Donald Charles Gorham

Donald Charles Gorham

Donald Charles Gorham


Donald Charles Gorham died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, at his home in Washington, Iowa, at the age of 73.

There will be a private family burial service at Elm Grove Cemetery. A Celebration of Life open house will be held at a later time and place to be announced. Memorials have been established for the United Presbyterian Church, Hospice of Washington County and Systems Unlimited Inc. The Jones & Eden Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent for Donald’s family through the web at

Don was born Oct. 19, 1948, to Eugene and Mabel (Hess) Gorham at the Washington County Hospital; he was a lifelong resident of Washington and known for his pleasant smile.

He had no formal education. When Don was growing up there were no public school programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. When he was ten years old, a room was opened in the unfinished basement of the old Nurses Home at the Washington County Hospital. Parents of the students paid for all the supplies and provided the janitorial services. Mary Bryce was the part-time teacher, paid by Washington County.

Don loved being with family and friends. He attended Camp Reece at Lake Darling every year since it began in 1968. He also went to Camp Courageous in Monticello many times. In earlier years, he traveled with special groups to many places in the United States. Don enjoyed listening to his extensive record collection, watching his Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes. He was a swimming participant in the Special Olympics when it began in 1968, and continued swimming in that activity for many years.

Don attended and worked at the Washington County Developmental Center Inc. for several years. He retired from the United Presbyterian Home laundry in February of 2014 after 22 years of service. After retirement, he attended Lending Hands. He was a 60 year member of the United Presbyterian Church in Washington, where he assisted as an usher. In 1981 Don moved to the Systems Unlimited Inc. Group Home in Washington, where he lived until his death.

He is survived by his brothers, Dick and wife, Marilyn of Wichita, Kan., and Jim and wife, Karen of Washington, Iowa; nieces, nephews and cousins; and special friend, Carrie McNurlen.

Don was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Gary Gorham and wife, Mary Anne of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Along with all of Don’s friends and neighbors that meant so much to him, the family would like to thank Patrice Taylor-Harris and her staff at Systems Unlimited for their loving care and the United Presbyterian Church family for their support.

The Gorhams are also thankful for their former South 4th Avenue neighbors, Don’s friends at WCDC, Camp Reece, Camp Courageous and Lending Hands that have contributed to his development and happiness.

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