Donald Olvera Santana passed away early Friday morning at home in Rocklin, CA of bladder cancer.
He was 67. Don was born and raised in the city of San Gabriel in Southern California. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Humboldt State University and his PhD from the University of California, Davis.
He was a longtime resident of Gilroy, and had spent 26 years teaching life sciences at Gavilan College. As a Gavilan College professor, Don impacted and guided many young people at a time when they were exploring what they wanted to do in their lives. Through his teaching, field trips and lab assignments, Don brought enthusiasm and energy to his classroom, college and environment. He loved teaching and sharing his love of nature and the environment with his students.
Don loved exploring new cultures, different cuisines, and sharing new experiences. After he retired and before he became sick, he spent the last few years traveling the world. He really enjoyed meeting new people, traveling across new terrains, and seeking adventures. There wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t try at least once.
He is survived by his daughters Jessica and Rebecca, former wife Louise, sisters Christina and Louise and many nieces and nephews. At Don’s request, no funeral services will be held.