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Don Ray Seedorf

March 22, 1927 ~ May 4, 2018 (age 91)
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Donvin Ray Seedorf

Was born March 22, 1927 in Kankakee Illinois to Mary and Ray Seedorf.  He lived with his parents at Brandon Colorado until he was 2 years old when they moved to the farm 2 miles West of Yuma, Colorado.  Donvin always had some chores to do, bringing in the cobs & coal, & water from the windmill.

He always liked to work.  He and his brother, Carroll herded cows along the trail roads during the summers, milked cows & fed pigs. They also fed Herford bull’s grain & silage getting them ready for the Stock Show in Denver. 

When Donvin entered High School he dropped the “vin” and was called Don.  His dad would say if I’m not home by feeding time you feed the steers.  Through the winters there were always 200 to 300 steers being fed in the yards.  So Don would harness the team & hitch them to the wagon loaded with ensilage & grain & protein.  The team were accustomed to pulling the wagon along the bunks & stopping at the next bunk.  The feed was forked & shoveled into the bunks by hand.

Don was proud of how he could work.   He loved to work.  Some days 14 hours.  His dad Ray had several hired men.  One was Bill McKinley.  Bills parents brought him to the farm Sunday nights until Saturday night when they would come take him home.  They had 2 daughters at home, Betty Jo and Joyce.  At that time Don was an 8th grader.  Betty Jo looked really good to Don but he was too bashful & timid to ask her for a date all through High School.

Don was drafted into the army in October 1945.  The 2nd World War ended in August 1945 so he didn’t have to worry about military action.  He was inducted at Fort Logan CO in October 1945, and was there for 4 months serving as a dental assistant helping the line of men going thru discharge.  Don was sent to Ft. Leavenworth for further assignment in February 1946.

From Ft. Leavenworth, Don was sent to Camp Robinson Arkansas for basic training.  In May he was transferred to Camp Carson Colorado for further military training.  [The further military training was the 10th Mountain Division.] After discharge in November 1946 he went home to work for his parents again.  It was a year before he finally got nerve enough to call Betty Jo.  His mom told him to call her & ask if she would like a puppy, of which they had several.  Betty Jo thought he was too bashful to ask her in High School but that first date changed that. 

Don Seedorf & Betty Jo McKinley were married January 11, 1948.  2 kids came to live with them: Cheryl & Rick.  Don always lived within 2 miles of Yuma except when he & Betty Jo went to Arizona for 3 months each winter.  Don & Betty Jo bought a motor home in 1994.  They spent 13 – 3 month winters in Arizona.  Don always liked warm better than cold. 

[Don graduated from Barnes Business School, was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Yuma since 1939 - where he served as an ordained Elder, a member of Yuma Lions Club, and a proud member of the Republican Party.]  

Don contracted Macular Degeneration and that soon ended his driving.  Don still liked to work in his 80’s.  It was very disappointing when his eye sight was failing.  He would see people, say hello, who are you.  He lost the ability to drive, work in his wood shop & many things he used to do.  He felt until the 80’s that he always did his share or more. 

Don is survived by his wife of 70 years, Betty Jo McKinley Seedorf.  Daughter Cheryl (Seedorf) Mekelburg and husband Gaylord Mekelburg and their children: Amy and husband Diego Martinez, Jason and wife Shelley Mekelburg, Sally and husband Joe Castillo, Adam and wife Heather Mekelburg. Don and Betty Jo’s son Rick and wife Ruth (Goerner) Seedorf and their children: Heather and husband Randall Doran, Kyle and wife Erin Seedorf.  They have 10 great-grandchildren.    

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