Donald Lee Stringham was born June 10, 1941 at home in Mount Ayr, Iowa to Ernest Milton Stringham and Colene Fentress (Vance) Stringham. Donnie grew up with Curtis Ray. He went to school in Mount Ayr up to his first day of his senior year and got expelled for driving his 1941 Chevy Coupe car to school with his best friend.
Donald was united in marriage Joan Marie Haley at the Benton Christian Church on June 3, 1962 shortly before Donald was sent to MCBB in Davisville, Rhode Island. To this union two children were born Malinda Lea in 1967 and James Ernest in 1969.
Donnie enlisted into the Navy on September 22, 1959 with his best friend Dennis Webb. He traveled to the east coast and to the west coast stationed at many naval base locations. Donnie and Joan decided to reside in a family generation home in Benton, Iowa.
Donnie was known to keep very busy after 20 years of service. He worked as a truck driver with JB Hunt, a security guard, a maintenance worker for Mount Ayr Health Care Center and a propane deliverer for Smith Oil. He purchased his own truck in 2010, when Joan and Donnie traveled many miles together.
Grandpa loved his 3 grandsons so much, Matthew James, Michael Shane and Mitchel Lee Swank. Gramps made several phone calls to his grandsons just to keep track of them and to ask them about items he lost in the garage. Papa called by his two great-grandchildren Lea Ann Marie and Nicholas James Swank made him smile from ear to ear. He loved coloring and sneaking them cookies. Donnie enjoyed reading, doing puzzles, watching game shows, western movies, tinkering around the garage and gathering pop cans to recycle for family events.
Donald passed away at home in Benton on October 9, 2019. He was preceded in death by his wife Joan; brother Edward Ernest Stringham; parents E. Sandy and Colene Stringham; parents-in-law James Calvin Haley and Dorotha Olive Haley; brother-in-law Bob (Linda) Haley; sister-in-law Julia Stephens.
Left to cherish his memory are children Malinda (Mike) Swank of Benton and Jamie Stringham of Leon; grandchildren Matthew (Katie) Swank of Skidmore, MO, Shane (Marissa) Swank of Monroe and Mitchel Swank (Micha Stephens) of Creston; great-grandchildren Lea Ann Marie Swank and Nicholas James Swank of Skidmore, MO; brother Curt Stringham of Cedar Rapids; sister-in-law Mary Jane (Ernie) Garrett of Diagonal; brother-in-law Don Stephens of Benton; He leaves behind many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and acquaintances to grieve his loss.
Donald was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He cherished, love and supported Malinda and Jamie, grandson’s and great grandkids watching them all succeed in their lives and growing up. One thing we will all miss are the birthday calls he made. Matt will miss the calls about the Hawkeyes and KC Chiefs football games and working together on vehicles. Shane will always remember the life learned lessons and all the memories together. Mitchel, grandpa’s side kick will miss gramps, his partner in crime who taught him everything he knows when it comes to hard work and getting what he wanted at the lowest price possible.
After 57 years of marriage Donald is now reunited once again with the love of his life Joan. Happily Ever After!
Services: 2:30 p.m. – Sunday, October 13, 2019 - Armstrong Funeral Home – Mount Ayr
Officiant: Pastor Bill Armstrong
Open Viewing: 12:00 pm-8:00 pm, Saturday, Oct. 12 - Armstrong Funeral Home - Mount Ayr
Family Present: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, Saturday, Oct. 12 - Armstrong Funeral Home – Mount Ayr
Burial: Benton Cemetery – Benton, Iowa
Military Honors: American Legion Ringgold Post 172 and U.S. Navy Honor Guard
Memorials: Established in Don’s name