Donald Edward Renfro died on Monday, April 18, at his home in Burns, surrounded by his family.
He was born May 17, 1930, in Piggott, Ark., to Alma and Leslie Renfro, the second of six children.
Renfro spent his childhood in Piggott.
On June 28, 1948, he married Thelma Balz Renfro. The couple moved to California, where their two children, Douglas and Donita, were born.
Renfro was employed at Lockheed Martin on the Vandenburg Air Force base in Santa Maria, Calif. He was a transportation manager, working there until he and his wife became Child Evangelism Missionaries.
After completing the Child Evangelism Institute in San Bernadino, Calif., he and his wife began their ministry in Redmond. For 25 years they served the Lord, in camps, Good News Clubs and Release Time Classes and had the Good News Trailer at all of the Central Oregon fairs and the Harney County Fair. To thousands of children he was known as “Uncle Don.”
After his retirement, Renfro enjoyed spending time in his shop, making beautiful cabinets. He also enjoyed fishing, camping and hunting, but most of all he loved spending time with his kids and grandkids. Everyone called him “Grandpa,” including all of his grandchildren’s friends.
Renfro was a deacon at the Tumalo Community Church. He sang in the choir and cooked for all social events.
Renfro and his wife moved to Burns to live with their daughter in 2007. His wife died after 59 years of marriage. Renfro’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, then took care of him. He looked forward to phone calls every night from his son. Harney County Home Health and Harney County Hospice became a big part of his life, and were a blessing to him and his family.
Renfro is survived by his sister, Jennie Blake and husband Jack, of Piggott Ark.; brothers, Julius Renfro and wife Mary of Piggott Ark., and Junius Renfro and wife Cathy of Crescent City, Ill., son, Douglas Renfro and wife Gloria of Bend; daughter, Donita (Dee) Ford, of Burns; and grandchildren, Liz Taylor of Burns, Joe Ford and wife Lisa of Creswell, Jon Ford and wife Lori of Jefferson, Sharon Garner of Salt Lake City, Utah, Matt Renfro of Bend, and Lillian McCord and husband Lowell of Bend.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Doyle Renfro and Bobbie Renfro; and wife, Thelma Renfro.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, April 23, at the Tumalo Community Church in Tumalo. LaFollette’s Chapel was in charge of arrangements.