1947 – 2024

Donald Lee Mincher “Gramps” passed away May 29, 2024, surrounded by his family and his faithful dog Tucker. Donnie was born in Elk City, Oklahoma, on March 18, 1947, to Wilda and JT Mincher. Soon after his birth, the family moved from Oklahoma to Washington before settling in Oregon.

Donnie attended Winston-Dillard schools and graduated from Douglas High in 1965. In 1966, after receiving his draft notice he joined the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Yorktown CV-10 from 1966 to 1969. He then went to the USS Kitty Hawk CV-63 from 1969-1970. He served two tours of duty at Yankee Station, Vietnam, during his Naval Career.

Donnie had many adventures as a sailor; the USS Yorktown was part of the task force after the capture of the USS Pueblo AGER-2. They spent a harrowing two months in the Sea of Japan on that tour and were changed forever as a result. The USS Yorktown was also the recovery ship for the Apollo 8 Mission; the first crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon when it returned to Earth on Dec. 27, 1968. Donnie’s job during that time was navigating the lights for NBC. He became a Shellback soon after when they crossed the Equator twice while underway to Norfolk, Virginia.

In Aug. of 1967, Donnie met his wife, Linda Gardner. They were married on Oct. 20, 1968. In 1969, they welcomed Donnie Jr. then in 1970, another son Jody was born, soon to be followed by a surprise daughter Rebecca in 1972.

After the Navy, Donnie worked in the woods as a choker setter, powder monkey and then finished his career as a Millwright, working at Forest Industries, Champion International and RFP Plant 4. In retirement, he surprised his family by finding a new passion as a metal artist. Along with his wife Linda, the two worked together turning recycled metal into art. He fully enjoyed his life as an artist.

Donnie’s greatest love was for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, followed by his love and devotion to his family and of course, fishing.

Donnie is survived by his wife Linda “Granny” of 55 years, his children; Donnie (Kimberly) Mincher, Jody (Teresa) Mincher, and Rebecca (Jeremy) Anderson; 12 grandchildren, Wyatt (Char), Waylen (Lizzie), Olin (Ashley), Allora, Zach (Kiarra), Josey Wales, Mary Catherine (Branden), Justis (Gabby), Rylan (Kasey), Cord, Liberty (Hunter) and Erin; six great grandchildren Alba, Alice, Mackinley, Beau, Piper and Wesley. Brother T-Ray Mincher, Sister Kathy Holcomb, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends whom he loved dearly. Donnie’s passing was a direct result of his exposure to Agent Orange and numerous chemicals he came into contact with while serving in the Navy.

Military services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 7, 2024 at the Roseburg VA National Cemetery Annex. A private interment will follow.