January 12, 1938 – June 3, 2020
Don was a driving force in bringing Hospitality House into being.
In the 1990’s, the Seattle Presbytery convened a team to address homelessness. Rev. Charles Kothe, pastor of Lake Burien Presbyterian Church and a member of the Presbytery’s Social Justice and Peacemaking Committee, invited churches in the Highline Community to participate.
Don, chair of LBPC’s Social Justice Outreach Committee, became a leading member of the Hospitality House Steering Committee, along with representatives of 10 founding churches. He worked tirelessly with others, attending Burien City Council Meetings and hearings, completing applications and paperwork required to establish a shelter, fundraising, writing Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation, doing outreach in the neighborhood… a comprehensive undertaking. Initially many in the community were hostile and belligerent. One woman in particular, upon learning that LBPC was seeking to be a site for a homeless shelter, sent out letters and posted notices in the local Post Office that read in part: “HOMELESS SHELTER COMING SOON NEXT TO YOUR HOME – PROPERTY VALUES DECREASE…INCREASED PERSONAL DANGER.” She urged people to come to a meeting the Steering Committee planned to present the shelter plan. About 80 people attended. The crowd was hostile, belligerent, confrontational and it did not go well.
Don continued the work despite the initial anger and unpleasant resistance encountered. Over months community support increased, the public hearings became positive and Hospitality House came into being, opening its doors October of 2000. It was not the end for Don: He became the first Hospitality House Board president.
It was not the end for Don: He became the first Hospitality House Board president.
He and his wife, Lee Weber, have continued to support HH for the past 20 years in various capacities. A Boeing electrical engineer by profession, Don had wide interests and many wonderful adventures with his family. But it is his belief in and commitment to social justice, in word and action, that has made immeasurable difference for hundreds of women who have sought safety and shelter.
Hospitality House is grateful for
Don’s life and his work.
He will be missed but leaves behind a legacy.
Our sincerest condolences to Lee and Don’s family.