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June 7, 1958 – Feb. 3, 2022
Don Valk obit pic
Don Leonard Valk, 63, of Oakdale, died peacefully on Thursday, February 3, 2022 with his family around him. He was born on June 7, 1958 in Modesto, CA to Leonard and Velma Valk. He was the youngest of four children. Don was raised on their family ranch and worked alongside his dad for many years. He attended Oakdale schools and made many lifelong friends. Competitive swimming was a big part of the Valk family and they would be found at swim meets most weekends growing up. He attended Oakdale High School, where he enjoyed playing a variety of sports, his favorite being football. Upon graduating from OHS in 1976, he continued to play football at Modesto Junior College and graduated in 1978. He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he made more lifelong friends and earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanized Agriculture in 1981. He returned to the family ranch where he worked along with his father raising replacement heifers.
In 1982, he met Carla Olsen and they were married in 1985. Don and Carla had two children, Janessa and Ryan. Don raised turkeys for 16 years, before switching to raising chickens in 2005. In 2013, he planted the first section of almonds. Don was larger than life, he would light up a room when he walked in, and no one was ever a stranger. He was a notorious joke teller and especially good at bad dad jokes. He helped so many people through the years, and never expected anything in return. Over the years he enjoyed playing on softball city leagues, boating, fixing up classic cars, and was an avid SF Giants fan. He loved his family, especially all of his children, nieces, nephews and siblings. He eventually became a “Bapa” and loved playing with his grandchildren.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and spent many years serving the people in various church callings, which he loved. He is survived by his wife, Carla Valk, daughter, Janessa (Skyler) Hansen, son Ryan (Shelyn) Valk, four grandchildren, Ryder, Rowan, Reagan and Remi, sisters Gayle (Mike) Riley, Joy Stephens, Judy (Mike) House, 16 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Velma Valk and sister, Joyce Valk.
A Celebration of Life will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1111 East “A” Street, Oakdale. A private burial will be held on February 9th.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Feb. 9, 2022