Donald Dean Sheeley, 53, of Ottumwa, died at 12 p.m. January 24, 2018 at his home.
After a year of one heartbreak after another, it is with mixed emotions that we say, "May we meet again, Donnie".
Our journey with pancreatic cancer that began January 2017 has come to an end. This past year Donnie never ceased to amaze us. He was one the strongest men we knew. With the love and care of those he loved, Donnie was able to pass peacefully at home. If love could heal, he would have been healed a million times over.
Donnie was born October 16, 1964 in Oskaloosa, IA to Calvin Cato and Lucille Cowman Sheeley.
Living most of his life in Ottumwa, Donnie graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1983. He worked for Airgas for 32 years. He also worked part time for Martin Kauzlarich at Bridge City Mechanical.
He married Rose Richards in 1987; together they had two sons and later divorced.
Donnie's passing will leave a huge hole in the hearts of many. He went out of his way to do for others. No matter the time of day or night. Never putting himself first. His mom being his top priority. He was an amazing son, father and friend. He never realized the impact he made in so many lives. "We may forget what he said, or what he did, but we will never forget how he made us feel".
Donnie loved the beauty of the outdoors. Springtime being his favorite season. Yet, he was grateful to see every season during this past year. Donnie found beauty where others over look it. He loved to see eagles and spy their nests in the trees. He loved the smell of the locust trees. He enjoyed riding his Harley, camping and kayaking. He cherished his time spent fishing and mushroom hunting with his brother, Bob. Bob claims Donnie was a bloodhound when it came to finding the mother load of mushrooms. And perhaps now we will never know who tipped the boat during one of their last fishing trips.
Donnie was proud of his sons, he looked forward to every moment they spent together, working on vehicles or just visiting. He felt blessed to have a little girl in his life that was like a daughter, even though the time was short. He cherished the thought of being called "PaPa D" by Gracelynn and Liam Ashcraft. He said "Blood isn't the only thing that makes someone family".
Donnie leaves behind many friends and family. His journey partners, Melody (Sowden) and Taylor Wiedmann; his sons, Zachary and Seth Sheeley; beloved pets, Dutchess, Ahz and Jack; brothers, Bob, Greg, Pat (Tina), Mike (Mary) and Brian Sheeley; numerous nieces and nephews; his Airgas family, Bob and Betty Richards family. So many honors and blessings from Nadine Sowden's family and friends.
Donnie was preceded in death by his father, Calvin; mother, Lucille; sister, Christine; 2 infant brothers; a niece and 2 nephews.
Donnie's wish was to be cremated and a time to celebrate his life will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Reece Funeral Home.
Melody wishes to express appreciation to the many of you who traveled this journey with them. There are many names that would need to be mentioned, so as not risk leaving any out, we will not name names. We know in your heart you know who you are! This journey would not have been completed without you! Our lives will forever be changed because we loved and lost such an amazing man. Thank you so very much, we love you all!
As an expression of sympathy, memorials may be made in Donnie's name to Hospice Serving Davis and Wapello Counties.
Published on January 25, 2018