Exotic Animals

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 17th March 2017

In a journal that was meant for a grandfather to fill out for his grandchildren, my dad answered the following question; Did you have any exotic animals in the house when growing up?  He wrote, "Only when my older brothers had their friends over."  I loved my Dad's sense of humor!



Happy Birthday Dad

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 22nd April 2013

Today would have been your 79th birthday. We almost got to celebrate it and thought we were actually going to make it to celebrate your 80th next year.  Little did we know that last year, in this video, we would be celebrating with you for the last time. 

   We miss you very much!  Your loss is still so fresh that I still feel the urge to run and get you a present. I know that you are celebrating in Heaven. We will be with you again some day. <3

Happy Birthday Dad!  I love you so much!

**Click on the box if the video is not playing.

my dad

Shared by Steve Bissett on 3rd April 2013

Sharing a lil quiet time with my dad I wish I could remember this!

Hawaii with Dad

Shared by Steve Bissett on 3rd April 2013

I really ejoyed the trip to Hawaii with dad and Mary Lou! Dad used to love to point out to me the breaching whales out in the sea,but he always did while driving and a few times I was  scared we were going to go off the side of the cliff!  WHEW!!!
It was funny! 

Beeming with love and joy for all his grandchildren

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 3rd April 2013

I am sure you will all agree that Dad was never happier than when a new baby arrived. He loved his children, step children and grandchildren from the deapths of his heart.  This smile, I see on his face as I look through the pictures and see him holding each baby. This picture is of him holding Anja the day she was born, but I see it reapeated in pictures of every one of the grandchildren.  I realize how rich his life was and how much treasure he put into each of our lives with the love he gave and his wonderful loving smile and beeming eyes that he had when he looked upon those he loved.  He was so gushingly proud of his grandkids that we have all laugh and said, "look, Dad (Granpa) is all proud again."  We were all lucky to have had him in our lives and have so many wonderful memories to look back on now.

mom and Don eastern trips

Shared by Mark Huber on 1st April 2013

Denise and I would love it when mom and don would visit us in Pa Mom always loved the flowers and the green everywhere.As soon as they were rested they would be out hunting for a golf course. Don would ask if I knew of any good ones in the area,Right!! I would know that. Not ever being a golfer, other then chip and putt. We'd go out to the farmers market where Don would mention to me that all these people here looked as if they were all related. Once they wanted to go to Lancaster to see the Amish .That was fun since I explained to Don that they were all related. Just the sight of Mom dragging Don around to get a picture of an Amish person was hilarious since the Amish do not like their pictures taken and they would take off and hide. Mom finally got her picture and Don was ready for a nap. One thing Don really enjoyed about the east was the humidity. Id always tease him that Id send him some for Christmas and He would say NO THANK YOU YOU KEEP IT.

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 31st March 2013

  Every year, Dad and Mary Lou spent six weeks in Hawaii.  Each year, family and friends would come and stay with them for a week or so.  In 2005, Henk and I,  (and Anja in mommy's tummy),  spent one of the most relaxing and wonderful times with them.  Every morning we ate breakfast on the lanai and scanned the ocean for a spout from a whale.  Durring the day we went sight seeing and snorkeling and in the evenings after dinner we played Yahtzee.  We would sit up at the kitchen island and since the counter top was marble, each time Dad rolled the dice, they would slide off onto the floor.  Mary Lou would say, "oh Don.."  and we would laugh because he could not seem to keep the dice on the counter. 
 I was pragnant with Anja, so by 7:30 -8:00 pm, I was out like a light on the couch and I would hear Dad or Mary Lou tease me, "Look, there's the life of the party!"

We went to one of the body surfing beaches and it was funny how Dad hovered over me as I went out just a little ways into the surf, (about thigh deep). He was so worried that a wave would hit my belly and he kept saying, "Honey, be carefull, here comes a wave"

  I don't think I have ever been so relaxed on a vacation as I was on this one.  It was fun to see Dad get excited about showing Henk all of the sights since it was Henk's first time to Hawaii. It was as if Dad were reliving his first time there. 


Shared by Steve Bissett on 30th March 2013

jase giving his brother a little kiss while Grandpa holds him!

Jayme and Grandpa

Shared by Steve Bissett on 30th March 2013

This is just a very sweet pic pf Jayme with his Grandpa!

Shared by Steve Bissett on 30th March 2013

I have always lovewd this picture I wish I had been there to. Dad,Josh, Cherie, and Grandmama four Bissett genrations.

bissett boys

Shared by Steve Bissett on 30th March 2013

This was taken shortly after Marylou's memorial They all sat oldest middle and youngest together.I love this photo!

Music Circus

Shared by Bill Ziegenhorn on 30th March 2013

Don and Mom loved to come to Sacramento each summer and take the girls to a musical at the Music Circus. They would make a big day of it, with the girls getting dressed up and all of them going out to lunch before the show.

Tahoe Holiday

Shared by Bill Ziegenhorn on 30th March 2013

Every summer when Alyssa, Morgan and Chloe were little, they would go up by themselves to visit with Grandpa Don and Nana at their motor home at Tahoe Timber Trails. It was a great way for them to get away from their parents and have some fun time away from parental oversight. Grandparents and kids would spend the days swimming in the pool and playing cards When the sun began to set, they would go out looking for deer or maybe visit Don and Mary Lou's friends around the campground. This was like a mini-summer camp for the girls, and they will always remember the fun times they had.

Jeff Bissett- My favorite memory of Uncle Don

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 28th March 2013

My favorite memory of Uncle Don is just the general warmth and joy he provided during the many Christmas parties he and Mary Lou hosted over the years.  But as for a specific memory, it would have to be the Disneyland one that he and my Dad helped rekindle in my brain since I was only 5 when it happened:

It was in 1959 when Uncle Don had just returned from his service in Okinawa.  He joined Evelyn, Roger Sr & Jr and I for a day at the Magic Kingdom.  Don provided amply needed assistance for little me and my weary 5 year old legs by carrying me on his shoulders so I could see the parades and rest my tired feet!  So good at it was he that I fell asleep in that position.  When I finally awoke, I was completely disoriented.  Where was I?  Why was I suddenly taller than everyone else??  Finally, things came together, and I peered down at his friendly face supported by a neck being strangled by my suddenly awakened legs.  “Are YOU my Uncle Don??” I asked.  Getting a positive response ensured that all was well in the world that day!

Tent Camping

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 27th March 2013

After years of camping in the motorhome, Dad came with us to Fallen Leaf Lake for July 4th, 2010 and we tent camped!  Josh and Hayley met us there and we camped with the Smithsons and some other friends.  We had a really good time although the nights got a little too chily and I think dad might have longed for the motorhome at that point.  All in all it was a good trip and left us with great memories.

Shared by Steve Bissett on 26th March 2013

A memory I have of dad is that when I was very young I would sit with him and listen to the radio staion that played old broadcasts of The Lone Ranger and The Shadow and Dad use to love to make these huge Dagwood style sandwhiches!

Shared by Steve Bissett on 26th March 2013

mom and Dad on Halloween I think they were dressed like Sony and Cher!

baby Jase

Shared by Steve Bissett on 26th March 2013

I think the look on dads face says it all! Proud Grandpa!

kindergarten circus

Shared by Steve Bissett on 26th March 2013

Dad came up to see Jase in his circus.Dad was so excited to Jase perform! Jase was very happy that grandpa got to see him in his class circus!

Trip to Holland

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 25th March 2013

One of the best memories recently was our trip to Holland together.  Every morning when we got up, Dad would be out the door to the bakery next door gettng goodies for the day.  He loved being in the element there, not as a tourist but as a local.  It was nice that he could see where Henk had come from and where I had lived for a short time. I loved seeing the sparkle in his eyes and his smile that was so full of joy. 

memories of Don (and they are so alive)

Shared by Henk Bouma on 24th March 2013

During our trip to Holland in 2010, Don got along well with my best friend Tiemen who is a dairy farmer. He enjoyed exploring the farm and he asked Tiemen many questions regarding government regulations, current technology etcetera. We had several dinners and lunches at my friend's house and Don felt at home on the farm. Don was always interested in other peoples' stories and lifes. He told me during our trip in Holland, that Amsterdam was "allright" (and I agree) but that he enjoyed more visiting small towns, like Wijnjewoude, where my mom lives. We all stayed at me mom's house which is next to the local bakery. Every morning we watched Don walking to the bakery to buy another fresh loaf of bread and some other goodies. He also wanted to taste all different kinds of cheese and so my mom ended up with more loafs of bread and samples of cheese than she ever had before. Don was a special man, more than just a father in law ! He was of great support when I started the process of becoming an American citizen. Don was a great grandfather to Anja and spend many hours with her watching movies, and read books to her. Anja even talked him into playing the Wii with her, but he didn't care for that too much. When Don watched western movies, Anja always came to him to ask who 'the bad guys' were and if the 'good guys' would win this time. We have lots of memories, stories and photos but above all: We know that he is in Heaven now to spend eternity, and that he received a new body. That is our comfort...

Tahoe timber trails

Shared by Henk Bouma on 24th March 2013

I have sweet memories, visiting Don and Mary Lou up at Tahoe timber trails. Don always had the barbeque going, with salmon or a steak, and we enjoyed a day up there visiting and relax. Grandpa and Nana always took Anja swimming and at dusk we went out looking for deer. Good times !!

Special times even in tough times.

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 24th March 2013

Even when Grandpa was not feeling well, Anja had her special time with Grandpa. She snuggled up next to him on the recliner and either watched a movie or read a book together.


Jody Huber - These are some of my fondest memories.

Shared by Cherie Bissett-Bouma on 24th March 2013

 Don loved his annual trips to Hawaii with his wife Mary Lou.  For 25 years, they spent 5 weeks each spring playing golf, snorkeling, taking walks, getting to know the local haunts and making new friends.

 It became a tradition that friends and family would visit them during their trips and they'd show them their favorite snorkel cruise, or grill on the deck while scanning the horizon for the splash of a whale.  In fact, there is ample home video footage of whales in the distance off the Big Island with excited cheering going on in the background. 

 For may years, he and Mary Lou traveled the West Coast in their motorhome and shared a love in their outside adventures.  They spent time playing  the golf courses in Palm Springs, visiting friends at Grey Eagle, and catching crab off the in the Pacific Northwest.   Don was the designated "handler" of the live crabs.  A perfect day would be an afternoon on the water fishing and crabbing, followed by a dinner of fresh cooked crabs, Caesar salad, and corn on the cob bought right from the farmer.  While on the coastal waters of Washington, he and Mary Lou would walk the beach, Oyster knives in hand to find fresh bounty for the evening's dinner. 

Share a Story

Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):