"DON"; After WWII. . . . He then started a lifelong career with the telephone company, working for Michigan Bell, Northwestern Bell, and retired from AT&T. He was an inspiration to us all in regards to his admirable work ethic and loving what you do. He almost never missed a day of work throughout his career. He loved what he did and truly enjoyed going to work every day. That has influenced us in finding careers and life paths we love.
In addition to the telephone company, he had a ranch that he worked for many years located past Nemo, with cattle and horses, which was tremendous work but provided the family with wonderful times and great memories. Don loved horses, dogs, rodeos, country music, bull riding, ranch horse competition, and of course, saddle bronc riding, which he had participated in when he was young. Don was a true cowboy.
Don's family was the most important thing in his life. He met his beautiful and beloved wife when she fell in love with his "neat smile" and beautiful blue eyes. They married three months later in Ypsilanti, MI. They celebrated 60 years of marriage and true love. Donald and Patricia had eight children together and they moved back and forth from Michigan to Rapid City, finally settling for good in Rapid City. Don demonstrated such love and loyalty to his family, as well as his country. He taught us the value of honesty and of respect for others. He taught us to be keenly aware and appreciative of weather, the land, and wildlife. He taught us the importance of taking care of animals before we took care of ourselves. He taught us how to be good drivers, he was recipient of a Good Driver Award, and was one of only seven Detroit area students to receive this. He received this award directly from Henry Ford himself.
He loved baseball throughout his life, teaching his kids to play and being a coach on his sons' baseball teams. We had enough kids and grandkids in the family to create our own team and we continue to have fun with family playing all sorts of sports together, appreciating the value of a team. He taught us to ride bicycles, play ping pong, ride horses, and live life to the fullest. We spent lots of time riding horses in the Forest Service. He spent a great deal of time, enthusiasm, and energy taking his kids to participate in horse shows and rodeos.
He had a bit of a sweet tooth, loving the biggest piece of pie that his wife and daughter would so fabulously create. Don had a wonderful sense of humor, and was the "head fooler." He would do the word jumble each day. He always would just do it in his head, rarely having to write down any of the words. We still don't have his ability to do that. He was one of the wisest men we have ever known. We will miss all of the wonderful times spent together, the great humor and sparkling blue eyes. We will miss his quiet yet unrelenting strength of heart and spirit. He was such a good, wise, and compassionate man of distinguished character.
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=110873200 Written by his loving and LOVED children. B-25 DON was indeed an amazing, intelligent and loving man.... a true-grit Hero from our GREATEST GENERATION!
Barbi Ennis Connolly