Donald John Schildroth, 90, passed away late Wednesday night, August 25, 2010, after a lengthy period of declining health. Funeral service was held at 10:30 AM on Monday, August 30, 2010 at the United Methodist Church in Reinbeck with Pastor Terry Plocher officiating. Burial followed at Reinbeck Cemetery. Visitation was held Sunday, August 29, 2010 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at French-Hand Funeral Home in Reinbeck. Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church, 505 Spruce St. Reinbeck, Iowa 50669. To view the complete obituary or to send messages of condolence, please visit www.abelsfuneralhomes.com.
Don was born October 28, 1919 in Reinbeck, Iowa, to George and Anna (Wilmes) Schildroth. He attended public school in Reinbeck, graduating with the class of 1937. He was a member of the Reinbeck United Methodist Church where he was active on the building committee following the church fire in 1955, Official Board and many other committees. He also served as Sunday School Superintendent.
Don and Florence Adair were united in marriage on March 18, 1941 in rural Tama County. Their honeymoon consisted of an overnight stay in Waterloo, with the formal wedding portrait the next day. They farmed in Grundy and Tama counties for all of their working lives, laboring side by side to build a successful farming operation. They were a team for over 69 years. Where you saw one of them, you usually saw the other.
Don served many years on the school board of the Reinbeck Community School District and as a Grundy County Supervisor for 28 years, retiring from this position at the age of 83. He was a member of the Operation Threshold Board, receiving state recognition in 2002; elected to the board of directors of the Iowa Northland Regional Council of Governments (INRCOG) and the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool (ICAP). He was honored as INRCOG Citizen of the Year in 1993. It seems a contradiction, but Don was a public figure who didn't like to talk.
Don is well-known regionally for his singing talent, having begun during high school at the encouragement of a special teacher and continuing with the support of long-time accompanist, Jeanette DeWolf. Music was a large part of his life and many weddings, funerals and other special events were graced with his gift, generously shared. In 1985 he and Jeanette recorded a collection of his best-known songs with the proceeds from sales going to a church scholarship fund.
In addition to conservation of the land, Don and Florence planted trees and nurtured them to create a natural Pheasants Forever habitat on their farm south of Reinbeck. For their 50th anniversary, a scholarship was created for deserving graduates of Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School intending to study music or fine arts in college. Support of the church, community, school and family were the tenants of their life together.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers - Verne (in childhood), Ralph and Leonard Schildroth and in June of this year, his wife, Florence.
Survivors include his children, Mark (Dixie) and Melvin (Janet) of Reinbeck and Jane (Peter Jaynes) of Cedar Rapids; his grandchildren, Scott Schildroth (Chris) and Jodi Michael (Kevin) all of Reinbeck, Todd Schildroth (Beth) and Christie (Aaron) Sannes all of Cedar Falls and Devon Lovell of Cedar Rapids; his great-grandchildren, Jill and Jenny Schildroth, Shannon and Paige Kromas, Jack, Drew and Chase Sannes, Sami, Ashley and Lilly Schildroth.
The family would like to thank the staff of Parkview Manor for the gentle care given Don over the past two years. They proved that care givers who truly care can make a big difference.