BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The longtime president of the Blair County NAACP, Don Witherspoon, died yesterday from complications from COVID-19.
Former Blair County commissioner, Donna Gority, worked with Don in a variety of efforts over the years.
She said he was particularly known for the NAACP banquets he organized, but said that’s only part of the picture….
“He’s known at that for his very brightly colored suits, purple and red, and just always go to see what Don is wearing, but he is so enriched in the community that he has always recognized a wonderful amount of young people at that event, people that are sports stars, people who are involved in academics, so he advocates for diversity in the community,” Gority said.
And he also advocated for the disadvantaged including frequently visiting inmates.
“He frequently visits folks in the Blair County Prison and tries to make sure their needs are being met that they are being given a fair shake at things, he advocates for people when he needs to,” Gority said.
She says he has touched so many, one of them is state representative Jim Gregory.
“Don cast a very big shadow for civil rights, social injustices, criminal justice, sometimes you didn’t always know who that shadow was when you saw things getting done and for the people he advocated for, the people he represented, they knew it was his hand that got it done,” Gregory said.
He was determined for racial equality for people of color in the community.
“What he was trying to change was a very long process, very difficult process, but he never stopped wanting to change it,” Gregory said.
For his efforts, Don was awarded the respected citizen award by the Central Blair Recreational and Park Commission in 2016.
This quote from Don explains why he lived his life, the way that he did.
“My mom always told us and my dad to treat people the way you want to be treated and you’ll make the community better for it.”
Don Witherspoon died at the age of 77.