Don was born April 19, 1938 in Hamilton to Gordon and Vernal (Smith) Privett. He attended schools in Missoula, Hot Springs, Clark Fork and Plains, graduating from Plains High School in 1956. He attended the University of Montana for two years before enlisting in the United States Navy where he served as a Fire Control Technician for three years.
After the Navy he worked several jobs around California’s Bay area, where he met and married Jean Cyr in 1966. The couple had three children in California and added two more after moving to Montana in 1970. Don worked as a logger around Missoula and Plains until hiring on to the Burlington Northern tie plant in Paradise in 1974, where he worked as a tie bucker and boiler operator until the plant’s closure in 1982. He remained at railroad work for the rest of his career and retired from Montana Rail Link in 2000. He married Sharon Glase in 1999. They made their home in Clark Fork, Idaho and hosted many a get-together there with their children and grandchildren. They later divorced and he spent the rest of his retirement sharing fishing and hunting trips, and many a happy hour, with is good friend Jimmy Bridenbaker.
Don enjoyed both working and recreating in the outdoors. He was a skilled hunter and angler but mostly appreciated the company of friends and family around a good fire pit. He will be best remembered for how he liked to smile, laugh and joke; qualities that proved contagious Donald to those who knew him.
He was preceded in death by both parents as well as three sisters; Darlene Privett, Peggy Jones and Jo Ann Means Martin. He is survived by sisters Bonnie (Roger) Savage of Missoula and Toni (Eric) Fisher of Kalispell; brother, Skip (Deb) Privett of Missoula; daughters, Sheri Williston of Rathdrum and Teresa McCarrel of Kalispell; sons, Jerry (Stacey) of Spokane, Donny and Dan both of Plains; thirteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held in his honor at the VFW hall in Plains Saturday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m.