On Wednesday, November 17th, 2021, Don Carlos Haslam Jr, devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away at the age of 86. He leaves behind a legacy of 4 children and their spouses, 14 grandchildren, and 40 great-grandchildren.
Don was born October 12, 1935, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Thelma Fern Davis and Don Carlos Sr. His family included brothers, Thomas (Pauline) Haslam, Michael (Angie) Haslam, and sister Pam (Don) Gorrell. Don spent his early years in Salt Lake City, where he met the love of his life, Karren, for the first time at a baseball game when he was 12 years old. They both attended West High School where Don participated in many activities including Boys Glee Club, Basketball, Baseball and Student Council. Don and Karren married on April 6, 1956, after graduating high school. Because of the lifelong friendships that began in their youth they returned often to their high school reunions.
Their devotion and love for each other is one of the great blessings they leave for their posterity. One cannot talk about Don without speaking of Karren, because they were true partners in every way.
Though successful in many areas, Don would say that his greatest accomplishment was his family. He and Karren had 4 children, Kristy Ann (Keith) Bergsten, Bradley Vincent (Debbie) Haslam, Steven John (Diane) Haslam, and Lisa (Sam) Pyeatt all living within the Albuquerque area. In addition to their own children, Don and Karren provided a loving home and guidance for many others. Uncle Don was a favorite among his nieces and nephews and maintained a close relationship with them throughout his life.
Don was a naturally gifted salesman. These skills brought him and his family to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1969 where he achieved much success over many years in the hospital medical supply field. Don worked for many different companies starting with the Coca-Cola company and ending with his own company, Haslam Medical Sales. Upon moving to Albuquerque Don became very involved with the Young American Football League and Road Runner little league baseball where his optimistic attitude and positive example had a lifelong impact on those he coached. With his involvement in these youth programs Don and his family began friendships that continue to this day. Many would describe Don as one of their favorite people, unforgettable and always the life of the party.
After the family had been raised, Karren was able to work alongside Don much of the time over the years, which led them on many wonderful adventures in their motorhome. These trips often included one or more grandchildren as 'special guests,' and became the source of many lasting memories. Some of their favorite vacation spots were Puerto Penasco, Mexico, Pismo Beach, California, and Priest Gulch, Colorado, where they would spend many of their summers. These trips were often the gathering-spots for others within their growing family to come and join their grandparents.
Don, along with Karren, loved gardening and always had a beautifully manicured yard -- a love which has been passed down to their children and grandchildren. Additionally, they were often found at various sporting events or special performances, in support of their many grandchildren or great grandchildren who lovingly refer to them as GiGi and Gramps.
Don was a great example of love and service to his family and friends throughout his life. He was also blessed by the kindness and service of many. The family would like to especially thank Aracely Rivero who cared for both Karren and Don in their last few years of life, and the caregivers at Casita Senior Living where Don spent the last weeks of his life. Although we are at this moment in time separated from Don, his beautiful legacy will continue to be a loving presence and influence in the lives of those he leaves behind.
Don was preceded in death by his wife, Karren Bowles; parents, Thelma Fern Davis, and Don Carlos Haslam Sr; brother, Thomas James Haslam; and two grandsons, Eric Haslam, and Paul Haslam, in whose company we are certain is bringing him great joy. Don was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A service to celebrate and honor his life will be held on Saturday, December 11th, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2807 Cabezon Blvd Rio Rancho, NM 87124.
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