Donald Viss, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, went to be with the Lord on October 4, 2019. Born on September 9, 1930 in Modesto, CA to John and Anne Viss, Don attended Modesto schools, graduating from Modesto High School and Modesto Junior College. He later received a B.S. degree in Agriculture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, a teaching credential, and a Masters in School Administration.
At a high school Youth for Christ rally, Don met Maxine Rolefson, who also attended his father’s Bible study. His dad told Don he should marry that girl. In August of 1951, they did marry, and after 48½ years of partnering in farming, travel, service to their church and community, and raising eight children, Maxine went to be with her Lord in January of 2000.
In 2006 Don married Sharon Dennis, and again enjoyed traveling, especially to their house in Montana, where they could visit his daughter Laurie and enjoy the outdoors. Sharon was an accomplished pianist and they enjoyed many outings involving music. Sharon went to be with the Lord in July 2017.
Don served in the Air Force, farmed for most of his life, and taught Civics, Current Events, and World History at Oakdale High School for 20 years. After retiring from teaching he served on several boards in Stanislaus County which included: Waterford Unified School District, Oakdale Joint Union High School District, Stanislaus County Board of Education and the Yosemite Community College District. He knew education and finance, and loved kids. He took his board responsibilities seriously and enjoyed this type of service to the community. Don obtained a real estate license later in life and spent many hours with his friends at Dry Creek Realty solving the world’s problems. Throughout his life, Don’s faith was integral to all he did. It was important to him that he and his family were part of a church body. He taught Sunday School most of his adult life and was particularly supportive of missions.
In addition to both of his wives, he was preceded in death by his brother John Viss, sister Denny Graber, granddaughter Gretchen Ehret, and son-in-law George Ehret. He is survived by his brother Simon Viss (Joanne), sister Martha Kronberg (Merle), and all of his eight children: Eric Viss (Jeanne), Ann Barnett (Dan), Laurie Ehret, Peter Viss (Jackita), Max Viss (Carolyn), Rose Peterson (K.C.), Sarah Carreau (Marco), and Walter Viss. He is also survived by 34 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service for Don will be held at Modesto Covenant Church, 913 Floyd Ave., Modesto, on Saturday, November 2 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to First Southern Baptist Church in Waterford or Modesto Covenant Church, designated for missions.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
Oct. 23, 2019