view all images ( of 2 shown)

Male, born 1914-11-13, died 2006-04-26

Associated with the firm network

Close, Donald, Company, Electrical Engineers

Professional History


Engineer, City Electric and Fixture Company, Seattle, WA, c. 1940-1943. His supervisor was Grover C. Burke, who also was someone "who always will know your address" on his 1940 draft registration card. (See, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Washington, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 33, accessed 09/15/2021 and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1943, p. 224.)

President, Donald W. Close Company, Electrical Engineers, 1947- . The Close Company had its office at 2707 11th Avenue SW in 1948. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1948, p. 259.) In 1959, other officers of the Donald W. Close Company included Beryl W. Ash, vice-president, and Donald E. Early, secretary-treasurer. The firm was located at 2921 13th Avenue SW on Harbor Island in Seattle between at least 1953 and 1960. (See Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1953, p. 271 and Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1960, p. 305.)

Professional Activities

Member, Seattle Construction Council, Seattle, WA.

Member, State of Washington, Electrical Contractors Examining Board, Olympia, WA, 1974 and 1976.

Member, State of Washington, Advisory Committee on Minority and Women's Business, Olympia, WA, 1980.

Member, State of Washington, Arboretum and Botanical Garden Advisory Committee, Seattle, WA, 1984.

Member, State of Washington, Electrical Advisory Board, Olympia, WA, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1989, and 1994.


High School / College

Graduate, Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA, 1932.

B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle (UW), Seattle, WA, 1937.



Donald Wyman Close was born in Seattle, WA. and spent his childhood here attending the Alki Elementary School in West Seattle and Roosevelt High School in the northeast part of the city.

In 1930, he and his mother Nellie lived with his elder sister Ivah and her husband Carlos Colbert (born c. 1892 in GA) in a dwelling at 3800 39th Avenue SW in Seattle's West Seattle neighborhood. Carlos worked as a mechanic in a steel mill according to the 1930 US Census. The Colberts owned this house valued at about $3,000 in 1930, a modest sum for the time. The household included Donald's cousin, Lewis Park Colbert (born c. 1920 in WA). (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Page: 30A; Enumeration District: 0414; FHL microfilm: 2342235, accessed 09/15/2021.)

He and his wife resided on Mercer Island on 10/16/1940, when he registered for the military draft. They moved into another residence on Mercer Island, WA, in 1944, and remained here until his death in 2006. His family summered at a retreat in Tofino, BC, Canada, over many years.

He passed away at age 91 at his long-time home.


His parents were Frank Lewis Close (born c. 1870-d. 09/13/1919 in Steilacoom, WA) and Nettie Maud O'Connor (born c. 1870-d. 1943 in Seattle, WA). The 1910 US Census listed Frank Close as the proprietor of a mining company. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 9, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1661; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0166; FHL microfilm: 1375674, accessed 09/15/2021.) In 1916, Frank was listed as a clerk for F.L. Tuttle, a Seattle business. He was only about 48 years old when he died, meaning he passed away when Donald was only four.

Nettie O'Connor Close worked as a postal clerk in Davenport, IA, in 1887, earning a salary of $700 per year. (See, Source Information U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. accessed 09/15/2021.) She married Frank Close c. 1892, (possibly in IA) and had three children, two early in their marriage, and one, Donald, much later. Her children included Frankie Close Schmitz (born c. 1894-d. 01/06/1986 in Seattle, WA) and Ivah May Close Colbert (born 02/27/1892 in Jefferson County, WA-d. 09/01/1947 in Seattle, WA). Frankie married in Detroit, MI, to a machinist, Eugene O. Schmitz (born c. 1890 in Germany) in Detroit, MI, on 05/29/1916. (See, Source Citation Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 131; Film Description: 1916 Wayne, accessed 09/15/2021.)

The Close Family resided at 119 West Mercer Street in 1912. (See R.L. Polk and Company's Seattle, Washington, City Directory, 1912, p. 335.)


He wed Ruth Mary Larsen in 1938, and they remained together for 68 years. They were married by the noted Episcopal minister Herbert H. Gowen (1864-1960) at Emmanuel Church on 08/12/1938. (See, Source Citation Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013; Reference Number: kingcoarchmcvol71_38, accessed 09/15/2021.)


He and Ruth had six children.

Biographical Notes

According to his World War II draft registration card, he was Caucasian with a light complexion, standing 6-feet, 1-inch tall and weighing 180 pounds. He had blue eyes and brown hair at age 25. (See, Source Citation National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Washington, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 33, accessed 09/15/2021.)

The name "Wyman" was his paternal grandmother's surname.

Member, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, WA.

Member, University of Washington (UW) Alumni Association, Seattle, WA. He and his wife endowed the "Donald W. and Ruth Mary Close Endowed Professorship" at the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering Department.

PCAD id: 8958