A man of unwavering integrity and humor, Donald C. Ferrell lived a life rich in family and service. Don was a people person who never met a stranger. With deep affection and a quick wit, he could inspire a smile to someone not in the mood to smile. Though known to some as ornery, he was a trustworthy man who knew the power of his word and the value of hard work. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Don was an inspiration to all who knew him. A powerful role model, Don will be deeply missed by all who were blessed to know him.
The 1920's were marked by tremendous confidence, prosperity, and previously unknown comforts. The economy boomed, wages rose, and prices fell. A higher standard of living was inspired for most. With the inventions of the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, self-winding watch, bulldozer, the instant camera, drive-in restaurants, Band-Aids, and the convertible, the post-war, era marked significant advancement and morale flourished throughout the land. This vibrant time grew even brighter in Jefferson Township of Whitley County, Indiana as Loyd D. and Ada G. (Zorger) Ferrell welcomed their son Don into their hearts and home on March 5th.
Born in a time of plenty and growing up in a time of tremendous challenge, from his earliest days Don learned the values of hard work, perseverance, and self-sufficiency. Much of his youth was spent lending a hand on the family farm. Along with his older sisters, Margaret and Mildred, and his younger brother, Chester, Don tended to his daily chores and learned a love for the land that would last his entire life. Even as a youth he wasn't one to be idle for long and when he took a break from farming, he enjoyed fishing, playing basketball and running track.
After graduating from Jefferson Center High School with the class of 1945, Don served our country during the end of WWII in the U.S. Army. On March 15, 1947, Don had the honor of marrying his high school sweetheart, Madeline M. Gross. In a ceremony presided over by Rev. J. Phillip Blake at the pastor's home in Ft. Wayne, the happy young couple began their 70-year adventure.
As newlyweds, Don and Madeline made their first home in Columbia City. In 1950 they moved to Jefferson Township to farm, and in 1958, they moved to their farmhouse in Thorncreek Township. In time, the couple joyfully welcomed their four children to their family. Roger, Linda, Beverly, and Douglas were Don's pride, and he embraced fatherhood with signature honor and integrity passing along the values of family, hard work, and resourcefulness that had served him so well.
In addition to farming, Don also worked in the Industrial Gas industry, retiring from AGA Gas Inc. After retiring, in 1988, Don and Madeline moved to Bonita Springs, Florida. where Madeline's parents and brother lived. Don was a handyman who could fix absolutely anything and who was quick to offer his help to others. Soon after the move, Don was mowing with his brother-in-law. In time, he began working on his own and started Ferrell's Lawn Service. At one point, he was mowing 150 yards by himself. Maintaining the healthy work-play balance he'd learned in his youth, for many years, he bowled on a local league, and he was always up for a game of horseshoes or Euchre.
Fishing was Don's favorite pastime, and every year he and Madeline traveled to Minnesota to go fishing. They also took several trips to Michigan, Canada, and out west. Their most memorable trip was when Don won a trip to Sweden through work. Don was especially pleased to participate in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. with his son Roger. Together with other local Veterans, he and his son traveled to D.C. where they saw the National World War II Memorial and was honored for his service to our country.
In 2001 Don and Madeline decided to move back to Whitley County where they enjoyed sharing time with their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who were Don's greatest source of joy. For Don, a perfect day was any day spent with his family who wholeheartedly knew that the measure of his affections was found in the effort he invested in teasing them.
Without a doubt, Don was a gift to all who knew him, and it is hard to imagine life in the absence of his steadfast presence. May it afford comfort to know that with each line we cast, stranger we greet with a smile, talent we freely give, word we honor, and time we gather together, we celebrate the best of Don's life legacy in our own lives. And in so doing, he will continue to inspire others as he has so inspired us.
Donald C. Ferrell, 91, of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away at 2:51 a.m. Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home. Born March 5, 1927, in Whitley County, he was the son of Loyd D. and Ada G. (Zorger) Ferrell.
Survivors include his children, Roger (Nora) Ferrell, of Columbia City, Linda (Chuck) Wilcoxson, of Columbia City, Beverly King, of Hicksville, Ohio and Doug (Jenny) Ferrell of Columbia City; sister, Margaret Dafforn, of Columbia City; 10 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Madeline in 2017; sister, Mildred Norris; brother, Chester Ferrell; grandson, David Ferrell; granddaughter, Melissa Walter; and great-granddaughter, Taylor Creech.
Visitation is 1-5 p.m. Sunday, September 9, 2018, at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home with Pastor Russell Riley officiating. Burial will follow at South Park (Annex) Cemetery where he will be laid to rest beside his wife. Memorial gifts may be made in his memory to Saturn Christian Church or Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send Don's family condolences online.
3 people have supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
Buy Gift Now
Since I was unable to attend Donald's viewing and I am sending my deepest sympathy to Donald's family. I got to know him at Hardees and found that he was a great guy and had a sense of humor. I will miss him Roger as you and Donald seemed to enjoy discussing golf. Ralph Bailey
My sympathy to the family.
Healing Registry Unavailable at the Moment!