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Donald Moore Giles

January 10, 1942 - January 20, 2018

U.S. Veteran

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Donald Moore Giles, of Lynchburg, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at his home surrounded by his family.

Born on January 10, 1942, in Lynchburg, Va., he was the son of the late Betsy Moore Giles and William Vernon Giles.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Frances Jones Giles. He is also survived by his two daughters, Dabney Treacy (Mike) and Kennon White (Charlie), as well as five adoring grandchildren: Helen, Aidan, and Sam Treacy, and George and Lucy White. Also surviving is his brother, William V. “Billy” Giles, Jr. (Leigh).

He was a graduate of E. C. Glass High School where he served as President of the Honor League, was co-captain of the football team with all-state honors, and won the Rucker Cup, which recognizes excellence in both athletics and academics. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. At VMI, he lettered for three years in football and indoor and outdoor track. One of the highlights of his VMI football career was sacking Roger Staubach (Heisman trophy winner) in the Oyster Bowl in 1963. After graduation, Don served for two years in the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant and as an instructor at the US Armor School in Fort Knox, Ky.

Don was the former President and was serving as Chairman of the Board at Moore and Giles, Inc., which was founded in 1933 by his grandfather, Donald Graeme Moore. What started as a relatively small family business has grown into a company with an international scope. His vision and leadership helped transform a company that originally sold shoe components into a company with a global reach supplying a wide and varied range of leathers to the furniture, hospitality, aircraft, marine, and automotive industries.

He was an active community leader, serving on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees at Randolph College, the Board of Directors at the Bank of the James (where he was also a founding member) and Seven Hills School. Don co-chaired the United Way Capital Campaign along with his wife, Frances, for two years. He and Frances were honored for community service by Whitehead Media Ventures and were also honored for community philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. They both received the Mayor’s Award of Excellence from Lynchburg City Council in 2016.

Since graduating from VMI, Don has served his alma mater in many capacities, including President of the Lynchburg Alumni Chapter; member of the VMI Keydet Club Board of Directors, including two years as president; served on three football head coach search committees; and, established two scholarships: the W. Vernon Giles Memorial Scholarship with his mother, Betsy, in memory of his father, Vernon Giles ’35; and, the Giles Davis Class of ’64 Scholarship in memory of his teammate and close friend, William G. Davis “Bill”.

Don was a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as Deacon, Elder, Sunday School teacher, and Sunday School superintendent. Additionally, he chaired Memorial Gifts, and served on two Pastor Search committees.

Don was a role model to many, and his integrity, kindness, and friendship touched many lives, both here and abroad. The happiest times of his life were spent with his beloved wife and family.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church, 1215 V.E.S. Road in Lynchburg. The family will receive friends at a reception immediately following the service and also at Don and Frances’ home on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to Virginia Military Institute (319 Letcher Avenue, Lexington, VA 24450) for the Giles Davis Class of ’64 Scholarship, to Randolph College (2500 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, VA 24503) for the Helen and Ruffin Jones International Studies Scholarship, or to the Amazement Square Education Center, 27 9th Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit

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