Don K. Wilkinson, 71, of Payette Idaho took leave of this world on March 31, 2021, at his home, amid family and friends, following a lengthy battle with cancer. After retiring, he settled in western Idaho in 2007. Over the years, many miles, and challenges, the “big guy” stockpiled many long-term friends and associates while journeying his way home.
Born to Don and Pauline Wilkinson in April of 1949, in Hanford, California, Don grew up on a diversified farm in the Guernsey area while attending Lakeside Elementary and Hanford High School. Following graduation from high school, he obtained a degree in General Agriculture/Biology from Fresno State University in 1971 and a Lifetime Teaching Credential through U.C. Davis. Don taught high school Agriculture and Technology in California, Oregon and Idaho.
Following his marriage to Virginia Ribeiro in 1978, they relocated to western Oregon where together for 30 years they pursued a passion for mentoring and consulting in Sustainable Agriculture. Don served as an Oregon State University Extension Agent in Douglas County and was involved with various boards, producer groups, workshops and field days. Numerous visitors shared in their sheep and cattle operations and Farm Stay experience.
Don loved hunting, shop projects, road trips and browsing thrift stores for old agriculture books. He was a consummate stockman and grass farmer and was never more in his element than when investigating fields or pastures with colleagues, students and friends.
Surviving are his wife and partner Virginia of Payette, ID, children Kerry Frye (Rob) of Fruitland, ID, Denise Wilkinson of Springfield, OR, Kelly Haines of Hanford CA, Chris Ribeiro of Tulare, CA, Grandchildren Chase Waddell and Lucinda Stephens, sister Carol Spoelstra/Pepper of Santa Maria, CA, nephews Gary Spoelstra, Stephen Miller, and niece Stephanie Miller
Arrangements made by Bowman Funeral Parlor, Garden City, Idaho. A celebration of Don's life, “party-style”, as was his wish, will be held at 4:00PM on Saturday, May 15th, at Creekside Ranch, 7701 Elmore Road in Fruitland, Idaho.