Bossio, Donald Joseph
(April 15, 1936 – January 10, 2021)
The dearly loved patriarch of our family left us too soon, passing away recently at his home under the love and care of his dear wife of 61 years, Sheila Yarroll Bossio. Don fought bravely against several illnesses recently, the most recent involved a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
The grandson of Joseph and Mary Bossio, immigrants from Grimaldi, Italy, Don was the first son, but 4th child, born to Frank and Helen Veltri Bossio, in Priest River, Idaho in 1936. Don’s father died from a tragic logging accident while cutting down a tree on the last day of the season when Don was only 6 months old. “Donnie” was often pampered and a little bit spoiled by his doting sisters and mother. He might have said he was teased and tormented by them. Helen remarried several years later and soon another sister and brother were added to the family. The family stayed in Priest River through Don’s young adult years. Don was a high school athlete, specializing in football, basketball, and track. Studying wasn’t his favorite hobby, but he graduated from Lamanna High in 1954. He spent a short time as an enlisted man in the US Army before returning to the Priest River area.
Don and Sheila were married in September 1959 after a courtship that featured milkshakes at the local drugstore and car rides around town. They settled in Spokane, Washington for the beginning of their married life. Don graduated from Gonzaga University with a business degree before joining the US Army in 1962. This decision would take the family across the globe and around the country as he faithfully served our country for the next 20 years. Don served 2 tours in Vietnam and another in Korea. During this time, Don and Sheila were blessed with 4 children, Kim, Brian, Brad, and David. The family lived in Spokane, Washington; Landstuhl, Germany; returned to Spokane; El Paso, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Warrensburg, Missouri and Olympia, Washington. Don finished his military service at Ft Lewis. Don retired from his successful career in the Army in 1980 as a Major, decorated with several military honors. Not bad for a feisty Italian kid from a small logging town! After retirement, Don joined the family in Olympia and settled into civilian life as Controller for the Georgia Pacific Paper Company.
After nearly 20 years in Olympia, including many glorious years enjoying the growing family of new sons and daughters in law and many grandchildren at their waterfront home near Steamboat Island, Don and Sheila retired to sunny Chandler, Arizona. This new phase of life meant trading wet Northwest days for endless sunshine, lots of golf, new friends, and countless social outings. Their new friendly neighborhood hosted “Donut Saturday” together for many years. Family and friends would visit often to soak up the Arizona sun, try out the grandkid pool, and to hear Don’s latest views on world events.
Incredibly, Don and Sheila shared almost 20 more years together in Arizona until health issues caught up with Don and forced a separation between these two lovebirds. Don was a devoted husband, an engaged father, a generous grandfather, and a love-struck great grandfather. His passing leaves an empty space in our lives, but we carry his love, his advice, his pride for each of us in our hearts and memories.
Don is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Bernice, Lillian, and Marie, his brother Tommy. Don leaves behind along with his sister, Sandra Fielder, a loving, crazy family headed up by his
childhood sweetheart, Sheila; his four children Kim (John) Ross, Brian (Rose) Bossio, Brad (Jenny) Bossio, David (Adrienne) Bossio, 11 grandchildren (Clint (Jessica), Kyle (Lyssa), Taylor (Kenna), Kristyn (David), Jarred (Christina), Colin (Katie), Travis, Mara (Jacob), Katie, Julian, Aidan) and most adored, 6 great-grandkids (Finn, Tripp, Wrigley, Graham, Evelyn, and Rory)
The family wishes to thank friends and family for their love and support over the last few months of Don’s illness. Don’s final resting place will be the Priest River Cemetery, next to his mom, dad, and other family members. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Cancer Society.
A memorial service will not be held at this time due to Covid restrictions.