Donald Essley Stark, 87, of Kirkland and South Whidbey Island, died June 22, 2002, in Bodo, Norway, while on a cruise with his long-time close friend and companion, JoAnn Watkins.
Mr. Stark was born in Eustis Neb., Nov. 16, 1914. He moved to Seattle in the late 1930s, and began his life’s work in the automotive industry. His first place of employment was the Butler Garage, working for friend Merle Dixon. He went on to work at Huletz (Auto) Electric on his birthday in 1938. He worked his way up from parts delivery driver to general manager, a post from which he retired in 1962. Not content to be idle, he worked in several other auto parts houses until 1981, and for the past 20 years, he assisted his son, Rick, in Rick’s auto parts store and Corvette repair facility in Kirkland.
Mr. Stark met and married his former wife, Elvira M. Blazina, in 1940, and together they had one son. Although the marriage did not last, Don and Elvira remained good friends until her death in September 2000.
Over the course of his life, Don belonged to the Lake City Elks Club, the Roosevelt Lions Club and Sports Car Club of America.
He is survived by his son, Rick Stark of Woodvinville, his grandson Jonathan (Michelle) Stark of Redmond, Ore., his great-grandson, Jacob Stark, and his close friend and companion of 13 years, JoAnn Watkins, as well as numerous other friends and relatives.
According to his wishes there will be no formal funeral services. However, a celebration of life gathering will be held on Aug. 17, 2002. Contact Rick at 425-823-0522 for details. Remembrances may be made to Boys Town USA, P.O. Box 6000, Boys Town, Neb. 68010, an organization Mr. Stark supported for over 60 years.