It is with a heavy heart that I am letting you know that Don passed away on May 15th. He was surrounded by his loved ones during his final hours. Don was a wonderful and kind man. He was an amazing father, husband, and friend. In his last weeks, he did activities that he had always wanted to do, such as glass blowing. He was fortunate enough to be able to spend his remaining days surrounded by his friends and family. Don will be greatly missed.
Don leaves behind several adult children, his wife and three adopted special needs children. We are continuing to raise money for Rose and the boys to help them with Don’s medical costs and funeral costs. Please consider donating to help support this family.
Rose asked us to add a few pictures of the boys:
My name is Chris Drefs and I am writing on behalf of my special friends Don and Rose Merrill. In December, Don thought he had injured his back and was experiencing weakness on his left side. Exploratory surgery revealed that Don actually has a number of inoperable level 4 brain tumors. At the time of his surgery, Don did not have medical insurance despite trying to get coverage through Cover Oregon since October. While he was able to obtain medical insurance on January 15th, it was several days after his surgery and there was not a way to recoup the costs of the medical bill. We are seeking donations to cover the medical expenses so this wonderful family doesn’t lose their home during this incredibly emotional and stressful time.
Don and Rose have been married 45 years and during that time, they have been foster parents in both Iowa and Oregon. They have been foster parents in Oregon for 14 years and have opened their hearts and their home to over 100 local foster children. They have adopted 3 special needs boys who are ages 11, 9, and 3. They seem to have never ending patience and love for some very challenging children.
Don is a sweet, funny and caring man who always has a smile, or a hug, or a story to share. He will talk your ear off about fishing, or the beach, or what his children have accomplished. Don always has a funny story to share or knows someone who can get you out of a jam. Rose is the person who sits you down and offers you coffee and then sends you out the door with a plate of cookies.
Don has just started radiation and chemotherapy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Merrills during this time. Please take a moment to help this truly special family as they have helped so many in the community.
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