Don died Sept. 15, 2020, in Seattle, Wash. The cause of death was vascular dementia, which had developed after a hernia operation a year earlier. Don’s daughter, Lisa Fitzhugh, cared for her father at the end. She published a moving account of Don’s last year and her efforts to understand him and come to terms with their complicated relationship at

Don, who was raised in Richmond, Va., played rugby and was president of Ivy Club. His roommates were Jim Avery, Bailey Bishop, John Earman, and Hendrik Woods. His Princeton friends remember him as a natural leader, inquisitive, thoughtful, and fun.

After Princeton Don enlisted in the Army Reserve. While waiting to go on active duty, he visited New Orleans, where he met Susie Isacks on a blind date and married her in 1965. After his six months of active duty, Don joined the Washington Evening Star for two years and then moved to Baltimore to teach English at St. Paul’s School. Two and a half years later, Don, perhaps influenced by the counter-culture ethos of the 1960s, left his job and family and moved to his parents’ farm outside Charlottesville, Va., where he initially lived in a tent. He continued this unconventional path for the rest of his life, doing manual labor, including working in a stone quarry in West Virginia and performing farming, masonry, carpentry, and handyman jobs in Virginia.

Don moved to rural Thorp, Wash., in 2000. He reestablished relationships with Susie and Lisa, both in Seattle, although he continued to be fiercely independent, living in a cabin with only a wood stove for heat during the harsh winters.

Undergraduate Class of 1964