Reverend Donald Stuart Chorley, age 81, died on September 29, 2015 at Madrone Hospice in Yreka, California.
Don grew up in several towns throughout the East Bay; and many summers were spent at the family cabin at Huntington Lake.
He began hiking at an early age and went on to climb the Cascades, Denali, most of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, and several in South America.
After meeting Virginia at seminary, they moved west where he held parishes in most of the western states.
At 42, he began running and finished New York City and Boston Marathons; as well as many ultra marathons including the Western States 100. Much meditation and inspiration for his sermons and life came from running in Briones and the High Sierras.
After retiring in 1999, Don hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail, embracing the trail name “Abominably Slowman.” He finished his 100th marathon at the age of 75.
He was a storyteller with fictional monsters such as “Jake the Alligator Man” and the “Giant Snow-Worm.”
He participated in diner sit-ins as the only Caucasian exchange student at Fisk University in the 1950s. He admitted to throwing dirty china off the Santa Fe train and joining fans of Cal Berkeley on Tight Wad Hill. He enjoyed ornithology and cheating at games.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Virginia; brother, Lloyd and wife Jeanetta Chorley; brother, Paul and wife Vivian Chorley; cousin, Nancy Krum; children: Maria Chorley, Glen and wife Melody Chorley, Brooks Chorley and wife Lillian Woo, Heather Chorley and husband Alexander Dickason; grandchildren: Ashley and Miles Chorley, Azimuth Chorley-Dickason; great-grandson, Grayson Thomas; grand-dog, Gustave Chorley; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 18 at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Martinez.
Arrangements are in the care of Mt. Shasta Memorial Chapel.