Donald H. Promes

donald promes

December 13, 1935 ~ February 13, 2022

Born in: Wynot, NE
Resided in: Fremont, CA

Don entered peacefully into rest on Sunday, February 13, 2022 at the age of 86. Don Promes was born on December 13, 1935 in Wynot, NE and has been a Fremont resident for over 59 years.

Don married his high school sweetheart Sharon Forrest and together they shared their lives for nearly 50 years. Don was a Captain for the Fremont Fire Department, retiring after 31 years in service to his community.  Don enjoyed sports, whether it was playing football, basketball or baseball in high school, coaching youth baseball and basketball teams, or rooting on his Oakland A’s.   But he’ll be remembered most by his family and friends as one of the most loving, easy-going, and likeable guys you would ever meet.

Grandpa Don is survived by his children Steve, John, Brian, and Jim; daughters-in-law, Zahra, Jackie, and Annette; Steve’s girlfriend Mary; brothers Ken, Bill and Harry; sister Joann; sister-in-laws Diann, Candy and Cindy; brother-in-law Mike; grandchildren Michael, Michelle, Melissa, Melanie, Alyson, Kyle, Natalie, Elizabeth, and Ana; and great-grandchildren Mila, Lucy, Rocco, Lilly, Max, Wade, Rune and Lila.  Don was predeceased by his wife Sharon, parents Louis and Hilda Promes, and brothers Ralph and Bob.

Family and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Thursday, Feb 17th  2022 at 10:30am at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish 41933 Blacow Road in Fremont. Burial will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Hayward. Donations may be made to the Sister John Marie’s Pantry, St. Joseph’s Parish, P.O. Box 3276 Fremont CA 94539 or


Funeral Mass: February 17, 2022 10:30 am - September 21, 2023 11:30 am

Room: Church

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
41933 Blacow Rd.
Fremont, CA 94538


Burial: February 17, 2022 12:00 pm - September 21, 2023 1:00 pm

Room: Graveside

Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
26320 Mission Blvd
Hayward, CA 94544


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Memories Timeline


  1. Rest In Peace Don. You were an amazing mentor and friend. A straight shooter that never wavered in your convictions.

    • Miss you, dear Robin. Just saw your photo in the yearbook yesterday, reflecting on what an honor to work with you. Grateful you got to work with Don and be mentored by him. God bless you.

  2. Rest in Peace Don. Without a doubt one of the most pleasant people I worked with. Always had a smile and a kind word no matter what was going on.

  3. Don was one of the best Captains that I ever had the pleasure of working for. Also, as he told me once he believed that no one worked for him, but you worked with him. Working with Don at station 1 was a great experience and it was amazing how Don successfully kept all the crazy firefighters at station 1 in line. I will miss him and it’s sad that we are losing those like Don who made Fremont Fire what it is today.

    • What a wonderful attitude he displayed, Stu! And you are appreciated as well. Seeing all of these losses from FFD is incredibly poignant and sad…our hearts are filled with sorrow but also gratitude. God bless you!

  4. May you Rest In Peace. You were always a solid guy I respected. A fair man who took his tasks seriously. A great sense of humor and great family man. Your dedicated service will always be appreciated and remembered. May god bless you and your family.

    • I would say “ditto” about you, D.C. Worth! What a privilege to work with all of you heroes at FFD. Sending love to you and Criquette.

  5. Rest in peace Don! You are one of the great one! Your attention to duty was exceptional. As I recall, your son followed in your footsteps.

  6. Rest in peace Don! You are one of the great one! Your attention to duty was exceptional. As I recall, your son followed in your footsteps.

  7. Rest In Peace Don. I enjoyed every minute working with you on Engine One and later in Fire Admin. You were a class act and good friend.

    • I hope I’m appropriate in sending these messages of gratitude, O’B…you are a class act as well and so appreciated for your service and sacrifice. God bless you.

  8. Don it was a pleasure working with but what I remember most was our time in little league and cyo sports together. Rest in Pease good friend. Your friend forever..Rich

  9. A privilege to know you and your son Steve, Don. Trusting that your ‘heavenly reward’ is more than you could ever have fathomed. Thank you for the service, sacrifice, and selflessness that you displayed in your time at FFD, and within your family and community. May God bless and comfort all those who love you.

  10. CandleDon. Rest In Peace my friend. Enjoyed the times I worked with you and visiting you during the later years. You will always be remembered. Miss you already.

  11. CandleDon, I never was able to work directly with you but your legendary reputation was always an influence in my career. Later I responded to your home many times with my crew and it was always an honor to serve you. You will be and are missed. Rest In Peace my friend.

  12. Don…rest in peace my friend. You were my mentor, friend, and professional example. Your love of the Fire Department, fellow fire firefighters, and especially your family were unmatched. I was blessed with witnessing you pinning the badge on your son Steve when he entered the service. Loyalty, ethical, trustworthy, competent, professional, proficient – I could go on but you will be missed by those who benefitted in working or knowing you.

  13. As one of the fortunate FFD fire fighters who came on board with Don the same day I shall always remember my first impression of Don. Courteous, friendly, respectful. That impression lasted throughout our career.
    May God bless you and your family.

  14. R.I.P. Cap!, You were my first captain in 1976 in the old Irvington station 3. I learned so much from you and Yacky (Mike McBee) You showed my the ropes, I’ll never forget what you have done in my fire fighting career….

  15. Don… I will miss you my friend, we had some memorable times working together, when I came on on board at Fremont Fire in 1970 you were one of my first Captains and you showed me how to become a better Firefighter, will miss driving past your house from my home and seeing you working on your yard.


  16. CandleDon was one of the first men I met in1967. I appreciated everything about and your son. May you rest in Peace
    brother. God Bless

  17. CandleCaptain D.Promes; I never really had the pleasure of ever being assigned to work with you, however, we crossed paths on OT, trades, or community events. What I do remember was how you always displayed and maintained Professionalism; a man of CHARACTER, keeping us focus always on the Mission of the FFD. For this I thank you for all your guidance including the times you assisted me in my Fire Investigation training.
    Rest in Peace Brother!

  18. You’ll be missed brother Don.
    My favorite memory of Don was during a two week stretch at Station 1. Don was the acting Battalion Chief while Chief Slone was on vacation. We had three good working fires which Don handled flawlessly. Back at the station we all joked that we should send Chief Slone some cash so he could extend his vacation to keep our lucky streak running.

  19. David T. Hill
    Feb 18,2022
    Don I remember our days of commuting from Oakland, you , Bill Kearney, Dan Lydon, and myself, through training. You were always a kind and thoughtful person. Will miss you.

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