Donald F. Echelbarger, 86, Greentown, passed away at 3:10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at his home. He was born Nov. 18, 1931, in Grant County, the son of the late Ernest Fred & Sarah Naomi (McCan) Echelbarger. On Feb. 28, 1954, in Greentown, he married Barbara E. Barker and she survives.
Don was a 1951 graduate of the first class at Eastern High School. He served with the United States Army from 1952 to 1953, earning the rank of Pvt. 1st Class. While stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia, he drove the "Ducks," and while in Germany, he was the driver for the high officials. Don "Whitey" retired from General Motors-Fisher Body, in Marion, in January of 1990 after 30 years of service. Don was a member of Greentown Wesleyan Church, serving as greeter and usher. He was also a volunteer fireman for Green Township Fire Department in Grant County during the 1960s and 70's.
Don enjoyed spending time at Webster Lake for 40 years, fishing with his children and grandchildren. He loved pulling them behind the boat while they skied and rode skibobs and tubes. Don loved reading after he retired. During his working years, he really liked to farm and continued to help with farming after retiring from the factory. He loved spending time with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Don is survived by his loving wife of almost 64 years, Barbara Echelbarger; sons, Allen (Juanita) Echelbarger, Dan (Kathy) Echelbarger and Jay (Debbie) Echelbarger; grandchildren, Lora Lee (Johnny) Wilson, Brianne (Andrew) Hensley, Joel Echelbarger of Oregon, Joy (Ryan) Kemp, Ryan (Bekah) Shaffer, Rod (Megan) Shaffer, Ashleigh (Kenny) Kaylor, Matthew Maher (fiancé, Bridget), and Andrew (Leslie) Maher; great-grandchildren, Kelsey Kinslow, Kendall and Korbin Wilson, Nora and Emery Kemp, Jenna, Evan and Elias Shaffer, Colton Kaylor, and Luke Hensley, along with two more due in May and July; brother, John (Linda) Echelbarger; sister-in-law, Frances Echelbarger; aunt, Annabelle McCan; and several nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Dan Thomas, Paul Richard, and Loren Echelbarger; great-granddaughter, Kaitlyn Angelia Wilson; and uncle, Virgil (Marvel) Echelbarger.
The family would like to say a special thank you to St. Vincent Hospice staff, Jenny, Mindy, Deborah, Julie, Ellen and Angie, along with the Greentown EMTs Lisa and Jordan.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, at Greentown Wesleyan Church, 120 N. Maple Street, Greentown, with Pastor Paul Boss and Pastor Eric Roemer officiating, with military honors provided by the Greentown American Legion. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday at the church. Memorial contributions may be made in Don's memory to the Greentown Wesleyan Church Café Project. Hasler & Stout Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. Messages of condolence may be left online at www.hasler-stout.com.
Published on January 6, 2018