Donald Louis Fink
Peoria – Donald Louis Fink passed away on October 22, 2023, in Peoria, AZ.
Don was born in Saginaw, MI on Feb. 27, 1934, to Lester F. Fink and Neta Pearl Browning Fink. Neta passed away when Don was 2 years old. He and his 4 year old sister, Barbara were raised by his Aunt Marie Fink Bodrie and husband Edward W. Bodrie.
In 1946, Lester married Eleanor W. Bull and they had one son, Thomas Fink.
Don enjoyed the Boy Scouts, the movies, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, fishing and traveling.
He attended Western Michigan University and was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity in Kalamazoo. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in Industrial Education and a Master of Arts.
In 1956, he married Doris Elaine Schmidt from Wallace, MI and they moved to Bridgeman MI to teach at the local high school.
They had two daughters, Michelle in 1956 and Melinda and 1965.
In June 1966, Don took a job with the Arabian American Oil Company, Aramco, and the family moved to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Don a vocational instructor in the industrial training shop. In 1970 he was transferred to the Trans Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) and coordinated training and employee relations in Turaif. Two years later, he transferred back to ARAMCO as the superintendent of the On the Job training department. He traveled all over Saudi Arabia from 1973 to 1986 setting up training classes. He retired from Aramco and returned to the USA in 1986.
The family traveled around the world 2 times and visited over 25 countries while living in Saudi Arabia.
Don retired to West Palm Beach (WPB), FL. He got bored and bought a Gulf Gas Station on the A-I. He sold that station and bought a new Palm Beach Exxon station.
In 1987, he met Victoria (Vickie) Noto Bailey at the WPB Pack and Paddle Club and the Florida Trail Association. They both enjoyed bicycling, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and plants and animals. This group of friends traveled all over Florida camping and hiking together.
After Vicki retired from teaching Biology, they moved to Polk County to a home on Lake Rosalie, outside of the Town of Lake Wales. The Paddle club used their home as their base camp for hundreds of hikes and canoe adventures over the years.
In 2005, they moved to Country Oaks community, closer to Lake Wales. Don and friends started the HOA and cleaned up the area. They weathered Hurricane Charley in 2006 and made lifelong friends during the chaos and clean up.
Don volunteered at the Lake Wales Police Department and at the Polk County Care Center, helping the citizens of Lake Wales by repairing their homes and helping to secure food.
Both Don and Vickie worked at the Bok Tower and for the Audubon Society, leading hikes and tours and taking care of exotic plants.
Vickie passed away from Parkinson’s disease in January 2021.
Don moved to Peoria, Arizona to be closer to his daughters and they got to spent the last 19 months together.
Don passed peacefully in his sleep at 89 years old with his daughters at his side. We would like to thank the staff at in Lake Wales Waters Edge Senior Living and in Peoria the Montecito Senior Living for their support and care.
In lieu of flowers, Don would prefer that you donate to the Polk County Audubon Society, Lake Wales Care Center or to Parkinson’s disease Research.
A celebration of life will take place in Lake Wales, FL at the lake park.
A second celebration of life will take place in Saginaw, MI next August.