Donn W. Brannon passed away peacefully in the company of his wife at their home in Weed, California on March 16, 2018.
He was husband, father, teacher, mentor, and friend; photographer, gardener, poet, and cook. He will be remembered for, among many other things, his astonishing stir fries and mouth-watering pizzas; his masterful efforts in his garden at home and in Castella; his wizardry with words; his choice of backroad over highway almost every time.
Donn was born August 1, 1932 in Diagonal, Iowa. As a young man, he interrupted his studies at Drake University to serve in the Army, from which he was honorably discharged in 1955. In 1956 he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Education from Drake.
Living in San Francisco during what he referred to as “the opening salvo of the west coast beatnik movement,” Donn achieved an MFA in Writing from San Francisco State University in 1964.
Several years later, Donn joined the faculty at Dunsmuir High School, introducing photography and ceramics to the curriculum, also teaching English and drama and serving as faculty yearbook advisor. In 1972 he began teaching part-time at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, building up the college’s photography department while still teaching in Dunsmuir. In 1984 he accepted a full-time faculty position as the COS photography instructor. Over the years he taught journalism, English, and organic gardening at the college as well. He retired in 1999.
Donn’s teaching philosophy throughout more than three decades in the classroom was simple – he believed that all students are equal, regardless of their behavior, intelligence, or social class, and that their respect is earned by treating them as such.
Donn is survived by his wife Deborra Brannon; his step-daughter Si Clare and her son Alexander; his mother-in-law Alene Assenmacher; his brother-in-law Richard Clayton; his daughter Rachael Lewis from a former marriage, son-in-law Wes Lewis, granddaughter Carly Lewis, and great-grandson Layne; his brother-in-law Lonnie Barker; his nieces Lahni Jean (Pat) Robinson and Lisa (Rod) Maharry; his nephew Todd (Meg) Barker; and many grand and great-grand-nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his mother and father, Wilma and Evan Brannon; his sister and his brother-in-law Beverly and Ken Hanes; his sister Billie Jean Barker; his niece Penny Hanes; his father-in-law Gunther Assenmacher; and his stepson-in-law Jon Henry.
The family would like to thank Siskiyou Home Health, Mercy Hospice, and Mount Shasta Memorial Chapel for their care and help. In keeping with Donn’s private nature, no services will be held. We ask that those wishing to make a memorial donation in his honor please contribute to the ACLU or to the Nature Conservancy or to Habitat for Humanity.
Travel safe, Donn. You are deeply loved and will be dearly missed.