June 29th, 2016
Don Clifford Grazier
Don Clifford Grazier passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
Don was born June 26, 1921, at home in Clear Lake near Geraldine. He was the youngest of four children born to Albert Vern Grazier and Phoebe (Switzer) Grazier. The family moved to Dixon when Don was five years old.
Don married Virginia Ayers on Dec. 6, 1941. Together they raised three children, daughter Lynn and two sons, Ken and Scott, on a ranch in Dixon. Don received his auctioneering certificate from Iowa in 1946 and worked auctions for many years. He learned to work hard and would get the job done right. He lived by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
During their 51 years together, Don and Virginia “Jinks” raised their family, Hereford cattle and Appaloosa horses. In 1976 they purchased a smaller ranch near Garrison with the intention of semi-retiring. That property included a large building that functioned as both a barn and a shop, which became a studio for the budding “artist.” At age 65 Don found his artistic calling for sculpting animals after building a model calf for a practical ranch need. He designed a sling to hold a real calf off the back of a pickup so that the mother would follow along when a calf needed to be brought in to be doctored up. From that model calf sprung a zoo full of hand-built larger-than-life steel animals that have wound up as far away as Switzerland. His metal sculptures include a longhorn steer, a ram’s head, great blue herons, a cape buffalo, giant humming birds, an extinct Irish elk, a woolly mammoth, Canadian geese and snowy owls.
His wife Virginia passed away in 1994 after 53 years of marriage. In December 2000, Don married Mary Belle Boyd, a longtime family friend, and they have enjoyed many happy years together. He enjoyed landscaping and planting many trees at their new home in the Round Butte area.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, A.V. and Phoebe Grazier; brother, Glen; and sisters, Vivian (Walter) Weedman and Vera Grazier. He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife, Mary Belle; daughter, Lynn (Howard) Moss; sons, Ken and Scott; Mary Belle’s children, Beverly (Jack) Horner and Shirley (Barry) Baker; as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family is grateful to Hospice for their wonderful care.
At Don’s request, there will be no funeral. A celebration of his life was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Dixon Senior Center.
Memorials may be sent to Lake County Home Options, 712 Main St. S.W., Ronan; or a charity of donors choice.
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