Donald Ray Folks, 72, of Roanoke, Virginia, passed away March 31, 2023, surrounded by his loving family after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Don was born January 6, 1951, to Donald Oscar and Katherine (Rexrode) Folks in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Staunton, Virginia.
Don attended Robert E. Lee High School, where he lettered in varsity baseball and football. He served in the Air Force for seven years, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. While in the service, he met his wife Linda, and they served a tour together in Berlin, Germany, from 1974-1977.
Following military service, Don settled down in Roanoke, Virginia, where he and Linda raised their 5 children. Don was a talented electronics technician, but his constant desire to learn and improve were the foundation for a lifetime of experiences in business ownership, sales, marketing, and advanced machine repair. Don’s work ethic was unparalleled, and he was known to take on additional shifts and even a second job to ensure his family of seven had what they needed. Don was good with his hands and his heart. He was a tinkerer and a fixer of all things, and he relished the opportunity to teach what he knew and help others through his gifts. His family will also remember him for his silly jokes and catchphrases that punctuated each day and helped remind us all to laugh a little, especially when life was challenging.
Don loved to sing and had a beautiful tenor voice. While raising his children, he served as a scoutmaster and was an assistant coach for youth baseball and soccer teams. He was an avid outdoorsman, and he passed on his love for hunting, fishing, and hiking to his children and grandchildren in his family’s ancestral home of Highland County.
Don’s Christian faith was paramount. He grew up as a member of the Advent Christian Church in Waynesboro, Virginia, and was later baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he served in many callings. His strong faith carried him through challenging times and gives his family solace that they will be together again.
Those left to cherish his memory are his devoted wife of 49 years, Linda Folks, and his children, Jeremy (Amanda) Folks of Hillsboro, Virginia, Valerie (Chris) Coles of Roanoke, Virginia, Amanda (Gary) Lizaso, of West Jordan, Utah, Tim (Heather) Folks of Washington, Utah, and Matthew Folks of Arlington, Texas. One of Don’s greatest joys was spending time with his 25 grandchildren, who will miss him dearly. Also surviving are Don’s siblings, Mary (Ed) Goolsby, George (Cindy) Folks, and Neil (Becki) Folks.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 5836 Cotton Hill Road in Roanoke, Virginia. Family and friends are invited to stay for a luncheon following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.