DONALD KAMP - "Gentle Giant"
Donald Eli Kamp was born November 18, 1931 in Postville, Iowa to Edward and Luch (Eberling) Kamp. Don was the third child of four children born to Edward and Lucy. The Kamp family lived and worked the family farm which was located outside of the town of Postville. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Postville and attended Clermont schools. After high school he began working at the Postville Co-op creamery as a butter maker. This was before automation when butter was made by hand.
As a young man, Don enjoyed hunting small game with his dog. Rex. Don was an excellent marksman. He served with the US Army in the Korean War from October 1952 to August 1954. He was a Sargent with the 40th Infantry Division. During his time in Korea he received the Korean service medal, 2 Bronze service stars, a United Nations service medal, a National Defense service medal and a good conduct medal. After his discharge from the service he returned to work at the Postville Creamery.
On February 17, 1960 he married Gladys Marguerita Anderson in Presto, Iowa. Gladys was from the Pacific Northwest and in 1962 he and Gladys moved to the Issaquah area where Don began to work with Darigold as a butter maker. Their first home was an apartment on Sunset near Flintoft's funeral home in Issaquah. In April of 1964, Don and Gladys bought the Cabin on Beaver Lake that Don would call home for the remainder of his life. The cabin belonged to Jake Lott, Don and Gladys had been renting the cabin for some time. When Jake moved out of the cabin he left everything: dished, linens, all the furniture and everything on the walls. "There was even a bottle of wine and a can of anchovies in the refrigerator". The only thing he did not leave were his clothes. One day " out of the blue" Jake said to Don "why don't you just buy this cabin". The purchase price of the cabin was $10,000.00. At the time of the purchase, Don had $200.00. He needed $300.00 more for the $500.00 down payment on the cabin. Don was offered the $300.00 he needed by Mary Podkraric, half owner of the H and H Tavern in Issaquah. Don accepted her load with a handshake to seal the transaction. Don made the down payment of $500.00 with monthly payments of $75.00 directly to Jake. Don paid the $300.00 to Mary in three monthly installments of $100.00. Mary would not accept interest on the money she loaned to Don. On May 18, 1970, Don and Gladys were divorced.
On November 18, 1074, Don and Doris Marie Hudgins Wright were married in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Doris was the daughter of Miles B. and Blanche (Crosinbery) Hudgins of Oklahoma. Doris was born on August 12, 1933. In 1975, Don and Doris purchased the vacant lot next to their home from Everett and Evelyn Stuckmann. This purchase doubled the size of their property. Doris passed away in 1983, the same year Don retired from Darigold. He had taken great pride in the occupation he pursued.
In 1985 Don began dating Marion Bulzomi. Marion had been the day bartender at Fasanos in Issaquah and knew Don and Doris as customers. Marion became Don's steadfast companion. They spent two years clearing the property and cleaning the exterior and interior of the cabin. The cabin is a reflection of both Don and Marion a warm inviting atmosphere with a hidden sense of humor as reflected in the pair of boots buried in the yard with the toes pointed to the sky. During his retirement years, Don enjoyed collecting antiques and restoring old machinery. He was an avid garage sale hunter, always looking for a bargain or willing to offer a good deal on an item he owned. He was a great fan of John Wayne and never tired of watching his movies or of the western novels he read with a passion.
Don was a member of the VFW Post 3436 and the Issaquah Eagles 3054, the fellowship he found in these organizations was important in his life.
The last six months of his life were lived day by day. He stayed in his home on Beaver Lake Drive until his death on January 10, 2001. With Marion at his side as this loving companion and caregiver, Don was a kind, good natured and generous man, "a gentle giant".
Donald Kamp is on the left.
Information came from conversations with Don Kamp and Marion Bulzomi
Virginia Kuhn, Vice President
Sammamish Heritage Society