Donald G. Ingalls, 95, of Olympia, Washington, passed away on March 10, 2014, after a long illness. He was born July 29, 1918, to Park Ingalls and Luella “LuLu” Morris Ingalls in Humbolt, Nebraska. He lived an unassuming, but remarkable life.
Don considered Stafford, Kansas his happy childhood home, despite harsh economic conditions. He returned to visit as often as possible. He moved to Southern California with his mother in the 1930s. There he attended North Hollywood High School while working at various menial jobs to help support the family.
He served as a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, and afterwards was a test pilot for North American Aviation, before joining the Los Angeles Police Department.
A writer since childhood, Don wrote freelance for publications such as Desert Magazine. He was a columnist for “The Valley Times” in North Hollywood, and was editor of “The Beat” magazine for the LAPD.
There he formed a friendship with fellow police officer Gene Rodenberry of later Star Trek fame, and both transitioned to the burgeoning television industry where Don spent over 35 years as a prolific film and television writer and producer.
As a young man, he became a member of North Hollywood Masonic Lodge and later the Master of that lodge. In 1978-79, he served as Grand Master to the states of California and Hawaii.
During his Hollywood career, Don wrote and produced for numerous highly regarded TV series, such as “Have Gun, Will Travel,” “Bonanza,” “The Big Valley,” “The Virginian,” “Gunsmoke,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Star Trek,” “Police Story” and “Fantasy Island.” He also wrote the feature film, “Airport 1975,” along with TV films, such as “Captain America” and “The Initiation of Sarah.”
On retiring to Olympia, Washington in 1987, Don wrote a novel, “The Watchers on the Mountain.” As a man of strong faith, he enthusiastically used his talents for the church, writing many skits, directing children in puppetry and drama, and writing a stage play for Westwood Baptist Church. He also mentored and encouraged younger writers.
He is survived by Mary, his second wife of almost 49 years, and daughter Lori Harasta, son-in-law Jim Harasta and two grandchildren, Nicole and Logan Harasta. He is also survived by first wife, Annie Smith Ingalls, daughter Diana Ingalls-Farrell, and son-in-law Thomas “Nick” Farrell. His older sisters, Parkina “Pat” Jimenez and Luella Sides preceded him in death. He is survived by niece Norma Stemple and her sons, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and by the children of niece Marvel Lee Richardson: Randy Richardson (Dawn), Debbie Cardin (Joel), Patty Bird (Brian), David Richardson, Kathy Ruesnik and Bruce Butler (Janet).
In honor of his wish to have no funeral, but to “simply join Jesus Christ in all humility,” a graveside service for family and close friends will be held at 11:00 a.m., March 26, 2014 at Masonic Memorial Park in Tumwater. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Olympia Union Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 7668, Olympia WA 98507, or to Masonic Center for Youth and Families, 1111 California St., San Francisco, CA 94108.
INGALLS, Don (Don G. Ingalls)
Born: 7/29/1918, Humbolt, Nebraska, U.S.A.
Died: 3/10/2014, Olympia, Washington, U.S.A.
Don Ingalls’ westerns – screenwriter:
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1958. 1959, 1961, 1962, 1963,
Bat Masterson (TV) – 1959
Tombstone Territory (TV) – 1959
Tate (TV) - 1960
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1960
Whiplash (TV) - 1961
Bonanza (TV) – 1961, 1971, 1972
The Travels of Jamie McPheeters (TV) – 1963, 1964
The Virginian (TV) – 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969
Daniel Boone (TV) - 1965
The Big Valley (TV) – 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1967
The Road West (TV) – 1967
The Bull of the West (TV) - 1972