Born on July 7, 1943 in Napa, CA to Bazil Aubry Trotter and Evelyn Margaret Trotter. Lived his young years in Napa, enjoying family, friends, school, and nature. Don loved all sports, especially basketball and baseball. He also was an outdoors fellow and enjoyed fishing, hunting and generally discovering the natural beauties of the area. He traipsed through the creeks and streams to find the perfect fishing holes, and when successful in landing a fish, he would carefully clean it and take it home for Mom to prepare. As Don became a teen, he developed a love for golf, and he caddied for his orthodontist at Silverado CC; he also received...
Born on July 7, 1943 in Napa, CA to Bazil Aubry Trotter and Evelyn Margaret Trotter. Lived his young years in Napa, enjoying family, friends, school, and nature. Don loved all sports, especially basketball and baseball. He also was an outdoors fellow and enjoyed fishing, hunting and generally discovering the natural beauties of the area. He traipsed through the creeks and streams to find the perfect fishing holes, and when successful in landing a fish, he would carefully clean it and take it home for Mom to prepare. As Don became a teen, he developed a love for golf, and he caddied for his orthodontist at Silverado CC; he also received golf lessons and tips from his mentor. Don joined his Mom and Dad's golf fortune by hitting a hole in one at Bend CC, and actually loved buying the round of drinks for all in the clubhouse.
Don moved to Arcadia, CA when he was a junior in high school; he loved this school and his many new friends. He continued to play basketball for Arcadia High School, and many of these new friends became treasured friends for life! He loved the opportunities afforded him during these years, both academically and athletically.
College meant three things for Don...Arizona State University from where he graduated and made the best group of friends in his Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity...again, true friends for life. At this time he also decided to join the National Guard and hopefully avoid being sent to Vietnam. After completing basic training, he was extended the opportunity to test into a Direct Commission for Officer's Candidate School in the Navy, as a Public Affairs Reserve Officer. Don totally enjoyed this experience and spent several reserve duties at the Pentagon in their Public Affairs Offices.
Next, Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management where he earned an additional Bachelor of Science, as well as his Master of Science in International Management. An obscure fact is that Don graduated number 15 in a class of 377 in August 1971. We were so proud of him.
Don and I were looking forward to working overseas, but he received an offer from UCLA that became the stepping stone for his movement through this University. Eventually Don became a Vice Chancellor here in charge of the UCLA Alumni Association and the UCLA Foundation. He took great pride in watching UCLA further develop in all areas as he, too, continued to expand and mature his business prowess. Don truly loved UCLA and always professed to bleed blue and gold. He continued to be re-elected to the UCLA Foundation Board of Councillors (formerly the UCLA Board of Trustees) up until his unimaginable surgical complication in 2007.
Don left UCLA for the private business sector in 1979. He became the EVP and COO of Griffin Homes and was responsible for the construction and closing of over 6000 homes. All in all, these were wonderful years for Don's business development as well as for his family development.
From here, Don moved to Murdock Residential Development, as President of the company. He remembered fondly his involvement in the development of Sherwood Valley and The Sherwood CC, especially with its Jack Nicklaus designed golf course.
Following this, Don and his partner developed Subdivision Resources Inc. to provide full services to financial institutions and builders for residential real estate. Don basically retired from business in 2002, and set out to enjoy the ensuing years.
Something that Don thoroughly enjoyed in 2002, was being selected to participate in the first session of the FBI Los Angeles Citizen's Academy. He loved learning about the duties of the FBI and he enjoyed being able to experience shooting on their rifle range.
Nancy and Don were married in 1967, at Holy Angeles Catholic Church in Arcadia, California, by a Paulist Priest from the UCLA Newman Center. The Paulist Priest, Fr. John Gaeney, introduced Don to the Paulist Community in Westwood, CA. This community became an anchor for Don and his family while they were living in West Los Angeles for the next 36 years. Don was baptized, confirmed and introduced to the St. Paul the Apostle Community on the same day that his beautiful daughter, Kelly Trotter King, was baptized in 1974. He became an active parishoner and a very supportive father as his daughter and eventually his son, Jeffrey David, progressed through the SPA School. He loved participating in the SPA school fundraising festivals, almost as much as he enjoyed working in the Marriage Encounter Program for prospective young couples. He also loved helping to raise funds for the new Newman Center Building on the UCLA campus.
With the arrival of Jeff in 1983, Don was again thrilled to observe and participate in the development of his child. Nothing brought him greater pleasure than driving his son to school in the mornings, and saying each morning upon arrival, "I love you with all my heart, Son!". This left a lasting impression on Jeff, and he spoke about this many times as the years progressed. Family was everything to Don, and Nancy and Don were married almost 47 years. Don always felt greatly blessed with his wife, children, and extended family. He was so pleased to be able to watch his daughter, Kelly, marry her true love, John Thomas King, in December of 2010. He will not be present for the birth of their first child in June of this year, but he is fully aware of the upcoming birth of Baby Boy King.
Don was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1994 and fought through this for 20 years without voicing many complaints. In 2007, he suffered a major complication from surgery, and ended up spending 137 days at the UCLA Hospital. When finally discharged, Don had suffered a degree of brain injury and would be faced with multiple challenges in the remaining 6 1/2 years of his life. True to Don's spirit, he did not complain, but tried to enjoy each day that he had. His wonderful caregiver, Augustin Dela Cruz, made sure that Don was taken out to appreciate the sun, the ocean, and the people. He even took Don to St. Edward the Confessor for daily Mass many days each week. Thank you, Augustin.
Don passed away on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 4:44 a.m., in Dana Point, CA, where Don and Nancy have been living for ten years.
Don is free now...burdens lifted, wings unfolded, you have gone ahead and paved the way...
Don's spirit soars!
Those wishing to make donations in honor of Donald N. Trotter may do so to:
Jeff Bronstein MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Director of Movement Disorders
710 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Please put "Jeff Bronstein MD-PD Research" in the memo line of the donation.