Donald E. Easterday, age 84, of Sturgis, passed away Thursday afternoon, March 22, 2012, at his home.
He was born Oct. 28, 1927, in Columbus, Ohio, a son of the late Edwin and Sylvia (Griffith) Easterday.
On Sept. 20, 1950, he married Carol Townsend in Columbus.
Donald was a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving during World War II, earning the rank of Seaman First Class. He was a graduate of Ohio State University (go Buckeyes) where he received a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. Following his graduation from Ohio State, he began his career with Ross Laboratories, where he retired in 1979 as plant manager. After his retirement, he purchased Keeslar and Emerson Appliance store in Sturgis. In addition to this business venture, he began building homes in the Wall School addition which continued for 10 years. Keeslar and Emerson ended when the business was lost to a fire.
Donald served on the Sturgis City Commission from 1972-1980 and again from 1992-1993 serving as the city’s mayor from 1987-1992 and vice mayor from 1981-1986. He was a member of the Sturgis Planning Board, Sturgis Improvement Association, Economic Development Corporation, City Employee Pension Fund Board, Sturgis Hospital Board, Downtown Development Authority, Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce, Sturgis Board of Appeals, Sturgis Neighborhood Association and the Sturgis Exchange Club and was a recipient of the Sturgis Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 61 years, Carol; two sons, Kirk (Karen) Easterday and Keith (Diann) Easterday; one daughter, Kimberly Prak; his grandchildren, Jessica (Eric) Pulling, Donald Easterday, Elizabeth Easterday, Darren (Michelle) Easterday, Robert (Kara) Easterday, Katie (Brad) Grostick, Ashley Long, Anthony Long; and great-grandchildren, Claire Pulling, Madison Pulling, Anna Easterday, Carolynn Easterday, Arabella Easterday, Madalyn Easterday, Tori Grostick and Kaitlyn Grostick.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Donald Easterday will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Robert Keim, retired pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sturgis, and the Rev. Michael Wicks, of First Presbyterian Church of Sturgis, will officiate. Full military honors will be conferred by Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW and the U.S. Navy Honor Guard.
Placement of the ashes will be in the columbarium of First Presbyterian Church.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Easterday’s memory consider Hospice of Sturgis, P.O. Box 126, Sturgis, MI 49091.
His obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.