Donald George Shirilla
Portland January 11, 1946-November 18, 2016


Donald George Shirilla, passed away Nov. 18, 2016, in Portland.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, George and Donna Shirilla, and his brother Tom Shirilla. Don is survived by his sister Georgia; sister-in-law Kathy; nieces Katie and Stacey; several second and third cousins; and dearest friend


Don was born Jan. 11, 1946, in Pendleton, and graduated from Hermiston High School in 1964. His heart and soul were always full of love, compassion and passion. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Linfield College and a master’s degree from the University of Washington, both in sociology.

He worked for several social service agencies and medical institutions in Hermiston, Pendleton and the Portland area and during his service in the Army Reserves.

Don’s greatest passions were running, baseball, football, especially college football, and his many classmates, friends and family members who shared his interests and life experiences. Don loved growing up in Eastern Oregon. He loved running along the wheat fields around Pendleton and camping near Meacham and Battle Mountain. Don ran many marathons, but after the Honolulu Marathon about 30 years ago, Don learned he needed a heart transplant. He was the 12th heart recipient at Oregon Health & Science University, and their longest survivor with an original heart. More info about Don and the transplant program can be found in the online archives of the Oregonian. Don and his family could not be more grateful to the doctors, nurses, researchers and so many others at OHSU for giving him the gift of an additional 30 years of life.

Don was a deacon at the Multnomah Presbyterian Church in Portland where his memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Jan. 11, 2017. His church family gave him great friendships, strength, joy and comfort.

Special thanks go the residents and care providers at West Hills Convalescent Center and the hospice program for their kindness, care and comfort.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Multnomah Presbyterian Church with “Don Shirilla” on the memo line; these gifts will go to the Deacon Assistance Ministry. The address for the church and service is 7555 S.W. 45th Ave., Portland, OR 97219. Or donations may be made to the OHSU Organ Transplant Center, OHSU Foundation, 1121 S.W. Salmon St., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97205. Please add “In Memory of Don Shirilla” on the memo line.

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