the notorious weather of Southeast Alaska. He made his last flight at age 88! Up to this time, he was also still roaring around in his Boston Whaler beach logging for firewood.
Don is survived by his sister Betty Preyer, daughters Gail and Sheri, his son Sean, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Don led a remarkable life. He was a man among men, and Alaskan Pioneer. We are humbled and honored to have been a part of his journey.
Please join us for Hobb’s Celebration of Life at Jeremiah’s on October 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.