Sharon Heights builder Don Nystrom diesA celebration of the life of Don Nystrom will be held at noon Thursday, Jan. 10, at Skylawn Memorial Park, at Highway 92 and Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo. Mr. Nystrom died Nov. 14 after a courageous battle with bladder cancer. He was 86.
Mr. Nystrom was one of the original builders of the Sharon Heights subdivision in Menlo Park 50 years ago. He was also a founding member of the Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club.
Mr. Nystrom was born in Oakland. The family later moved to Burlingame, where he graduated from Burlingame High School. He was active in sports, especially basketball and track.
During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines. He graduated from Stanford University in 1950 with a bachelor of arts degree in history and economics. He was a member of Chi Psi fraternity.
After working as a carpenter's apprentice during high school and college, Mr. Nystrom became a journeyman carpenter. At 21 he received his real estate license and worked for a title company as an escrow officer. He received his contractor's license at 25, then founded Nystrom Construction Corporation and began a long career as a building contractor and real estate developer.
Mr. Nystrom married Marjorie Adams and they raised their family in one of the homes he built in Sharon Heights. After they divorced, he moved to Foster City.
He enjoyed tennis, hiking, skiing and golfing. He also traveled around the world and pursued his passion for ballroom dancing well into his 80s, say family members.
Mr. Nystrom was a longtime member and past president of the Foster City Rotary Club, a major donor to the Rotary Foundation, a volunteer at Samaritan House, and a member of Sons in Retirement. He was also a construction and real estate arbitrator for the American Arbitration Society and a tenant and landlord negotiator for the San Mateo County Human Relations Department.
He will be remembered for his integrity, business savvy, wit, boundless energy and love of life, say family members.
He is survived by his children, Karen Nystrom, Sandra Nystrom, and Mark Nystrom; companion Jan Reini; sister Joan Kane; and four grandchildren.
Donations in his name may be made to Samaritan House, 4031 Pacific Blvd., San Mateo CA 94403.