Born: September 14, 1940
Died: June 12, 2008

Don Pillsbury was born in Minneapolis, son of John S. Pillsbury, Jr., '35 and Katherine Harrison Pillsbury. He was the great grandson of Charles Pillsbury, founder of Pillsbury Mills. Don came from a strong Yale family tradition: In addition to his father, a grandfather Donaldson Clark '14, 5 uncles, and his brothers John S. III, '60 and L. Harrison '65 were Yale graduates.

Don grew up in Wayzata and attended Blake School through 8th grade. He prepared for Yale at St. Paul's School.

Don was a resident of Branford College where he served on the Branford College Council, was the social chairman and competed on the hockey and golf teams. Don was a member of Zeta Psi and was elected president of the fraternity. He was also a member of Scroll and Key, the Co-op Undergraduate Board and on our Class Council. Don majored in History, was a ranking scholar, on the Dean's List and was awarded the Gordon Brown Prize.

Following Yale, Don attended University College, Oxford where he earned a second B.A. degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Don then returned to New Haven and received his LL.B. degree from Yale Law School in 1967.

In 1967 Don joined Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City where he became a partner for many years, and specialized in domestic and international banking and finance. In our Class 25th Reunion Book Don described several memorable events during his legal career. "One of the highlights of my years at Davis Polk was a tour of duty in the firm's Paris office from 1975 through 1978. It was an exciting and rewarding professional experience and a wonderful family experience. Not only did it give my children an early exposure to a foreign language and culture but it also kept them away from American television for three years. Another highlight of my professional career was involvement in the financial negotiations which were part of the Iranian hostage crisis while representing J.P. Morgan." Don also represented Morgan during the Hunt Brothers' failed attempt to corner the silver market in the early 1980's.

Don retired from his firm in 1993 to pursue other interests only to reemerge from retirement in 1998 to become Sotheby's world wide general counsel. When the auction house was charged in 2000 with price-fixing and its chairman and chief executive were arrested for colluding with its chief competitor, Christie's, Don was the guiding hand leading Sotheby successfully through a complex of legal problems and law suits. He formulated and executed the strategy which preserved the auction house and allowed it to survive.

At the time of his death Don was Chairman of Sotheby's North and South America.

Don was a pillar of the New York arts community. He served as chairman of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (1993-2004) and continued as vice chairman until his death. He was a trustee of the Nightingale Bamford School in New York City (1981-1998), and a trustee of the New York Community Trust. He was also a trustee of Robert College, Istanbul, Turkey and the Stuart Family Foundation, a private foundation based in Illinois. He was a member of the Rockefeller University Council.

Don married Marnie Stuart of Chicago, a Wellesley graduate, on July 22, 1967. They met while skiing at Vail. Marnie worked for Senator Percy of Illinois and in Mayor Lindsay's administration in New York. She obtained her MBA from Stern Graduate School of Business at New York University in 1985 and entered the non-profit world. She is philanthropic advisor to David Rockefeller, a Trustee of the International Women's Health Coalition and a Vice Chairwoman of Rockefeller University.

Don and Marnie had 3 children, Donaldson C., Jr., of San Francisco, who is married to Skye; Blair Pillsbury Enders of New York City, who is married to Jack; and Wendy Pillsbury Eichmann of Greenwich who is married to Chris. Don, Jr., graduated from Yale in 1992 and Blair in 1993. Wendy is a 1995 graduate of Lake Forest College. Don and Marnie had 5 grandchildren, Tyler and Sam Eichmann, Nicholas and Marian Enders and Clark Pillsbury.

Don was a loyal member and leader of the class of 1962. He served as our 8th Class Secretary and provided sound advice to his successors. He also served on the nominating committees for class officers, most recently in 2007 for our 45th reunion.

A Memorial Service for Don was conducted at St. Thomas Church in New York on June 23. The church was packed with over 1,000 in attendance, including Mayor Bloomberg, David Rockefeller and the leaders of the New York arts and music communities. Three classmates were among the ushers, Sam Busselle, David Crosby and Charles McKee, and many other classmates came to express respect for Don. Music was provided by a special quintet from Lincoln Center and by Metropolitan Opera musicians.

Peter Frelinghuysen, chairman of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, who delivered a eulogy for Don, eloquently described him as "a man of impeccable taste and great integrity, the model of a good and decent man who inspired others through his personal generosity and wise leadership."

His cousin and fellow Minnesotan, David Crosby, recalls Don as a solid person and respected by all yet with a light touch and fun loving. "He was always cool as a cucumber," David said. Sam Busselle remembers Don as a "project guy" with activities ranging from carpentry and chimney construction when both were in graduate school to installing a vinyl floor in his own kitchen. "Don had extraordinary talent. He was," Sam said, "curious, open-minded and with the ability to make the most difficult accomplishment appear effortless." Charles McKee, Don's roommate at Yale, echoed the accolades others extended. "Don was my friend for 56 years, my most trusted adviser. He had the unique ability to provide sage counsel in the most humble manner. I miss him terribly."

At the Memorial Service his children movingly recalled their father's good humor, his passion for music, good wine and Cheetos and his joy in simple things like silly cards, obscure gifts and odd collectibles, many acquired off E-Bay.

Don died suddenly of a heart attack on June 12, 2008, in Old Lyme, Connecticut following a bicycle ride with friends. In addition to his wife, children and grandchildren, Don is survived by his three siblings, John Pillsbury, Harrison Pillsbury and Katharine Jose. The family requested that contributions be made to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Robert College in Istanbul and the New York Community Trust.