Donald Ray Mech Passed Away

Highly respected and legendary Maple Valley beekeeper Don Mech flew away to his heavenly home on Oct. 1, 2018. He was 86 years old- born and raised in Harvey, Illinois. His parents were Carl (Charlie) and Frieda Mech. Brother Howard and sister Shirley made up the family circle, mothered by Martha, their stepmother, following the death of Frieda at Donald’s birth. They were all faithful members of the Trinity Lutheran Church, where Don was baptized and confirmed. 

Shortly after his graduation from Thornton High School, Don joined the Navy, serving for four years during the Korean War. He then enrolled at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering. 

After seeing the majestic mountains in Washington State, he decided to take the Boeing Company up on a job offer. He worked there for 13 years, delighted to be in God’s country, joining the Mountaineers, climbing every peak in sight! But his biggest climb was in 1963 when he joined the 31st climbing expedition to ever scale the top of Mt. McKinley in Alaska. 1963 was a big year. He also married Doris. At that time, other hobbies included bicycle riding, flying Cessnas, The Schwinn, and later sailplanes. 

Our daughter, Deena Marie was born in 1966. She married Max Motherwell, and they gave us two amazing grandchildren: James and Grace.

1973 marked another major shift in Don’s life. He launched into a new career in beekeeping. His precise and dedicated work with the bees was appreciated by honey connoisseurs far and wide. From Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market, Mech Apiaries’ honey spread to countless tables at home and abroad– a 40-year history. In addition, many local stores were supplied. Thank you Don. You are sweetly remembered. A Celebration of Life is scheduled for Oct. 11.  See details at