Donald Lee Courter, 65, of Vallejo, CA, passed away on July 5, 2018, in Martinez, CA, after losing his short battle with Lung Cancer.
Donald (“Don” to his California family and friends and “Lee” to his Iowa family) was born on April 21, 1953, in Sac City, IA. Don attended Lake City High School in Lake City, IA. After graduation, Don enlisted in the United States Navy on October 17, 1971, where he served as an E8 Fire Control for 22 years.
While stationed at Mare Island in Vallejo, Don met and married Joanne Lehmkuhl Encinias in 1981. Joan and Don were married for 36 years. During that time, Don was a loving father to Joan’s daughter, Kelly Encinias Ackelbein, caring friend to Joan’s son, Kevin Encinias, and devoted grandfather and great grandfather.
Don and Joan enjoyed getting together with friends, camping, and RVing to Lake Berryessa and to visit family in Iowa. Don especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. He loved fishing and enjoyed teaching his grandsons to fish from a very early age.
After retiring from the Navy in 1993, Don worked as a Marine Mechanic for Brinkman’s Marina and Eagle Marine.
Don is survived by his wife, Joanne Courter; daughter Kelly Ackelbein; stepson Kevin Encinias; brothers Billy Jo, Butch and John (Paula) Courter; sisters Mary Lou Booth and Zo Ellen (Ed) Daisy; parents Russell and Myrtie Courter; grandchildren Dylan, Cody and Paige Ackelbein and Kevin and Brandon Encinias; great grandson Aiden Ackelbein; 9 nieces and nephews, 22 great nieces and nephews; many extended family members and friends.