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In Memoriam: Donald Ray Fleck (March 31, 1954 – June 26, 2022)

 

Donald Ray Fleck

Born to Leonard Fleck and Betty Wolf on March 31, 1954, Donald Ray Fleck’s last call was in the early morning of June 26, 2022. He was the sole responder. It was “C” shift.

He was raised in Mount Angel with four brothers and one sister. He excelled in school and sports. He met Nann Bernard their freshman year at John F. Kennedy High School. They dated and married in 1973. He had received a scholarship to Clackamas Community College to play football and study auto mechanics. After graduation, he went to work with his father at Fleck’s Garage. While at work in January of 1975, the garage had a devastating fire to which the Mt. Angel Fire department responded and successfully saved the building. Shortly after that fire, (unbeknownst to his very young wife) he applied to become a member of the fire department, which was the beginning of a long and satisfying career.

Don and Nann settled in Mount Angel and raised five daughters. Don was active in community, serving on city council and leading a Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s huddle group of middle school boys. He took night classes and became an EMT. He was partly responsible for establishing ambulance service in the Mount Angel area.

In 1981, he applied to the Salem Fire Department. (She knew.) He was hired in December 1981. For most of his career he was assigned to Station One, “C” shift. He was promoted to captain and studied, taught and loved the fire service. While recovering from a serious fire related back injury, he was an instructor in the fire program at Chemeketa Community College.

He was mentored and he soaked it in. He became a mentor and gave generously. All in the name of excellence. During the years at Salem Fire he remained active in the Mt. Angel Fire District. He retired from MAFD as fire Chief in 2012, returning often for whatever training was needed.

In addition, for 15 years he was an instructor for the International Association of Fire Fighters, traveling to teach at many fire departments.

He retired from Salem Fire as Captain in 2007.

After his retirement, he continued in a most logical extension of public service by teaching CPR/first aid, alarm testing, safety committee consultant and extinguisher service.

At the time of his death, he was serving as mayor for the City of Mount Angel. His awards and accolades are numerous. His strong and humble life was a blessing to those who knew him and a gift to those who loved him.

He was preceded in death by his parents and grandson, Colton James.

He is survived by his wife, Nann, of nearly 49 years; brother, Darreld Fleck; sister, Francis Fleck; daughters, Molly Barth (Owen), Rachel Beyer, (Brad), Sadie Bernt (Mark), Ashley Livingston (Jeff), Natalie Lucey (Jake); 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Services were held July 1, 2022 with graveside services at Calvary Cemetery, Mount Angel, followed by a memorial service at Mount Angel Festhalle.

Donations can be made to the Mt. Angel Volunteer Firefighters Association.

Services provided by Unger Funeral Chapel.

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