Donald Eugene Schmelzle, better known as “Don”, “Papa”, “Pops” and “Daddy”, 69, finished his earthly journey and peacefully passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
Don was born one of twelve children on October 1, 1950, in Seneca, Kansas, to Eugene F. and Mary E. (Aziere) Schmelzle. He attended St. Peter and Paul Grade and High School and Manhattan Area Technical College prior to joining the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.
Don married Deena Charlene Smith on May 19th, 1972 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He enjoyed making useful things with his hands, outdoor activities with his family, teaching, training, reading, fishing, and serving others.
Don eventually moved his family back to Kansas where he proudly served in the community as a Police Officer and Sheriff’s Deputy for twenty years. He was still employed in retirement as an Animal Control Officer for the city of Manhattan.
He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he faithfully served and fulfilled many church callings.
He is survived by his wife, Deena; two daughters, Lisa Gudenkauf and Nikki Wood; four grandchildren, Kalon and Morgan Gudenkauf and Evelyn and Lucas Wood; nine siblings, Marjean Severin-Moore, Larry Schmelzle, Robert Schmelzle, Charles Schmelzle, his twin sister Dorothy Hudgens, Jeanie Rasmussen, Janice Larrison, David Schmelzle and Patrick Schmelzle.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, William “Bill” and John “Jack” Schmelzle.
Honoring his request, cremation is planned. A memorial service will be at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 2812 Marlatt Ave, Manhattan, KS on January 25th at 11 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter 605 Levee Dr., Manhattan, KS 66502.
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