27 Nov 2011 — Spokane, Washington
Donald H. Head died peacefully at Spokane Veterans Home on November 27, 2011. He was born September 14, 1923, in Dubuque, Iowa, to the late Donald and Trella Head. After enlisting in the Army in 1942, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and was captured and held as a prisoner of war from December of 1944 to March of 1945. In 1946 he married Patricia Higgins who passed away in 2006.
Don graduated from the University of Dubuque in 1947 with a B.A. in Physical Education and obtained his M.A. in Physical Education from the University of Iowa in 1949. His first job was Physical Director at the YMCA in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1951 Don entered the FBI as a Special Agent after graduating from the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. He began his FBI work in San Francisco, California, and in 1954, he settled his family in Spokane. He retired from the FBI in 1975, and went on to work as a Security Inspector for Playfair Race Course until 1976, and then a Security Officer for Fidelity Mutual Savings Bank until 1982. From then until 1995, Don worked for himself as a Private Investigator.
Don always put the needs of others ahead of his own and his involvement in the community was huge. He was a 15-gallon blood donor and served as a member of the Quality of Life Commission in 1974. He was a Kiwanis Club member and served as President of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Spokane in 1988. He volunteered for the Spokane Juvenile Court and the CASA program and was a member of the Spokane County Civil Service Commission for six years. He drove for Meals on Wheels. He was a director of the Spokane Lilac Festival for many years and president of that organization in 1982. In 2002, he was awarded the Legion of Honor by the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Spokane for 20 years of continuous membership and the George F. Hixson award by the Kiwanis International Foundation. He volunteered for the American Red Cross and was a member of the Inland Empire Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War, Inc. He was a member of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, Inc., and a volunteer for Planned Parenthood of Spokane and Whitman County. During his time in the FBI, he was awarded two letters of commendation and a cash award by then director, J. Edgar Hoover. Also in 2002, Don was awarded Outstanding Volunteer Gentleman of the Year by the Senior Wellness Program.
Don was beyond proud to be a veteran and wore his Ex-POW uniform on Veterans Day, in various parades throughout the year and in remembrance of fellow POWs. He had an enormous heart and a fondness for all animals and nature. He was happy to be surrounded by his family's ever increasing number of dogs and always had a special place in his heart for his Rosie. Don would jump at the chance to go fishing and was an avid skier for much of his life. He loved music and encouraged his children to play musical instruments during their childhood. Hearing his great-grandson play the viola just days before his passing was one of his proudest moments. He loved being with his family at Sunday dinners, Thursday lunches, Saturday morning coffee and everywhere in between. He will be deeply missed, but happily remembered for his loyalty and kindness.
Donald is survived by his son and his wife, Thom Head and Cathie Rea of Seattle; his daughter and her husband, Betsy and Bruce Ressa of Spokane; two grandchildren, Andy (Kim) Ressa of Mount Vernon, Adrienne Ressa of Spokane; two great-grandchildren, Aiden and Enzo Ressa. He is further survived by several nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. In addition to his parents and wife Patricia, he was preceded in death by three sisters.
Please join his family and friends in a celebration of Don's life on Friday, December 9, 2011, from 4:00pm until 6:00pm at the Spokane Club, 1002 West Riverside, Spokane, Washington.
Memorial contributions can be made to Kiwanis Club of Downtown Spokane, P.O. Box 48276, Spokane 99228. The family would like to extend a special thank you to everyone involved in Don's care at Spokane Veterans Home. Arrangements have been entrusted to Hazen & Jaeger Funeral Home, 1306 North Monroe St., Spokane.