On August 10, 2020 a delightful, charming, curious, funny, stubborn and independent young man left our lives. Don DeArmoun was born in Alaska to a homestead family in South Anchorage. He had a zest for adventure in the outdoors, fishing, camping, hockey, and biking. His collection of books amazes everyone, reading and learning was a passion. He had a wonderful cadre of school friends, led by best buddy Hendrik, who remain close to this day. Don graduated West Anchorage High School in 2002. He believed deeply in serving his country and joined the Army Reserve, serving almost 2 years in the Iraq war and 8 years in the military. He was promoted to Sergeant at age 21.
Upon returning to the U.S. he went full Griz at the University of Montana, Missoula, graduating in History and Political Science. Don was always up for a good discussion. Life in Montana suited him well. He found great friends for outdoor adventures such as rafting, camping, hockey and motorcycle trips. Summer highlights were the several years he guided whitewater rafting trips on the Clark Fork River for friends at Western Waters in Cyr.
Annual fishing trips to the family cabin in Kachemak Bay, Alaska and holidays spent with family, especially his adored nephews Milo and Eli, rounded out a full life. The family would like to thank VA Dr. Murney who helped Don obtain his veteran's service dog - a Leonberger he named Gertrude. Gerde and he became inseparable and enjoyed strolling the Rattlesnake neighborhood and swimming in the creek.
Felled suddenly by Guillain-Barre' and complications, he entered St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, where he was cared for by capable, compassionate medical staff in the ICU who also stood proxy for families unable to visit due to Covid restrictions. A brief and joyous reunion between Don and Gerde was arranged and his mother will always be grateful for that supreme effort. Moved to the 4th floor, loving nurses cared for both Don and his mother, who was able to remain at his bedside. Thank you Lindsey.
Don now joins wonderful grandparents Ray and Wilma Johnson of Raft River, Idaho; June and Harold DeArmoun of Wasilla, Alaska. He is survived by mother Becky Peltz (Larry) of Polson, Montana, father Don, sister Bonnie DeArmoun (Seth, Milo & Elias Andersen) of Anchorage, and Vlasta Peltz (Ben and Brad). Adoring aunts, uncles and his many cousins offered love during this time. Those who deserve a mother's gratitude this week are Hendrik, Kaila, Jared, Derrick, Beth, Allison, Bonnie, Larry and Gerde.
The family requests no memorials or flowers, but asks you to step outside under a starry night and fill your heart with the magnificence of life. A celebration for Don will be held next summer in Kachemak Bay. "Grief never ends, but it changes. It is the price of love".