Skip to content

Bushnell, Donald Edward

Donald Edward Bushnell, age 58, died on Friday, Feb. 22, 2002, at St. Dominics Hospital in Manteca, Calif. Donald was born on June 3, 1943, in Connecticut. Donald was an MD, PHD in San Joaquin Valley, Calif. He was a doctor of Internal Medicine and Infectious disease and life long student. He loved to learn. He was very compassionate and generous. He enjoyed life as it was, material things weren’t important to him. He was a jokester. He had the talent of making people laugh and could talk to anybody. He enjoyed his Shih-Tzu dogs. He also loved fairs, carnivals, and Reno (anywhere he could play!) Donald received his 1st Medical Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the years he worked in Cancer Research, Aids Research, Microbiology, and various other areas. He was a brilliant man. He was published in the JAMA Medical Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, and many other medical journals. He is survived by his mother, Elizabeth Bushnell of Santa Rosa, Calif.; three children, Melissa Nelson of Hudson, Wis., Lisa Hammet of Tracy, Calif. and Brian Castle of Alameda, Calif.; two brothers, Jim Bushnell of Long Beach, Calif. and Ralph Bushnell of Laguna Hills, Calif.; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Bushnell in 1999. A memorial service for Donald and Mary Bushnell will be Thursday, March 28, 2002, at 10 a.m. at P.L. FRY & SON FUNERAL HOME. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 207 E. Alpine Ave., Stockton, Calif. 85204. P.L. Fry & Son will be in charge of all arrangements.
He will be deeply missed.

Don had signed up to come back for our 40th class reunion and we all wondered why he didn’t make it. That name tag with his old high school photo sat by itself on the table at Jingles.

Joe Schiro recently talked with Ralph and Libby Barnard Farmer after talking with Don’s daughter, Melissa. We now have some of the answers. Melissa relates that Don’s patients needed him about the time of the reunion and he just couldn’t get away. We all wish that he had been able to make that last trip, but he just couldn’t get away. Melissa said he was the most devoted doctor you’d ever see — patients came first, period. Don died suddenly of a massive heart attack. His second wife was Mary, and they were together for almost 30 years. She had 2 kids that Don helped raise. Apparently when Mary died in 1999 (colon cancer) part of Don died too … they were very close. Melissa told Joe she thinks he died of a broken heart, (literally and figuratively).

Mrs. Bushnell is 93. Melissa reports that she broke her hip in December but is doing well. Don’s death has hit her very hard. Don was the one who looked after her.

Melissa lives in Hudson, Wisconsin with her husband and 3 teenagers.
Melissa Nelson
605 Grange Road
Hudson, WI, 54016

Joe said that it would mean a lot to her to hear from her Dad’s friends, so if you are inclined — write or e-mail. She would love to hear about old times, dates, football — all that stuff that was part of high school. Don and her mother were divorced when Melissa was very young and she missed many of those old memories. As it says in the obituary. "He will be deeply missed."