Donald R. Staley
August 14, 1942 ‒ May 07, 2009
Mount Gilead, Ohio
A jovial man with a warm smile, who was never at a loss for words, Donald R. Staley, lived for three things…his family, friends and farming. He cherished the time spent with his friends and family. And on the farm, he was at home. He had a deep sense of appreciation for farming, and especially for his beloved cattle.
Health problem after health problem, Don passed away at the age of 66.
On August 14, 1942, Don was born in Marion, Ohio, the son of the late Richard “Dick” and Edna Ivalue (Allbaugh) Staley. He was raised on the family farm, where he would help his father and where his love of farming began.
A graduate of Mount Gilead High School in the Class of 1961, Don met his wife to be, Patricia Geyer. They married on October 3, 1964, at the First Baptist Church in Mount Gilead.
During their courtship, Don attended Andrews Barber College in Columbus. After finishing school he worked as a barber in Mount Gilead for two years, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966.
After his basic training he was deployed to Vietnam to serve his country in the Vietnam War. While there, he first was an ammunitions guard with the dangerous job of protecting an ammunitions base. After showing his ability to cook, he then became a cook for the army and even earned the honor of cooking “for all of the brass,” the higher ranking officers. All throughout his time in the Army, he also served as their barber, keeping everyone’s hair the appropriate length.
Upon his honorable discharge in 1968, Don would return to Mount Gilead to open his own barber shop. For the next thirty six years, he would enjoy the friendships formed with the many people who sat in his chair.
This old saying was true for Don, you can take the boy away from the farm but you can’t take the farm away from the boy. Soon after opening his barber shop, Don wanted to return to his roots and he and Pat then bought the old Nesbitt farm on State Route 61 in 1970. Don had a passion for farming, everything about it. He especially enjoyed caring for his beloved cattle. Whenever he and Pat would return from Florida, his family would tease him that “he was happier to see his cattle than he was to see his children.” He farmed until he was no longer able, though he was proud several of his children are continuing his legacy of his farm and of farming their own land.
Wanting to share his experiences of farming with future generations, Don gave selflessly of his time to the children who would participate in the Morrow County Fair. He was one of five originators of the Morrow County Junior Fair Building Fund, which was how Junior Fair buildings used today were funded. He was instrumental in helping with countless fundraisers for the building fund.
A devout Republican and member of the Morrow County Republican Party, Don served the people of Morrow County for three terms as County Commissioner. As Commissioner, he was proud to be a part of securing the land of the former Morrow County Children’s Home to be used for the new Community Services building.
An active member of the Morrow County community and the farming community, Don was a member of several organizations. He was a member of the Mount Gilead Lion’s Club, the Morrow County Senior Fair Board for over twenty five years, the Morrow County Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee, the Ohio and American Simmental Associations, Morrow County Cattleman’s Association, DKMM Solid Waste District Board, American Legion Post 97, County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) Alumni, the North Central Ohio Colt Stakes, the American Angus Association, Public Employee Risk Institute (PERI), the Morrow County Township Association, and a past member of the Morrow County Farm Bureau. He was a member of the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ.
A supportive father with “a huge heart,” Don’s children knew he would always be there for them. Always wanting to share his knowledge and perspective, he had his own unique ways of trying to teach his children. As a family, they shared a lot of laughter, though there were times it was at their own expense as most all of them learned to be ornery from their father.
As a grandfather, he had his own special way of spoiling his beloved grandchildren. Many of their favorite times were aboard his cub cadet vehicle, to pick up rocks, pick apples, or just cruise around the farm hoping he would let them drive.
During the summer, Don loved going to county fairs and enjoyed watching both the cattle shows and the harness races.
Wanting to remain in touch with his friends, Don was a member of the “Morning Breakfast Club” who would meet at McDonald’s nearly every day to share stories and friendly banter and to keep up with the daily happenings.
Don will forever be missed by his wife, Pat Staley of Mount Gilead; five children: Brent (Teresa) Staley of Mount Gilead, and their children: Alissa, Kristin, and Alex; Craig (Karie) Staley of Mount Gilead, and their children: Rebecca and Kimberly; Pamela Staley of Mount Gilead, and her son, Wyatt; Adam (Kelly) Staley of Fredericktown, and their children: Ethan and Dawson; and Amanda (Bill) Forquer of Mount Gilead; one brother, Virgil (Josie) Staley of Mount Gilead; mother-in-law, Charlotte Geyer of Mount Gilead, brother-in-law, Tom (Diane) Geyer of Mount Gilead; sister-in-law, Pam (Rodney) Clinger of Edison.
The Staley family will receive friends from 3 – 8 p.m. on Monday, May 11, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will be held on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Pleasant Grove Church of Christ, 7197 County Road 46, with Pastors Jeff Brunsman and Ray Linn officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the V.F.W. Post 8054 and AmVets Post 87 will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Don would have appreciated memorial contributions being made to the Morrow County Junior Fair Building Fund, c/o Sue Beck, 6679 County Road 76, Mount Gilead, OH 43338.
Condolences may be expressed to his family online by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.