LONGVIEW, Texas—Donald Lefferts Taber, Sr., missionary with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, died peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 4. He was 86.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Donald grew up in Ridgewood, N.J., and was a longtime member of First Baptist Church, Hackensack, N.J. He served in the Naval Air Force from 1944 to 1946, and in the Naval Reserves from 1946 to 1951. From 1946 to 1950, while still in the Reserves, he attended and graduated from Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., with a degree in physics. It was at Wheaton where he met his wife, Pauline DeLeeuw. They were married on June 4, 1949. After graduation, Donald pursued studies in the Graduate School of Missions at Columbia Bible College, Columbia, S.C.
In 1953 Don and Polly and their eldest daughter, Virginia, arrived in the Philippines. The Tabers faithfully served as missionaries to the tribal people of Northern Luzon for 40 years. They raised their five children there, and when they retired in 1993, they left behind a legacy of service to the Filipino people that continues to this day.
Donald is preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Edna Taber, and his sister, Jeanne Patterson.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Pauline; his son, Don Jr.; his daughters, Virginia Griggs, Cynthia Taber, Sylvia Ramaly, and Patricia Griffin; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Rader Funeral Home, Longview, Texas, Nov. 8 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. A funeral service will take place Nov. 9 at 2:00 at Fellowship Bible Church in Longview, where he had been actively attending for over 15 years. Interment will follow services at Rosewood Park, Longview.