Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Donald Duane “Don” Lafferty, passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 7, 2024, at his home in Burns, Oregon at the age of seventy.
Don is survived by his wife of 46 years, Karen (Hamer) Lafferty; his daughter, Brandi (James) Rodriguez; his daughter, Shiloh (Josh) Kenyon; his daughter, Leslie Lafferty; his son, Quentin Lafferty (Kristie Davis); and his son Noah (Kyla) Lafferty. He is survived by fifteen grandchildren; Isabella & Tymber Rodriguez, Ty, Jacelyn, Cadyn & Skylyn Kenyon; Rainbow & Liam Lafferty; Peyton & Nakoa Lafferty; Leila, Treyse, Takoda, & Letty Lafferty, & Jett Rissler. Don is also survived by his brother Bob Lafferty and his sisters Ramona and Cissy Lafferty.
Don was preceded in death by both his parents, Donald Paul Lafferty and Lucine Theresa (Winters) Lafferty; His brothers Joesph Charles Lafferty and Leslie Lyle Lafferty; his Aunt Dee (Lafferty) Hammond; his father and mother-in-law, Norman Gerall Hamer & Helen E. Selee; his brother-in-law Bradley Norris Hamer and several other family members.
Don was born on May 9, 1953, in Hot Springs, South Dakota to Donald Paul & Lucine Theresa Lafferty. Don spent his early childhood in South Dakota and a few other places including a few years at a Catholic boarding school. Don was the oldest of 6 children, all of whom loved and respected him all throughout their life. He spent several summers as a kid at his Aunt Dee and Uncle Jack Hammonds house, in Vale, Oregon. They were like a second set of parents to Don, or as they called him “Pun.” He has been a resident of Burns, Oregon for nearly the last sixty years. Don graduated high school in 1971 and played baseball and basketball. He met the love of his life, Karen Hamer in early 1978. Don & Karen were married on February 25, 1978, in Winnemucca, Nevada. Don & Karen had five beautiful children between May of 1979 and September of 1987. Don’s kids were his most prized possession. He loved watching his kids play sports and very rarely ever missed a game, whether it was in Burns or four hours away. He was their biggest fan and always videoed the games, so all the kids have those memories preserved on tape. He also videoed many family vacations and birthdays!
Don worked as a Logger for H & H Logging Company and a few others for the majority of his adult life. He loved being in the woods whether it was for work, camping, or just for a drive. He was an exceptional skidder operator. Don worked tirelessly and provided for his family throughout the years including getting up many times in the wee hours of the morning to drive to his logging site. Don and his crew won logger of the year in 1993 and 1994. He was also recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1993 for his outstanding work as a logger. Don was a mentor to many young loggers in the trade and taught many of them everything they know about logging. Don also started building and owning his own Wildland Fire Fighting Engine in 1990. He enjoyed this extra occupation and also enjoyed going on fires with both of his sons, Quentin & Noah. Both of the boys still have fire trucks to this day and will proudly carry on the tradition.
Don survived a brain tumor and brain surgery in 2005 and lost some of his sight and his ability to drive. Don was fun-loving and was always the biggest “Ham” in the room. He loved to tell his jokes and always had a good, or bad one, for everyone he saw! He loved taking and being in pictures, so thankfully we have no shortage of memories of him! He loved to hang out with his sons and daughters, enjoyed going on rides, listening to music of all kinds, and just being on the go! He had a few good friends that would faithfully give him rides many times a week. He loved his music and had over five hundred old school CD’s and his portable discman that he packed around with him on every trip!
Don will be missed by all that knew and loved him. He left a standing footprint in the Burns community, and he will be thought of often. If Don was here, he would want to tell everyone to continue telling jokes, listening to music, and going to the woods as often as you can.
The Memorial Service will be held on January 20, 2024. Services will begin at the Harney County Fairgrounds Memorial Building at 1 pm for the Celebration of Life, followed by a graveside service at the Burns Cemetery, and finished with a slide show and potluck back at the Fairgrounds. Please bring a side dish if you are able. This will be an informal celebration as Don would have wanted.