Longtime Alaskan and Kenai/Nikiski resident James Donald "Don" Queen died Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, at Central Peninsula Hospital after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. He was surrounded by his family. He was 62.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at Kenai Bible Chapel with visitation and viewing at 1 p.m. Burial will be in the Kenai City Cemetery immediately following. Pastor Vance Wonser will officiate.
Family and friends are invited to a gathering in Don's honor at Paradisos Restaurant in Kenai immediately following the services, and are encouraged to bring stories and pictures to honor this man who was loved by so many, his family said.
Mr. Queen was born Dec. 16, 1947, in Whittier, N.C., coming to Alaska in 1952 with his parents and staying for the remainder of his life. He attended grade school and junior high in Anchorage, and moved to Kenai in the early 1960s.
He graduated from Kenai High School in 1966 and attended Alaska Methodist University in Anchorage. He served six years in the National Guard in Kenai during the Vietnam era. He married his wife of 40 years, Judy (Spillers) Queen, and after 12 years they welcomed their two sons. Don worked for Quindell Queen, Inc. for 20 years delivering fuel, then for the Tesoro Refinery in Nikiski for 17 years as an operator.
"His coworkers were a huge part of his family, and he loved fishing, snowmachining and camping with his family and friends," his family said.
He was active in his church as an AWANA and Sunday School worker, as a coach in the Boys and Girls Club and Kenai Little League programs, volunteered countless hours in the Nikiski Elementary PTA and Nikiski High School PTSA, setting up and facilitating activities for many of the local youth, and could be often seen in the concession stands at sports fundraisers.
"He was a loving, giving person and always had room for displaced children who needed support. His patience and good nature throughout his illness is testimony to his kind heart, sweet spirit, and good humor," his family said.
Mr. Queen was preceded in death by his mother and father, Lorraine and Quindell Queen.
He is survived by his wife; sons and their families, Russell Queen and his wife, Jennie and their children, Ruby, Lily, and Wyatt of Delaware, and James Queen and his wife, Stephanie and their daughter, Ryan of Soldotna.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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