Remembering and Celebrating the Life of Don Wampler

Donnie graduated in 1984 from West Valley High School in Cottonwood, CA. Soon after graduating, he married the love of his life, Staci Wooters, in 1987. Donnie and Staci settled in cottonwood, CA and raised two beautiful girls, Brooke and Tabytha. Donnie worked tirelessly and provided for his family until his very last day of life.

Donnie worked in the construction industry all his life, beginning at the age of 15 years old. Some years later, Donnie became a contractor himself, owning and operating many businesses of his own. He knew nothing more than to work hard and get things done.

When Donnie wasn’t working, he loved to hunt, fish and camp; anything that had to do with the outdoors. Some of Donnie’s fondest memories took place around campfires in the woods.

He was most happy spending time in the deer woods and spending time with his family and friends. Donnie was preceded in death by his mother, Marlene Wampler, and his sister, Becky Stotts.

Donnie is survived by his ex-wife, Staci Wampler; his two daughters, Brooke Wampler and Tabytha Wampler; his four granddaughters, Mystry, Aubree, Kennedy, Parker; his father, Don Wampler Sr.; two sisters, Debi and Brenda and many very special nephews and family members.

Donald William Wampler Jr. passed away on Monday, May 2, 2022, in Vacaville, CA. He was 56 years old. Donnie was born April 5, 1966, to Donald Sr. and Marlene Wampler in Modesto, CA.

Donnie will be forever held in our hearts and will be carried on in our daily lives. We will miss him beyond comprehension.

Irving Stone, author of the epic “Men to Match My Mountains” quoted Sam Foss by stating, “Bring me men to match mountains, bring me men to match my plains, men with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brain.”

I had the pleasure of knowing Don Wampler for many years, having worked alongside him on challenging new construction project our company undertook in Northern California. Don was a throwback to another era of a project manager, he actually had callouses on his hands! Don knew the trades and spoke the language. Don could instantly tell, after watching a driver add water to a Ready-Mix truck that the load was hot and past 90 minutes and summarily he would reject it! We shared war stories of the trades, laughed and cussed a little.

I told Don once that he reminded me of Frank T. Crowe, the storied general superintendent of the “Six Companies” (A consortium of major construction companies that built Hoover Dam in Boulder City Nevada.) Crowe was known for his masterful inventiveness with getting things done, when no one else could offer a solution. That was Don too. “Don’t complain, just figure it out and get it done" was his motto! Crowe was known as a tradesman’s man, with crews following him throughout the West, building epic dams sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation. Don was cut from the same piece of timber. On his project sites I would see trades and their trucks from hundreds of miles away. I often chided him about his ability to be a rock star (as in construction, not music) to attract such an audience.

Now, he is at rest and surprisingly, in close proximity to Frank T. Crowe who after building Shasta Dam, retired to his 20,000 acre ranch in Redding California. These two were indeed what Irving Stone characterized in the famous quote from “Men to Match My Mountains".

~Jon Opfell