Don “Slats” Lehew, age 84, of Gilbert, AZ. passed away on October 25, 2023. Don is survived by his longtime companion Sue LeHew, children Vanessa Rich (Eric), Travis LeHew (Jennifer), Joe Burris and Step-Daughter Trish Wurl. He has eight grandchildren, Damian Lane-LeHew, Madison Kowalski, Garrett Kowalski, Joshua Kowalski, Sydney Kowalski, Ella LeHew, Elijah Burris, Grace LeHew, and 1 great grand child, Tayson Stahnke-LeHew; Also 4 siblings, LaRita Hesse, Phillip LeHew, Michael LeHew and Maribeth Myers. He also has many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly. He is preceded in death by his Mom and Dad, Harold and Loretta LeHew, and his son Roger LeHew.
Don grew up in Fort Madison, Iowa and when he graduated from high school, he joined the Navy. While in the Navy he worked the equipment inside the spy planes. He was stationed in Guam, Okinawa Japan and Alaska. When he left the Navy in 1962, he moved to Arizona but he remained in the reserves until 1964. After moving to Arizona he was hired by Arch Watkins as a First Assistant and thus began his sixty plus year career as a P.G.A golf professional. He opened Papago Golf Course in 1963, and was still teaching at the age of 84 at Augusta Ranch Golf Course. He left Papago and became part owner and co-head pro of Black Canyon GC. From there he worked at several golf courses in Arizona. They included: Fountain of the Sun , Rio Salado, Family Golf Center, Silver Creek in Show Low, and Show Low GC (now Bison CC). He also was the Assistant Superintendent at Gold Canyon GC. He was the first President for Southwest Section P.G.A., 1972-1974 and continued to be an active advisor on the board.
His greatest joy was teaching golf. He became a P.G.A HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) instructor which allowed him to introduce golf to Veterans and Active Duty Military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. This is a no cost clinic and it was near and dear to his heart. His other joy, was being with his family, especially his grandchildren. He always wanted to know what they were up to, who they were seeing, and how their grades were.
Dad / Pop Pop, you have left a big hole in all our hearts, we are gonna miss your laugh, the scotch we always had to have on hand and your amazing smile that could light up room. We love you, forever. Until we meet again…
In Lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the P.G.A HOPE organization in memory of our Dad, Don LeHew. CLICK here to Donate in Memory of Don LeHew