A Man of Faith and Family
April 14, 1929 – August 20, 2019
George Merrill Donoho, devoted son, husband, and father, passed away peacefully August 20, 2019. He was surrounded by his wife of 64 years, Zelma Lou Donoho, his six children, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
To have known George was to witness what a true man should be. Honorable, ethical, and compassionate. He was a man of faith, honoring his God and his fellow man. Strong as an ox, but gentle as a lamb. He embodied absolute faithfulness to Zelma, placing her on a pedestal and honoring her both publicly and privately. His attributes as a father are the envy of every child who desired absolute love and support. George was always fair and balanced in his treatment of others. His life was the embodiment of a successful 90 years of life.
Born April 14, 1929, in Humpherys, Missouri to parents Robert Bruce and Lilah Pearl Donoho. They migrated to California for a better life and settled in West Los Angeles, California. George sold magazines as a child, making a nickel each subscription and had built a nest-egg of over $5000 by the time he was a teen. With his father’s guidance, he leased his first gas station and garage on Sunset Blvd. at the age of 17. He and his childhood friends operated the garage through High School, customizing and repairing cars. George graduated from University High in West Los Angeles in 1948. In 1950, he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in Japan and South Korea, working as a tank mechanic. George was honorably discharged from the military in 1952. In 1953, while attending church with friends, he met young Zelma Jones, aged 15. George was 26. Zelma was not allowed to date until she was 18, so they courted under her mother’s watchful eye until Zelma graduated High School in 1954. They married in 1955. George and Zelma moved into a small apartment in Santa Monica, and eventually to a home in Mar Vista where George worked in construction, and they began their family. The next 64 years were dedicated to his wife and the six children they bore together.
George and Zelma spent nearly every weekend of their family life at Lake Isabella. George was an exceptional water skier, motorcycle rider, hunter, and backcountry enthusiast. In 1969, George moved his family to Wofford Heights, and he began building custom and spec homes around the Kern Valley. Many valley families are now blessed to live in homes George built.
In 1973, two significant events happened. First was a move to Kernville on Idyllic Sirretta Street. The second was a catastrophic back injury that left George unable to stand for over a year. Unable to return to construction, he became the water-master for Kernville/ Dominguez Water Company, now California Water. He worked day and night for twenty years to ensure that Kernville water was running and healthy for the residents of our small town.
In 2019, George and Zelma celebrated 64 years together. True love as few will ever enjoy or witness. George is survived by his brother Don Donoho, his wife of 64 years, Zelma Lou Donoho. His six children Jamie Lee Brockway, Jody Ann Snider, Joel Kerry Donoho, Jess Austin Donoho, Jana Dee Donoho-Strong, and Jenny Lynn Worth. Among them are 16 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren (and one on the way). George leaves behind a great legacy and an example of how to lead a good life. He demonstrated how to build the respect of your family, peers, and community. He has gracefully transitioned from this life to the next.
The Donoho family welcomes family, friends, neighbors and those touched by his care and friendship to join the family on September 2, 2019, at 10 a.m., First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella for a Celebration of Life. Join us graveside at Kernville Cemetery at noon and then return to the First Baptist Church in Lake Isabella for a light lunch and sharing of stories and memories.
God Bless George Donoho and the Donoho Family.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the local hospital, charity or organization of your choice.