Donald E. Des Jardin

Donald E. Des Jardin

March 14, 1939 - March 03, 2014

Donald E. Des Jardin

March 14, 1939 - March 03, 2014


Donald Edward Des Jardin, 74, passed away on Monday, March 3, 2014, surrounded by his entire loving family at the UCI Medical Center, located in Orange, CA, after a brief illness.

Don is survived by his wife of 54 years, Sandra Des Jardin; Sons- Bradley and Scott Des Jardin; Daughters- Denise Archer and Deanna Archer; Sons in Law- Jim Archer and Jon Archer, Daughter in Law- Denyse Des Jardin; Grandsons- Ryan Des Jardin, Colin Des Jardin, Kyle Archer, Kris Archer, Kenneth Des Jardin, Colby Archer; Grandaughters- Kaylee Archer, Melissa Des Jardin, Addison Archer, (in laws) Natalie Archer, and Angela Des Jardin; Great Granddaughter Mikayla Des Jardin. He is also survived by brothers Gerald, Lawrence and Phillip Des Jardin, and Mother Margaret Des Jardin, who resides is Palm Desert California.

Don was born in Ajo Arizona, to Myrel and Margaret Des Jardin on March 14, 1939. He was preceded in death by his father Myrle and his brother Richard Des Jardin.

Don grew up in Redwood City, CA where he attended Mt. Carmel Elementary School and graduated from Junipero Serra High School in 1957. Don entered the Navy after high school and served his country for four years. Don studied civil engineering at Heald College in San Francisco, CA.

Don began his construction career at Rudolph and Sletten, a general contractor in Mountain View California, as a project engineer and then estimator. Don moved to Reno Nevada where he worked as chief estimator for McKenzie Construction and Vasko and Associates before opening the Nevada office for S.J. Amoroso Construction, where he worked for over 20 years. Don opened the Southern California Offices for both SJ and DJ Amoroso before forming his own company, Harbor Construction, in 2003. Don loved his work and was there until the day he entered the hospital.

Don and his wife Sandy loved to travel and were able to see the world together. Their favorite place is Mexico where they spent many holidays with their children and grandchildren. Don and Sandy built their dream home in Lake Forest, where they enjoyed time on the lake with their family and many friends.

Don was loved by all who knew him and will be greatly missed; especially for his jokes.

Donations can be made to The American Cancer Society,, in his honor.

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24 responses to Donald E. Des Jardin

  1. Bob Bramlett says:

    The Bramlett Family, particularly Eugene & Monna Bramlett wish to extend our heartfelt sympathies to Don and his family.

  2. I thought of Don as a father, an older brother and good friend rolled up in one. In my life, he will never be supplanted by another. It was a privilege to have worked for him. Daily he demonstrated the benefits of hard work, dedication, and respectful relationships.
    I loved his quirky sense of humor. With one well placed, corny joke he could lift the worst day. And to have a Brad Pitt look-alike to work for, all those autographs….
    He was such a big part of my life, my husband’s life, my children’s life ….I, and we, will always miss him…
    Thank you, Sandy, for sharing him with us.

  3. To the Children and Grandchildren of my friend, Donald E. DesJardin.

    My head has been swimming with so many images and shared moments that I really have not known where to begin. Each time I have tried to start, I find that my deep sense of loss takes over, melancholy sets in, and I drift off in thoughts of Don’s humor, and guidance, but most of all his friendship.

    So, I decided to talk about the top five craziest, zaniest, are you kidding me events that Don and I shared. (Please Kids DO NOT TRY THESE AT HOME, we thought of ourselves as PAID AND HIGHLY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS).

    In no particular order of relative importance, I humbly submit for your consideration:


    With the encouragement of my best friend (O.K. maybe he didn’t encourage me, but he certainly didn’t discourage me), I came up with a brainstorm that involved drinking Jamaican rum cocktails and motorcycling around the Jamaican paradise. And so it was, I rented the motorcycle. Me driving, Don on the seat behind me, cocktails in hand, Don and I skidding along and up the jungle roads from Montego Bay to the top of the mountains. (Sandy and Julie followed in the cab behind, horrified). The restaurant was named “Julia’s Hideaway”. Sandy and Julie looked like a million bucks. Sunset views, spectacular scenery, and one of Don’s favorite quotes, “Now, This is Livin’ “. The world was at our feet, and we were indestructible. Suffice to say, we had a blast. If Don discouraged his children and grandchildren from ever owning motorcycles, maybe I share a little of the blame, because the next day I managed to drive the bike head-on into a truck (with Julie on the back). Don and Sandy rushed to the Hospital, spent all that day and most of that night with Julie, while the Jamaican Doctors repaired that, which could be repaired of my leg. The best part was the next morning. I was literally coming out of the anesthesia and who is next to my bedside? That’s right, Don, taking charge, demanding charts, grabbing any medical data they had, throwing around cold hard cash like a Rockefeller, paying off any and all within site, and literally grabbing a cart and wheeling me out of the hospital. Doctor Don had discharged me. Off to the airport where, and I kid you not, he, Sandy, and Julie had somehow managed to hold a Boeing 747 full of passengers on the tarmac until Don could get me on that plane. He was bringing me home for U.S. medical care.

    NO WAY was he going to leave Julie and me alone in Jamaica.

    P.S. The American Orthopedic Surgeons who operated on my leg told me that had I been left in the Jamaican Hospital, at a minimum, I would have likely lost my leg, or worse, to infection, as Jamaican Hospitals were probably 20 years behind the U.S. in control of infectious disease at that time.


    (To be continued)

  4. “The Shootout at the O.K. Corral was Childs Play”

    So, one morning along time ago, in a far away place (Las Vegas), Don and I arrived at the S.J. Amoroso Construction Company Offices. As I recall, the previous days and weeks had been pretty much normal for Construction Company Executives in Vegas – “Rough & Tumble”. We were not always sure about the associates of most of the Subcontractors we dealt with, (or for that matter, the Subcontractors themselves). So, prudence would dictate that the best path forward would probably necessitate a small amount of caution. But as I said, we were on top of the world, and indestructible.

    Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.

    Anyway, we show up at work that morning to find the front entrance to our office riddled with bullet holes. The requisite police reports were filed, and we went about our day. I swear, Don could find humor in anything. He gathered up 2 or 3 of the slugs sat at his desk, and contemplated how cool the slugs would be as cufflinks. Who wouldn’t want to be like Don?

    I love that man, Pat.

  5. “Don was a Forty-Niner Fan? No Kidding?”

    Having moved to their new home in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Rams had scheduled a mid-season home game with the visiting Forty-Niners. The Rams had a great season going, as did the Niners. Jim Everett was the Rams Quarterback, Montana Lead the Forty-Niners. They would play on Monday Night. There could be no doubt where Don would be, and I was fortunate to join him.

    He picked me up, and off we went. Being a Cowboys fan, and not wanting to draw any unnecessary attention to myself or my loyalties, I felt that jeans and a plain golf shirt would get me by just fine.

    Not Don. He dressed in his Forty-Niner Cap, Jacket, Scarf, Pins, and anything else he could wear so that the Stadium full of Rams fans would know that his beloved Forty-Niners would not be alone. I guess if you are on top of the world, and indestructible, one (o.k. including me maybe two – (Friends – Right)) versus fifty thousand or so seemed like good odds. Don was there to support his team no matter what may come.

    As we left the safety of Don’s car, I distinctly remember suggesting that perhaps Don consider carrying his cap and coat. A little less advertising seemed prudent under the circumstances. Answer, “No Way”! Request, “Please”. Answer “Not gonna Happen”! Maybe due in part to our “Clean Livin” (another Don’ism) we got into the stadium unharmed.

    We found our seats. Horror of Horrors. Not only are we generally surrounded by Rams fans, (hard to imagine, right?), but in the seat next to Don sits one of the most crazed Rams fan imaginable. Not only is this guy out “Logo”ing Don two to one, he is as big as Andre’ the Giant. Picture Grizzly Adams on steroids. The guy probably ate human organs for breakfast. And, he was not pleased to be seated next to one of the few people in Anaheim flying Forty-Niner colors that night.

    Don SMILED, looked the guy up and down, let fly the first of many wisecracks to be uttered that night, and sat down. The party was just beginning. Besides, Don knew he would convert the Heathen Rams Fan to the side of glory by nights end. Hell, maybe the entire stadium.

    As far as I was concerned, the first three quarters of the game were perfect. THE NINERS WERE LOSING. All of Don’s Jokes, Jabs and Barbs thrown at Crazy Rams Guy were clearly landing, but not so deep as to make me worry for Don’s, or if the truth be known, my own physical well being (all for one and one for all, right?). After all Crazy Rams Fan’s team was winning by 17, and Don’s jokes were good natured and pretty funny.

    Then the fateful 4th quarter. Montana to Rice, touchdown. Rams up 10, Don increases the taunts. Crazy Rams Fan squirms noticeably. I start looking around the stadium. I know they must have security in here somewhere. Next Rams possession, Rams turnover. San Francisco ball…..Touchdown Niners. Rams up 3. Don is on his feet, the whole stadium is now aware of our presence. Crazy Rams Fan appears to be constructing some kind of alter. I am guessing Human sacrifice is on the agenda. We all know who the intended victim is. Who cares. We are indestructible. Don presses the bet. The insults levied against the entire rams organization, and their decendants reaches a fever pitch. GO NINERS. The security guards must be in the stadium somewhere, but if they are, they want nothing to do with us. Crazy Rams Fan is sharpening something that looks lie a scimitar.

    By now everything is a blur. Somehow the Niners score the winning touchdown with seconds left. Crazy Rams Fan does not convert, but simply turns from Don and walks away, unable to face his own humiliation. Don is out of his mind happy. Might be having some kind of out of body experience. The Niners have won, and he has vanquished Crazy Rams Fan. “Now, this is livin”.

    Don is on Cloud Nine, or is it “Cloud Niner” as I walk, and he floats to his car. All the time flying his Forty-Niner colors.


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