On Friday morning, August 19, 2016, Don A. Provost (age 76) went home to be with his Lord.
Born in Houston, Texas, Don was a graduate of Phillis Wheatley High School and served his country in the Air National Guard. In 1969, he married Lorraine Kennix. Don’s love for learning and commitment to higher education began when he studied Architecture at The College of Environmental Design at The University of California – Berkeley where he received is BA in 1972. He completed advanced studies at Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA.
Throughout his career, Don focused on important community work and served in various leadership capacities in the city of East Palo Alto and the Bay Area. In Oakland, he served as Director of Big Brothers of the East Bay and Director of Oakland Citizen’s Community of Urban Renewal. He worked on the BART project with Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Tudor, Bechtel in San Francisco and the MARTA project for the city of Atlanta. Don also worked for the Senator Don Perata before retiring from the state of California, Department of Caltrans, in 2003. His commitment to the community extended to his volunteer work as well. He served as a leader in a variety of groups including: Oakland Economic Development Council, East Oakland Fruitvale Planning Center, and East Oakland Credit Union.
His passion has always been education. In 1992, he and his wife Lorraine founded the College Awareness Program (CAP). CAP is a community based organization that encourages, recruits, and places high school students in HBCUs as well as other colleges affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. CAP activities include: College Awareness Night, where students meet with college representatives; Financial Aid Seminars; College Awareness Experience, which provided exposure for high school students to travel to the colleges and universities to experience the life of a college freshman; and continued support services, which provide an extended support system to students in need. Don’s commitment to the community through CAP made it possible for several hundred youth in the Bay area to attend college.
Don dedicated his life to community service. He was an elder of the First Presbyterian Church. Don served as Commander of the American Legion of Veterans, Former President of the East Oakland Rotary, associate member of East Oakland Hayward Section, National Council of Negro Women, and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. He volunteered for various community boards and programs. He served on the Committee on Ministry with Presbytery of San Francisco. Many will remember him as an educator, mentor, and friend.
Don will be missed by his wife Lorraine K. Provost, children Chad A. Provost and Shani A. McPherson, grandchildren Cole and Carter Provost, daughter-in-law Nicole Provost, son-in-law, Tian McPherson, his father Percy Provost and a host of brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, and nephews.