In Memory

Donald McGilvray Salisbury - Class Of 1940

Donald McGilvray Salisbury, died of a heart attack in Long Beach on February 19, 2008. He was 85. Born September 27, 1922 in Salt Lake City to O.J. Salisbury and Marian McGilvray Salisbury, he grew up in San Marino. Don attended San Marino Grammar School, South Pasadena Jr. High School, Catalina Island School for Boys, the Hill School of Pittsburgh and the California Institute of Technology. In 1944, he received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a member of Kappa Sigma.

He served in the Pacific from 1944 to 1946 as an Ensign on the destroyer Colorado, and was present at the signature of the armistice in Tokyo. Don married Helen Savory on September 8, 1946. During the early years of marriage, they lived in Pasadena, Seattle and York, PA. In 1958, the family settled in the Salisbury home in San Marino; then they moved to Long Beach in 1975. He was Commodore of the Los Angeles Yacht Club in 1967 and president of the Valley Hunt Club in 1968. He also served for six years as a trustee of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho. Don can be counted among the few who have truly made a difference in the world. He changed the face of sailboat racing; first by winning the 1965 Transpac Race to Honolulu in Psyche, the first Cal-40 to do so, and then developing an entire range of patented sailing instruments that revolutionized the industry. As a founder of the Signet Scientific Co., he helped create products that allowed us to reach the moon. As steward of the Diamond D Ranch, he c reated a legacy of conservation that will benefit wildlife and people near Yellowstone forever. Greatly admired by virtually all who had the privilege of knowing him, Don is remembered as a warm host, a loyal friend, a creative inventor, an exceptional man - "a true gentleman of the old school." He loved tennis, sailing and fly fishing.

Don is survived by his three children: Cynthia Salisbury (Leglise) of Portola Valley, Susan Russell of Perth, Australia and Donald M. Salisbury, Jr. of Seal Beach; and six g randchildren: Marc and Richard Leglise, Ashleigh and Kate Russell, and Donald "Gil" and Mara Salisbury. He was preceded in death last year by Helen, his wife of 60 years, and his beloved Labrador retriever, Holly. 

Pasadena Star-News, March 9, 2008