Friday, December 30, 2016

Donald Percy Schofield Jan 22 1925 - Dec 25 2016

Donald Percy Schofield 1943

December 16th it snowed and snowed and everyone pretty much stayed home.  Saturday morning the 16th,  Nita called and said that Grandpa couldn't get out of bed.  We jumped in our trusty snow cat and got out to their apartment right before the ambulance arrived.  We followed the ambulance to the hospital and our car said it was -26. 

Don and Nita in 1946

It was determined that he had a stroke which effected his left side and couldn't swallow.  He slept most of the time and would occasionally talk to Nita.  He sang to her and told her that he loved her.  They had talked earlier and had promised each other that they would not keep each other alive on tubes.  On the 4 day the doctors told us that he wasn't going to get better.  That afternoon Nita called for Dane to come quickly to the hospital.  Grandpa had been saying "I'm ready".  Dane asked him what he was ready for and his reply was he was ready for "prime time."  Well that's football.  :)  Grandpa being funny to the very end. Dane also said to him "Dad, it's me Dane your favorite," and Grandpa replied "yes you are my favorite."   Day 5 we brought him home to the apartment with Hospice care.  He wasn't every awake or coherent.  I washed his face and shaved him and told him how loved he was.  Every 3 hours a nurse would come and help Grandma swab his mouth with morphine in case he had any pain.  He was comfortable and rested peacefully.

Handsome Grandpa at age 22

Christmas morning we went to Church and then opened our gifts.  We went over to Don and Nita's around 2:00 in the afternoon.  As we opened the door Nita turned around and said, "I think he jut stopped breathing."  I'm glad we were there!

Don and Nita on their 70th Wedding Anniversary
Rest In Peace Grandpa
We love you!
Yellowstone National Cemetery

Don passed gently to the other side, On Christmas Day, 2016, as a result of complications of a stroke he had recently suffered, with his loving wife, Nita, by his side.
Don was born Jan 22, 1925, in Anaconda, the youngest of four children.  He grew up happy in this mining town with his parents, brothers and sister.  He had a happy childhood.
When Don turned 18, he enlisted in the Army as a result of World War II.  He served in the Americal Division valiantly as a combat infantry soldier in the Pacific, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant.  From a company of one hundred men that left Butte, he was one of approximately six to return.  He met his future wife, Juanita Slayton, while attending Montana State University in Bozeman.  We joke that he didn't even know her first name when he asked her out on their first date, which ironically was to go skiing since neither of then knew ho to ski.  After a brief courtship, they were married and Son transferred to the University of Montana, where he studied music.  Two children, Dawn and Stewart, were born to them while they attended school in Missoula.  Don ultimately obtained his master's degree in music from the University of Montana with a teaching certificate.  His youngest son, Dane, was born in Billings, while Don was teaching his first job in Wilsall.  Shortly afterwords, he accepted a teaching job in Indio, California, and moved with his family to a warmer climate.
Don was a gifted musical and enjoyed teaching for years primarily as a band director.  While at Coachella, he had many award winning bands who performed in the Rose Bowl and at professional sporting events.  He moved in 1959, and brought his family to Torrance, California, for different opportunities.  After teaching and being a band director at several high schools in that area, in 1964, Don made a career decision to join the American Red Cross.  He perceived the opportunity presented him with a chance for travel and exploration of new worlds that he may never have as a school teacher.  As it turned out the was a great move for him.  He primarily served with military organizations and through his long career with American Red Cross rose to a high level of leadership.  He worked in California, Alaska, Japan, Utah and Germany on several occasions and he was able to expand his horizons together with that of his children.  
In the late 60's as part of his employment with the American Red Cross, he was sent for one year to War Torn, Vietnam.  He served honorable there and in dangerous situations and return home safely.
Don and his wife Nita retired in 1991 to Billings, where they lived the last 20+ years of their lives.
Don always enjoyed traveling, including a developed love for donuts that stayed with him though out his life.  He would drive for miles id he heard of a new donuts shop that had opened.  Don loved dogs and they loved him.  Anytime he saw a dog anywhere, you could bet that he would approach the animal and scratch its ears.
Even after joining the American Red Cross, Don continued in his love of music serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a volunteer choir director and chorister for many wards that he lived in though out the years.  He enjoyed singing in choirs and loved to listen to music from the 40's including Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and many others.
Don had a quick wit and a wonderful sense of humor.  His favorite joke was that he was witty half the time.  Mom and dad's favorite place was Coronado Island in San Diego, where they lived for a period of time.  They loved long strolls on the beach and would return there ofter to visit.  The last time being in October of 2016.
He and his companion of 70 years, Juanita were inseparable and as they grew older vowed to take care of each other through any infirmities.  They were blesses with wonderful grandchildren and great grandchildren and they enjoyed their company and development immensely.  their health remained very good up until the last nine months when they both began experiencing some of the frailties of old age as they crept into their 90's.  Don and Nita's life has been blessed by their faith in the Lord and their endurance to the end in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don will be missed by those who knew him and even greater by those family members who loved him deeply.  It will be hard to find a game partner for our mother.
Don is survived by his wife of 70 years, Juanita "Nita" Schofield; his three children, Dawn (Winston) Matthews of Puerto Penasco, Mexico, Stewart (Grace) Schofield of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Dane (Jody) Schofield of Billings; brother, Paul Schofield of Bozeman; and sister-in-law, Helen Mathew of Billings; he is also survived by nine grandchildren and 22 and a half great-grandchildren.
Services are noon, Friday, December 30, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1640 Broadmoor Drive, Billings, Mt 59105.  Smith Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

Love this family

My favorite Boys
Aaron and Ethan Schofield
We had so much snow and the road are so icy and bad we decided that just Aaron and Ethan would fly up for a few days.   
December 30, 2016 
Dan, Bonnie and girls from Logan, Utah; Jeff, Kristina and their 2 kids from Logan, Utah; Kurt, Megan and their 2 kids from Scottsdale, Arizona also came.  The rest of the grand kids couldn't make it. 

No comments: