Donald Earl Lidtke, born on August 16, 1929 to the late Frederick and Gertude Lidtke, passed away at age 89 on August 27, 2018.
Don was born and raised in the small town of Fox Lake, Wisconsin. He grew up on a farm with his younger brother Jim, and his trusty horse, Smoky. His love of horses followed him through life. He was surrounded by many older cousins, who introduced him to the art of the pratical joke, a skill he delighted in using throughout his life on his friends and family.
After graduating from high school, Don enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a communications instructor in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Upon discharge, Don headed further west in his red convertible Plymouth to the sunny skies and sandy beaches of California. It was here that he met and married his wife of 64 years Chic Foy Lidtke. He graduated from the University of Southern California USC where he was a Delta Sigma Pi and a proud member of the Trojan family.
After college, Don began his career with Mobil Oil. It was an industry he loved and he said that oil ran through his veins. The oil business took them to Twin Falls and Boise, Idaho, Portland, OR. and eventually Salem, OR. where he owned Cascade Petroleum in McMinnville, OR. Don served as President of the Oregon Oil Jobbers Association and President of the Oregon Co-op Council. After selling his company, being the entrepreneur that he was, he purchased Merry Maids and Home Instead franchises. This is how he chose to spend his retirement years! He loved the business world and all things connected, but above all he loved his wife and two children, and his five wonderful grandchildren.
Don will forever be remembered as a true horseman, a proud USC Trojan, a devoted father and a loving and comical grandfather. We know he’s somewhere now enjoying the ocean breeze with his toes in the sand.
Don was preceded in death by his brother, Jim Lidtke, and his parents Frederick and Gertrude Litke. He is survived by his wife Chic Lidtke; his son, Kurt Lidtke and daughter, Kristen Lidtke Piedra; and his grandchildren Alexander, Isabel and Anna Piedra; and Katherine and Caroline Lidtke.
A Celebration of Life will be held on September 15 at 2:00 PM at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to Meals on Wheels, where Don happily volunteered for over 10 years. Meals on Wheels: 2615 Portland Road NE, Salem, OR 97301.