May 3, 1960 – June 13, 2021
After 11 arduous years valiantly battling deadly polycystic kidney disease, Donald Winston Chance succumbed June 13, 2021 at home at the age of 61. He maintained his positive approach, brilliant mind and steel-trap memory to the end. His love of more than 20 years, Dianne DeVilliers, was by his side.
Don was born May 3, 1960 in San Diego, California, and was raised and educated in the South, where family ties run deep. He was a devoted Corpsman in the U. S. Navy from 1978 to 1985. He served in Korea, where he learned and taught cold weather survival; in Okinawa, Japan and in Guam. Don earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Health Administration, and went on to manage long-term care facilities in Central and Southern California and in Coos Bay. In Bandon, he guided the planning and construction of Heritage Place assisted living and memory care (now Pacific View), and served as its administrator for several years.
Don was instrumental in the successful campaign to save the Coquille Valley from the planned Bandon Marsh Expansion by the USFWS. Co-campaigners said his political strategy proved to be a success in stopping the largest wetland expansion on the west coast.
Quick to lend a helping hand, Don is known for his humor, wit, extraordinary stories that turn out to be true, drawing friends together to enjoy his prowess in the kitchen and at the backyard BBQ, his unwavering friendship, and of course, his love for and keen knowledge of the Crimson Tide. His “super power” was as a connector of people with people, and when someone needed something -- almost anything -- he had an uncanny ability to find it for them. He was an avid student of history, a collector of many treasures (which he often gave away), and a legendary recreational fisherman. When he went crabbing, he would sometimes present his catch as a surprise gift to visitors on the Port docks. Additional interests, and there were many, included hunting, gardening and birding.
Don remodeled room by room the Laurel Grove home he shared with Dianne. They especially enjoyed relaxing on their new decks when the dozens of large rhododendrons on the property and the other flowers he loved to plant and tend put on their annual show.
Don is the son of the late Marilyn Chance James and Eavon Andrew Chance. He is survived by Dianne DeVilliers; his stepdaughter, Elizabeth Rochelle Porter; and siblings, David Meyer, Haines City, FL, Sue (Russell) Noell, Lakeland, FL, Sandra Chance (Tommy) Lolies, Ragland, AL., Starlyn Willis, Lakeland, Jimmy Chance, Childersburg, AL, and Steele (Sacha) Chance, Pell City, AL. He also leaves a large group of long-time friends who are saddened by his passing, but comforted that he is no longer suffering. Don instructed that his body be donated to OHSU to aid medical research